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Head Of School Search Update

The next step in the head of school search is identifying top candidates.  The goal is to complete the search process by end of the 2018 calendar year.

Beth Bryant

The search for Pembroke Hill’s next head of school continues under the direction of the Board of Trustees.  Earlier this year, the Board selected Educators’ Collaborative, a nationally known search firm specializing in independent schools, to provide guidance in this process.

Additionally, the Board appointed Trustee Anne Dema to lead the Search Committee.  Members of that committee include the following Trustees:

  • Don Montague, Board Chair
  • Jean-Willy de Pierre
  • David Chao
  • Rita Cortes ’83
  • Steve Hughes ’75 (former Trustee)
  • Kimi O’Dell Nelson ’82
  • Clay Patterson ’96

An Advisory Committee, whose members include representatives from each of the school’s constituents, was also named. Those serving in this capacity include:

  • Jamie Allen, lower school parent
  • David Burke, assistant upper school principal, director of college counseling, head varsity boys golf coach
  • Bobbi Elliott, controller, head 7/8 volleyball coach
  • Billie Howard Barnes, fifth grade teacher
  • Noah Laible, upper school math teacher, assistant varsity boys lacrosse coach, assistant robotics coach
  • Bart Robertson, assistant director of admissions – Ward Parkway campus
  • Kit Smith, early childhood teacher
  • Anna Toms ’05, middle school English department chair, dean of students
  • Amanda Willis, Wornall campus counselor
  • Greg Wolf ’88, upper school parent

The school community was invited to provide input into the head of school search.  Educators’ Collaborative (EC) consultants, Marcus Hurlbut and John Mackenzie, spent two days in January on campus meeting with parents, students, teachers, staff and alumni. In addition, over 500 members of the school community completed the online survey giving more feedback regarding the state of the school and the direction of the search.  

According to Anne Dema, “Our consultants are now actively engaged in building a strong applicant pool and will then vet the candidates through preliminary interviews and reference checks.  They have indicated that, as expected, Pembroke Hill is attracting robust interest from many highly qualified candidates, both domestic and international, who view our position as very desirable.” 

She continued,  “The candidate pool includes experienced heads of schools, others in senior administrative positions at independent schools ready to move to their first headship and some individuals with strong leadership experience outside of independent schools.”

The Search Committee expects to begin screening candidates in April.  The finalists will be invited to visit Pembroke Hill.  “We are planning for those visits to take place in May, during which there will be opportunities for school community members to meet with the candidates and to provide impressions of each,” Anne explained.

Anne said the goal is to conclude the search prior to the end of the 2018 calendar year. The head-elect will not officially assume responsibilities at Pembroke Hill until July 1, 2019, upon the conclusion of current head of school Steve Bellis’ tenure.