Head of School Search
Frequently Asked Questions : SCH Head of School Search Process

The Board of Trustees is fully committed to finding the best leader for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. The board and Search Committee have embarked on both a national Interim Head of School Search and a national Head of School Search with the objective of identifying the most qualified and experienced leader for our school.
Q. How will the Head of School Search Committee communicate with the SCH community?
The Head of School Search Committee is committed to a transparent and inclusive process in selecting our new Head of School. We will balance our goal of keeping the community informed about the search as well as respecting the confidentiality of the candidates. Look for ongoing email updates and visit www.sch.org/HeadSearch for additional information updates.

Will my child's educational experience be affected by this transition?
SCH is in an exceptionally strong position, financially and in terms of our academic strength. Teacher tenure averages 14+ years and our students are in very good hands. The Head of School transition and search will not impact the daily lives of our students.

Q. Who is leading the search process?
The Board of Trustees is responsible for selecting the Interim Head of School and hiring SCH Academy’s next Head of School. To facilitate the search process, the board created a Search Committee to conduct the search and, at its conclusion, will recommend a Head of School candidate to the board for review and approval. Board members Mims Zabriskie and Patrick Lindsay will serve as co-chairs of the committee leading the search process. The Search Committee has chosen to partner with Educators’ Collaborative, LLC for both the Interim Head and the Head of School positions.

Q. What is the role of the Head of School Search Committee?
The Search Committee is charged with establishing the process for the search, selecting a search partner, creating a position description and an opportunity statement for candidates, evaluating and interviewing candidates, and ultimately making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for the appointment of the next Head of School. The committee is committed to keeping the SCH community informed and engaged throughout the search process, while respecting the confidentiality of the candidate recruitment process. After a new Head of School has been appointed, the committee also will help to facilitate the transition.

Q. Why did SCH choose Educators’ Collaborative (EC)?
We feel confident that the consultants at EC with whom we are working:
  • Know through experience what it takes to run a successful school.
  • Know through experience how to work effectively with boards of trustees.
  • Routinely double team assignments to ensure breadth of experience and service.
  • Understand school communities and can quickly and comfortably deal with all the constituents involved in the selection of a new head: faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and members of the Board of Trustees.
  • Seek to develop a flexible schedule and process that fits the unique ethos of each school but also understand the equal importance of deadlines within the overall search calendar.
  • Provide candidates with extensive and detailed information about the school; schools and candidates repeatedly praise the EC Information for Candidates reports.
  • Recognize the importance of thorough, personal reference checking in order to recommend only candidates fully qualified to meet the school’s expectations and needs.
  • Are committed to a search process that not only identifies the right candidate for a school but also positions the appointee and the school for a smooth and successful transition.

Q. What is the role of the faculty, staff, and administration?
The faculty, staff, and administration will be actively engaged throughout the search, from giving feedback and commentary to the committee chairs during the information gathering stage to ongoing opportunities to contribute to the process. Faculty, staff, and administration will remain in close contact with the Search Committee throughout the process.

Q. What is the role of current parents and alumni?
The Search Committee chairs have hosted several open forum meetings to engage parents and alumni in the search process, to answer questions, and to address concerns. Throughout this process, parents and alumni are encouraged to share their thoughts with the committee via a “share your thoughts” form. This form has been created and can be accessed on our Head of Search landing page.  >>Share Your Thoughts Form.<<

In addition, the SCH Community Survey will remain available for active responses until May 1, 2015.  

Q. What is the purpose of the Interim Head of School? 
The Interim Head of School will lead the school for the 12-month period beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 31, 2016. The Interim Head will be in charge of managing the day-to-day operations and will function as the school’s leader.

Q. What is the general timeline for the searches for an Interim Head and Head of School?
Each search process has its own unique pace and timing. Here we offer a general overview of what we can expect based on the experience of peer schools. The timeframe will shift if necessary.
Members of the Search Committee are announced.
Board of Trustees announces firm to conduct Interim Head of School search.
Search process is outlined.
Search Committee conducts meetings with faculty and staff and engages with the larger community to address questions and concerns.
Search firm conducts exploratory interviews with SCH stakeholders.
Ongoing discussions and updates on the process are shared with the larger SCH community.
Search firm identifies Interim Head of School candidates.
Search Committee names Interim Head.
Celebrations honoring Priscilla Sands.
Search firm continues the search process for Head of School position.
Interim Head begins July 1.
Search Committee continues to review applicant resumes.
Search Committee reviews applications and begins to conduct interviews with semi-finalist candidates.  
Three finalists are brought to campus for an extended visit.
Search Committee names Head of School.
July 2016
Head of School begins July 1.
Message from Educators' Collaborative
Dear SCH Community, 
We would like to extend our thanks to the parents, faculty, staff, alumni and students who participated in our recent head search open-forum meetings.  It was a pleasure to visit your beautiful campus and engage in such an honest and productive dialogue with those who care most about SCH Academy’s future. We were impressed by what we saw and heard, particularly your commitment to honoring your rich history and traditions while remaining nimble, creative, and open to growth and change. This is a distinctive feature of your school and a point of attraction for those considering SCH as their next step.
Your passion and dedication to SCH were evident, not only from what you told us, but also from the fact that 1,100 of you have already filled out our brief survey, providing us with a rich source of information to help guide our search!
We look forward to reporting back to you on our progress and to bringing the very best candidates forward for your consideration.
Thank you again for your commitment and willingness to participate in the process. 
Doug Jennings, Deirdre Ling, and Mary Seppala
Update April 14, 2015: SCH Community Survey Opportunity

The search firm that the school has selected to fill both the Interim and Head of School positions, Educators’ Collaborative (EC), is eager to hear from the SCH community. Your authentic voice is important to us in this process and we ask that you take the time to complete a short, anonymous survey that will go directly to the EC consultants working with SCH. 
  • This survey requests feedback regarding the strengths, challenges, and opportunities facing SCH as a school as well as the qualities that a new Head of School should possess. 
  • The survey will be open Tuesday, April 14 through Friday, May 1.
>> SCH Community Survey. <<

Update March 26, 2015: Town Hall Meetings for Head of School Search

Update March 31, 2015: Search Firm Named

Update March 20, 2015: Search Committee Members Named

Update March 16, 2015: Message from Board Chair Dick Hayne

Update March 10, 2015: Search Overview

Update March 4, 2015: Announcement from Board of Trustees
Head of School Search Committee
We are delighted to announce that the following individuals from our community have agreed to serve on the Head of School Search Committee. The committee members represent our parent, alumni, faculty, and board communities and are very enthusiastic about serving in this role.
The committee members are:
Patrick Lindsay
Co-Chair, Search Committee
President, United BioSource Corporation
Parent (Alexia '19, Sienna '23)
Patrick serves as president of United BioSource Corporation. He is responsible for setting and guiding the company’s mission, vision, values, and strategic imperatives. Patrick served as one of the early founders of the organization. He established and invested in key services which grew out of a passion for innovation and commitment to working with pharmaceutical and biotech organizations in providing safety, efficacy, and value of pharmaceutical and medical products. He has been a leader in the healthcare and pharmaceutical services industry for more than 25 years.
Mims Maynard Zabriskie
Co-Chair, Search Committee
Partner, Morgan Lewis
Parent (Emily Powell '06, Marguerite '13, Isabelle '16), former president of Springside School Parents Association
Mims is a partner in Morgan Lewis’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice, where she is the co-leader of the firm's Executive Compensation Task Force. She counsels clients on a wide variety of legal issues that arise in connection with employee benefits plans and executive compensation. She has served on two other search committees, for the dean of the University of Virginia School of Law and the president of the Richmond Children's Museum.
Mike Barrist
Managing Director, Radius Global Solutions
Parent (Karah '14, Kenneth '19, Julia '21)
Rashad Campbell '08
Franklin Square Capital Partners
SCH Football Coach (part-time)
Erik Dreisbach
Middle School Science Teacher, Advisor
Liz Brode Harris '91
Property Management and Founder and Director of STEPS Philly
Parent (Maddi '20, Charley '23, Penelope '29, Audrey)
Charles Landreth '66
Retired Partner, Wentworth Capital Partners
Parent (Charles '96, Kristen '95)
Debbie Maine
Parent (Emery '06, Jack '11, Libbie '12)
Sarah McDowell
History Department Chair, Advisor
Parent (Nate '19, Sam '16, Simon)
Janie Parker
Emerita Trustee
Parent (Pamela '85, Christopher '83)
Bill Smilow
President, Great Oak Holdings
Parent (Lexi '16)
Search Committee Liaison to SCH
Melissa Calvert
SCH Chief Advancement Officer