Interim Head of School Welcome

A Message from Julia


Castilleja School has been educating young women to become leaders for 117 years, and I am honored to continue to advance this important tradition in my role as Interim Head of School. Much progress has been made to open opportunities to women, and still the world needs more women leaders. At Castilleja we continue to transform these new possibilities for women into concrete leadership for our students as they seek to shape a more just and equitable world. Every day around the Circle, I witness  a group of dedicated professionals working to fulfill a mission-driven goal: to take girls seriously.  Whether in a calculus class, a history field trip, a water polo match, or a robotics build, uplifting our girls’ voices, ideas, and perspectives is central to our work.

Rooted in a dynamic and challenging academic context, our program inspires girls and young women to explore bold questions with intelligence, curiosity, and a sense of purpose. At Castilleja, it goes without saying that all leadership roles are filled by girls—our students steadily and readily take risks as athletes, performers, artists, robotics leads, and activists. In this unique environment and during this pivotal time in life, girls across all grade levels develop intellectual courage and curiosity that they will carry with them everywhere they go. 

Whether you are a prospective student, a current parent, a colleague, or an alum, this website will help you discover the Castilleja our students experience today. I invite you to explore these pages, to visit our campus, and to learn more about how we are preparing the next generation of women leaders.

Warm regards,

Julia Russell Eells

Julia's Bio

Julia started at Castilleja in January and has been working in independent schools for more than 40 years, 27 of them in girls’ schools. She most recently served as the Head of School at San Francisco University High School from 2013 to 2022, where she led a transformational strategic design process. She was previously the Head of School at Lincoln School in Providence, RI, and served in positions in other independent schools as an Assistant Head and Dean of Admissions and College Counseling. She holds a BA from Hobart and William Smith and a MALS from Wesleyan University. She is an avid gardener, a devoted grandmother, and will be living on campus with her husband John and rescue dog Finn.