Head of School Search 2018-02-01T09:57:54+00:00

Head of School Search Updates


Letter from Stephanie Buchanan and Cara Vermeulen, Co-Chairs, Head of School Search Committee

February 1, 2018

Dear Members of the BCD School Community,

We are pleased to share this update on the work of the Head of School Search Committee.

As of this writing, 30 individuals have applied for the position of Head of School at Berkshire Country Day School. Mary Seppala of Educators’ Collaborative has culled that list down to eight candidates. (She has also shared her expectation that a few more good prospects may emerge in the coming weeks.)

The Head of School Search Committee will meet with Mary via video conferencing this Friday to discuss each candidate’s individual dossier, the results of Mary’s personal interviews with them, and her reference checks on each candidate. On Saturday, February 17, the search committee will interview each of the eight candidates via video conferencing. Following those interviews, the search committee will narrow the field to two to four finalists who will visit the campus in late February. (Should another strong prospect emerge before late February, an interview will take place in time to visit the campus without delaying the process.)

As a reminder, there will be opportunities for community members to meet with candidates during their campus visits, and details will be widely shared as soon as visits are scheduled.

As always, we continue to keep open the option that the ideal candidate will not emerge in this search cycle, and in that case, we will begin interviewing for an interim head for the 2018/19 school year. If we do hire an interim, the search for the permanent position will continue as new candidates enter the search cycle in the spring and summer.

Thank you for your support of BCD and of the work of our committee. As always, we invite you to be in touch with your questions and comments.

Sincerely,

                 

Cara Vermeulen and Stephanie Buchanan
Co-Chairs, Head of School Search Committee
Berkshire Country Day School


Letter from Stephanie Buchanan and Cara Vermeulen, Co-Chairs, Head of School Search Committee

December 13, 2017

Dear members of the Berkshire Country Day School Community,

We write to update you on the work of the Head of School Search Committee.

We are pleased to report that the committee voted unanimously today to select Educators’ Collaborative as our search consultant firm. EC was founded in 1971 and in the last 10 years has worked with more than 200 independent schools in the United States, as well as client schools in Europe, Asia, and South America. We look forward to their expertise and guidance in finding our next head of school. Mary Seppala, based in West Stockbridge, MA and West Palm Beach, FL, will lead our search. Mary has 44 years of experience as an educator, has led head of school searches across the country (and internationally), and has herself served as head of multiple independent schools.

We will work with Mary over the winter break and meet with her on campus shortly after break. As previously reported, the firm will begin work on our search immediately. You can expect to hear from us in January with updates on their work and information about how they will engage various stakeholder groups in defining BCD’s needs and hopes for a new head of school.

As always, thank you for your support of BCD and of the work of our committee. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to sharing more in the new year.

With gratitude,

                                
Stephanie Buchanan                      Cara Vermeulen
Co-Chairs
Head of School Search Committee


Letter from Stephanie Buchanan and Cara Vermeulen, Co-Chairs, Head of School Search Committee

December 5, 2017

Dear members of the Berkshire Country Day School community:

We write on behalf of the members of the Head of School Search Committee to share an update on the status of the search.

The Search Committee Co-Chairs have made contact with seven firms, and have received interest from four of them. It is worth noting that the majority of firms interested in working with us have expressed optimism about finding a permanent Head of School (as opposed to an interim) by the end of this school year while assuring us that a qualified Interim can be found if needed.

We have now interviewed representatives of each firm and chosen the top three prospects. These are Research Group 175, Educators Collaborative, and Carney, Sandoe & Associates. We will now ask for a detailed proposal from each of the three finalists and begin comprehensive reference checks on each.  After that process, a decision will be made by the beginning of the School’s winter break. We will share the name of the search consultant we select after that decision is made. While BCD will break for the holidays, all of our prospective search consultants have assured us that they will be ready to begin work on our search as soon as they are hired.

With gratitude,

                                 
Stephanie Buchanan                      Cara Vermeulen
Co-Chairs
Head of School Search Committee


Letter from Stephanie Buchanan and Cara Vermeulen, Co-Chairs, Head of School Search Committee

November 13, 2017

To the many members of the Berkshire Country Day School community,

We write to you as co-chairs of the newly formed Head of School Search Committee to inform you about the process thus far and what you can expect in the weeks and months to come.

First, it’s important to note that we, like all of you, have complicated feelings about the work we are undertaking. We celebrate Paul Lindenmaier, his many, many transformative contributions to our School, and the opportunity he now has to return to his own roots with this career move. We will miss him, and we wish him only the best. But this process is also an opportunity for all of us at Berkshire Country Day School. Our School is in a moment of great success: we are fortunate to have a talented and dedicated faculty comprised of both long-time teachers and new ones; a terrific, highly experienced administrative team working alongside the Head of School; the successful completion of our first capital campaign in decades; the opening of the Kim and James Taylor Music and Performance Room and our beautiful Kevin Hirt Library and Learning Commons; the launch of our fully-enrolled two year old program–the list goes on. Our students, our campus, our community are all thriving, and the search for a new Head of School will give all stakeholders a chance to take stock of these successes and envision our exciting future.

The process we will follow to find our next Head of School will be one that offers our whole community an opportunity to contribute as we assess the School’s needs in filling this important position. The hiring of the Head of School is one of the Board of Trustees’ most important responsibilities. As an accredited independent school, we follow best practices in governance set by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) in all of our Board activities. The search for a new Head of School is no exception, and we are fortunate that the NAIS provides detailed guidance for managing the search process. (The NAIS principles of good practice for Head of School Search Committees and Consultants are here.)

A typical Head of School search takes between 18-24 months to complete. Because Paul’s departure will be sooner, we will operate our search on two parallel tracks. We will perform an exhaustive and intentional search for our next long term Head of School while also seeking candidates who have experience as Interim Head of School. While it is possible we will identify our next long term Head of School by June, we also want to allow for the possibility that we need more time to find the person who best fits our needs and school culture. In these situations, the hiring of an experienced Interim Head of School is a common and recommended practice.

Since Paul advised us of his plans, the Executive Committee of the Board has been working to name a Head of School Search Committee comprised of Trustees, parents, alumni, and faculty members. The role of the Search Committee is to guide the BCD community through the search by: leading a fair, inclusive process that determines needs for the new Head of School; recommending a consultant to help with recruiting candidates; communicating those needs in a position description; identifying, interviewing, and recommending candidates for the position to the Board of Trustees, which has the responsibility for hiring the Head of School.

We are thrilled to announce that the following community members have agreed to serve on the committee:

Katharine Allentuck, faculty, past parent
Alex Ciejek, current parent
Ted Glockner, alumnus, current parent, Trustee
Tim Gore, faculty, past parent
Courtney McDonnell, current parent
Christina Mills, current parent, Trustee
Eric Wilska, past parent, Trustee

Additional community members may be asked to serve as part of an ad hoc advisory committee to assist the Search Committee with specific tasks. We will share more on that in the future.

We invite you to be in touch with either of us with any questions about the Head of School Search Committee and process. We will continue to share written updates via email and on the School website on a regular basis.

With gratitude to you all for your support of Berkshire Country Day School,

                          

Stephanie Buchanan               Cara Vermeulen

Co-Chairs
Head of School Search Committee


Letter from Cara Vermeulen, Board or Trustees President 

October 25, 2017

Dear Members of the Berkshire Country Day School Community,

I write to share the news that after much thought Paul Lindenmaier has decided to accept a new position as Head of School at the Buckingham Friends School in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, and will be leaving our community at the end of this school year.

In his ten years at Berkshire Country Day, Paul has proven himself a skilled leader and a passionate educator whose drive for excellence and care for community have affected every aspect of life at our school. He will leave this school better and stronger for his time and contributions, and we will all miss him. We will honor him, Margaret, and their many gifts to all of us later this year.

When Paul told me of his decision, I informed the Board of Trustees; Paul has today also informed the administration and faculty. The Board will immediately begin the process of finding our next Head of School. Following best practices established by the National Association of Independent Schools, we will convene a Head of School Search Committee comprised of Trustees, and members of the faculty, parent, and alumni communities. We will also engage a search firm to help identify candidates. I will share more specifics about the search process in the coming weeks, but know that this will be an inclusive and transparent process.

I and the other Trustees know how critical it is to find the right person to lead BCD from the strong, vibrant school of today into an even brighter future. We are extremely fortunate to have an outstanding faculty, staff and administrative team, and BCD is strong in great part thanks to their dedication and hard work. The search for a new Head of School presents a tremendous opportunity to build upon our strengths, and expand our vision.

With thanks for your support for Berkshire Country Day School,

Cara Vermeulen
President, Board of Trustees
Berkshire Country Day School


Letter from Paul Lindenmaier, Head of School

October 23, 2017

Dear Cara,

I write to formally share with you, as President of the Board of Trustees, that I will be resigning my position as Head of School at Berkshire Country Day School effective June 30, 2018. I will be assuming the position of Head of School at Buckingham Friends School – an independent, coeducational K-8 Quaker day school in Bucks County, Pennsylvania – on July 1, 2018. As a lifelong Quaker and experienced Friends school educator, the return to Friends education is a significant and meaningful choice for me at this time.

It has been my honor and privilege to be the Head of School at BCD for the past ten years. I have a profound regard for the people, programs, and place that are central to all that we value at this school. It has been especially rewarding to work on the plans that were set forth and to share so many successes with you and other dedicated trustees, devoted administrators, talented teachers, hardworking staff members, and our vibrant community of parents. I am particularly proud of what we have accomplished together.

Nothing has brought me greater satisfaction than to witness our joyful and engaged students as they have embraced the learning opportunities offered to them and meaningfully contributed to the spirit of our school community. We have remained true to our mission, philosophy, and core values. Our commitment to academic and programmatic excellence has been maintained, and the achievements of our students, and their successes after leaving BCD, has been evident.

As Margaret and I reflect upon this special chapter in our lives, we feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. The Berkshires has become our home. We have never enjoyed living anywhere more than here, and we appreciate our many friends and the transformative experiences that we have had as members of this community. We will be forever grateful to the faculty for the wonderful education that Julian received during his seven years at BCD.

Thank you again for your steady and strong leadership and for your partnership and encouraging support. Everyone can count on my steadfast commitment to Berkshire Country Day School, the community, and a smooth leadership transition over the next eight months. I will continue to work with purpose and resolve to advance the School’s mission and the goals that we have established for the year ahead.

BCD is truly a school like no other. I have an enduring faith in the people, continued strength, and ongoing vitality of Berkshire Country Day School.

Sincerely,

Paul Lindenmaier
Head of School