The Head of School search committee announced the start of its task in January, 2021, following the stepping down of former Head of School Rick Hardy in early November the previous year. In the following months, the committee announced its cooperation with the consultant group RG175 and sent out a survey to the Concord Academy community regarding the search process, receiving more than 500 responses from alumni, parents, students, faculty, and staff.
The position statement and timeline of the search were published by the committee in April. The application was closed on June 30, after which the committee officially started its rigorous reviewing process, where members of the committee spent three weeks reading applications individually.
Carmen Welton, a member of the Head of School search committee, explained, “At this point, [we were] not really going beyond the application itself because there were so many of them to look at, but our job was to collectively narrow down that pool of more than fourty candidates. Our goal was to get to eight to ten.”
After choosing ten candidates from the huge pool, the committee began to meet them over two days in early August. “It was two long, full days from eight in the morning through the evening,” said Sabrina Sadique, another faculty member on the search committee. The pool was then narrowed down to four. The four finalists were each invited to visit CA for two days starting from September 12, CA hosting one candidate per week. The search committee collects feedback from the community and recommends a single outstanding candidate to the Board of Trustees, who will announce the new Head of School in late October to November.
When describing the kind of candidates the committee and the CA community are looking for, Sadique emphasized the importance for the candidate to be able to uphold CA’s values: “the mission, for sure, and specific things within the mission—common trust, community, equity.”
Welton added to the list by stressing the prominence of integrity and her understanding of the word: “I would say integrity [is very important], and I mean that word in a number of senses. Both in a typical sense of someone who has strong moral character, but I think also someone who can integrate the various pieces of the mission into something really meaningful and palpable for the community.”
The almost year-long search for CA’s Head of School will finally draw its end in a month. As members of the community, we should all be grateful for the efforts that the search committee has put into this process. Furthermore, keep in mind that we are all involved in this decision. Even though search committee members assess the candidates on behalf of the whole community, they truly hope that the alumni, parents, students, faculty, and staff at CA will express their voice and feedback. As Welton said, “We want to find the synergy between all of those different interests, hopes, dreams and aspirations.” This is only possible when each community member participates and becomes a part of the search.