Michèle Solá joined MCS in 1982 as a part-time Spanish teacher. In 1990, as the school’s first Director of Public School Outreach, she worked to fulfill the school’s public mission by developing programs with nearby public schools. MCS founder Gus Trowbridge mentored Michèle until his retirement in 1997, when she succeeded him as head of school.
In 2011, the Board of Trustees launched a strategic plan to double the school’s enrollment in order to achieve an economy of scale that would support the sliding-scale tuition program in perpetuity. Under Michèle’s leadership, a search committee set about finding a new home for Manhattan Country School that could accommodate 400 students. The doors on West 85th Street opened in the fall of 2016, with Michèle welcoming the first doubled 4-5s, 5-6s and 6-7s classes. Today, both the building renovations and the doubling process are on track to be completed in 2024, plans to expand the MCS Farm are well underway and Expanding Purpose: The Campaign for the Future of Manhattan Country School has raised over $10 million of its $15 million goal.
This year at Big Night Out!, we are proud to honor Michèle Solá with the Living the Dream Mentor Award for her visionary leadership and her tireless commitment to the long-term sustainability of the sliding-scale tuition program, the cornerstone of the school’s enduring commitment to equity, diversity and social justice.