March 8, 2012
Dear Members of the St. Paul's Community,
In my first communication to you as chair of the Head of School Search Committee, I am happy to report that significant progress has been made since Tom Reid’s announcement on February 17 that he will leave St. Paul’s after the 2012-13 academic year. The Committee held its first meeting yesterday, and with our School’s outstanding faculty, administration, programs and traditions, it is clear that St. Paul's will attract very high caliber leadership candidates. We will keep you informed throughout the process.
Search Committee Created and Search Consultant Selection Underway
Soon after Tom’s announcement, President Gillis Green and the Board’s other officers asked me to head the search, and to form a committee representing the full range of constituencies in the St. Paul's community, including students, parents, faculty, alumni, administration and staff. Click here for the names and short biographies of committee members; an additional one or two members will be added. The Board of Trustees will participate with the Search Committee as the list of candidates is pared down.
Although a search committee of a reasonable size is necessary to manage the process efficiently, input from the entire St. Paul’s community is critical, and we will provide ample opportunity for your participation as the search progresses. The responsibility to select our new Headmaster ultimately rests with the Board of Trustees, but its decision will be fully informed by the needs and desires of all St. Paul's School constituencies.
In the coming weeks, we will choose a search firm specializing in recruiting talent to independent schools to assist the Search Committee in identifying candidates. Many of the search professionals are themselves former heads of independent schools, understand the job requirements, and know the qualities a good school head should have. Our search for candidates will be national; based on feedback we have received so far, a school of St. Paul’s quality and reputation will attract a large number of qualified candidates.
How the Search Process Will Proceed
The Search Committee, working with our consultant, will undertake a process that is thorough, thoughtful and provides significant opportunity for input from the community.
Soon after we hire a search firm, a consultant will spend a few days on campus gathering input about St. Paul's School and an understanding of our needs and goals from a broad representation of our varied constituencies. We feel it is crucial that our search consultant gains a full appreciation of our mission, our academic standards, who we are as a community, our core values and respected traditions, and the ideal qualities a St. Paul's Headmaster should possess. During late spring and over the summer, the consultant will help develop a large slate of candidates for us to evaluate. The Search Committee will screen candidates and select a group of semi-finalists to be interviewed on campus by the Search Committee early in the fall. Finalists will return for another round of on-campus interviews with all constituencies later in the fall.
Each finalist will spend a few days meeting with students, faculty, parents, alumni and trustees. Based on all the information we gather from the process, the Search Committee and officers of the Board will present a recommendation to the full Board of Trustees who will vote on the candidate before the end of the calendar year. We look forward to the new headmaster starting effective July 1, 2013.
The role of Headmaster is a critical one, and a transition in that role naturally captures the interest and imagination of everyone associated with St. Paul’s. During this process, our School will be in the capable hands of a strong faculty and administration. Because St. Paul’s and its programs are in great shape, we expect interest in our Headmaster position to be very strong.
The Search Committee looks forward to meeting and interviewing some of the best educators and leaders from across the nation with the goal and expectation of finding an ideal match. We look forward to the involvement of our entire community in this process. We will share our progress in the search with the St. Paul’s community on a regular basis, with all updates to be posted on the website's Head of School Search page.
Lastly, and I mean this sincerely, feel free to contact me or any member of the Search Committee, at any time, with any questions or concerns or suggestions you may have. You can email the Search Committee directly at email@example.com or by using the feedback form on the Head of School Search webpage.
Please know that each member of the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee approaches this important task earnestly and with great consideration for the best interests of St. Paul's. We look forward to your involvement and appreciate your support as we embark on the search for a new Head of St. Paul's School.
Louis A. Sarkes, Jr.
Chair, Headmaster Search Committee