Sanders appointed Head of Admission and Enrollment


Printed with permission of Chris Sanders

Sanders is currently Director of Admission and Financial Assistance at Francis Parker School in San Diego.

Davis Marks and Chloe Park

Chris Sanders will take over as Director of Admission and Enrollment in July, according to President Rick Commons. Sanders, who is currently the Director of Admission and Financial Assistance at Francis Parker School in San Diego, will replace Interim Head of Admission and Enrollment Greg Gonzalez. Gonzalez is temporarily filling the role after former Head of Admission and Enrollment Aaron Mieszczanski left the school to join executive search firm Spencer Stuart.

Commons said Sanders made a positive impression on the faculty he met with because of his friendly personality and expertise in his field.

“In [Sanders’] conversations with the Admission Team, the Leadership Team and many others, he struck all of us as having both the professional skills and personal qualities necessary for success in this important leadership role,” Commons said. “I think prospective families meeting Mr. Sanders will have the feeling right away that this is a place of excellence, opportunity and belonging. I know Mr. Sanders looks forward to spending time not only with prospective students, but current students as well.”

Sanders earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his master’s degree from the Wake Forest University School of Business. Before entering independent school admission, Sanders served as Director of Leadership Opportunities for a non-profit college access program for low-income and first-generation students.

Sanders said he is excited to join the community and admit future classes of students.

“It’s an honor to be welcomed into a community that cherishes excellence and provides a transformational educational experience for all students,” Sanders said. “I am fortunate to join a school that promotes students’ academic and social development, while simultaneously emphasizing one’s responsibility to care for and support others. Harvard-Westlake has a strong foundation, and I look forward to enrolling curious and kind students that bring a diversity of talents and lived experiences.”

With the appointment of Sanders as Head of Admission and Enrollment, Gonzalez will return to his former role as Director of Financial Aid and History Teacher. Gonzalez said Sanders’ ability to connect to a school community will be beneficial in his new role at the school.

“At Francis Parker in San Diego, [Sanders] demonstrated his ability to understand an entire school and build relationships with teachers, students, staff, administration and just to have a very good grasp of connecting to different constituencies,” Gonzales said. “I’ve learned this year more than any other year that the Director of Admission needs to be able to connect to the entire school. And that’s the kind of thing that we saw he experienced at Francis Parker, which we think will translate very well here.”

Commons said Sanders stood out among the candidates after he made a compelling presentation demonstrating his skill and passion for the school.

“We chose about a dozen candidates to interview by Zoom in November and then invited four finalists to come to HW in December for an all-day interview and visit,” Commons said. “As part of the finalist visit, each candidate made a presentation about the school as if they were presenting to a group of prospective parents. Mr. Sanders somehow made us feel that he was already ingrained in our community, demonstrating impressive preparation, remarkable skill as a presenter and compelling personal authenticity.”

Gonzalez said he looks forward to seeing what Sanders will contribute to the school community.

“[The current admission office] was very impressed, not just by his background but by his vision to improve the school,” Gonzalez said. “We felt that in every way, he presents well on paper, but also in person, he is very dynamic. He’s very passionate and open-minded, and we are excited about the gifts that he can bring to Harvard-Westlake.”