Frequently asked questions about the search process
What is the process for the search and how long will it take?
The search for a new head of school has begun. We are in the process of hiring an experienced search consultant. Once hired, they will visit the school and engage a full range of community members in active conversations about our future vision for BCD and its next head of school.
The consultants will then put together a position and profile statement based on feedback from those meetings and begin the process of searching for strong candidates. After extensive vetting, they will introduce candidates to the search committee, which will begin its process of exploring attractive candidates. It is the industry practice that the initial stages of the interview process are confidential. The search committee will keep the community informed in broad terms as the process moves forward.
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 leaving the option open to seek an experienced interim head if an outstanding and appropriate head of school candidate is not found in time. 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.
Who is involved in the search?
The Head of School Search Committee and an outside search consultant (to be selected) will be responsible for managing the search for BCD’s next head of school.
The committee is composed of individuals who are able and willing to perform this time-consuming and important work on behalf of the BCD community. The committee is small, in accordance with the recommendation of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), in order to ensure its ability to meet frequently as a full committee and work effectively.
The members of the Head of School Search Committee are:
Stephanie Buchanan, co-chair, current parent, Trustee
Cara Vermeulen, co-chair, current parent, President of the Board of Trustees
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
At times during the search process, other community members may be asked to serve in advisory or ad hoc roles, and these will be shared by the committee with the community.
What roles do different groups (search committee, stakeholders, search consultant, Board of Trustees) play in the search?
The search committee and the search consultants will draw on the perspectives, knowledge, and wisdom of the school’s administrative team, faculty, staff, the Board of Trustees, parents, students, and other stakeholders. When candidates visit, they will have the opportunity to learn about the school and its history from the broader community through meetings and Q & A sessions.
The search committee will partner with a search consultant to identify the needs to be met by the new head of school, and vet qualified and interested candidates. Search committee members will serve as BCD ambassadors in meeting and interviewing candidates. They will send out questionnaires and schedule meetings with all constituents to gather input from the community, interview candidates, conduct extensive reference checks, and recommend a finalist to the Board of Trustees, which will make the hiring decision.
How was the search committee formed?
Following NAIS recommended practice, a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees (specifically the Executive Committee of the Board) asked the members of Head of School Search Committee to lead the search process.
How can I contribute to the search?
We appreciate that many community members are willing and eager to help in this process, and the search committee and consultants will look forward to talking with interested members of the community during the search process. Information about opportunities to participate in the search will be widely distributed with plenty of advance notice.
Who will hire the new Head of School?
As mentioned above, the Board of Trustees is responsible for actually hiring the head of school.
What is BCD looking for in its next Head of School?
We are looking for an exceptional leader for BCD who will embrace the school’s mission and culture and articulate a vision of the school’s potential for the future. Working with various constituencies within the school community, the search committee and our search consultants will create a Profile and Position Statement outlining BCD’s unique mission, character, and vision, and the qualities and skills we are seeking in our next leader. This will be provided to all prospective candidates for their review.
How will communication be handled?
We are committed to keeping the BCD community informed throughout the process using the school’s usual and various communication channels (website, email, snail mail) to share information. There will be quieter periods during the course of our search as the search consultants and committee conduct the confidential work of vetting potential candidates. However, if you have questions at any time, you can email the search committee co-chairs. Information will also be posted here on the BCD website.
Will the search affect my child’s experience?
BCD is fortunate to have a strong team of administrators, faculty, and staff who will continue their work of ensuring that the school is a great place for all of our children, each and every day. We also have the support of an experienced and talented current head of school as we make this transition. We are all committed to doing the work necessary to ensure that the strengths of BCD are only enhanced as we move forward.