Head of School Announcement
Dear Concord Hill School Community;
We are tremendously excited to formally introduce the next Concord Hill Head of School. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name Nate Dennison as the new Head of School, effective July 1, 2019.
When we embarked on this search last spring, we knew that our ideal candidate must possess a strong knowledge of early childhood development and educational best practices, and also be a demonstrated leader who identifies as an educator and can serve as a resource and guide for the CHS community. Simultaneously, our next Head of School must support our faculty and their professional growth, understand and appreciate the perspectives of our parents, as well as build and maintain relationships with a wide range of people throughout the CHS community. The Board is confident that we have secured this leader in Nate Dennison. Nate began his career in the classroom and has gained strong administrative experience over the past ten years. In the words of his current Head of School, “Nate always keeps what is best for kids at the forefront of his thinking.”
Nate is currently the Director of Elementary Grades at Washington Episcopal School, a position he has held since 2015, when he and his family returned from seven years abroad. From 2008 to 2015, Nate served as the Associate Principal of the Hong Kong International School, serving 660 students, Grades PK–2. One reference stated, “In my sixteen years of teaching, I’ve worked under seven heads….and Nate is by far the most genuine, honest, and hard working of them all. He is forward thinking, bringing forth and implementing new curricula, all while cultivating an environment that celebrates children.”
The Board’s decision to appoint Nate was based on the unanimous and enthusiastic recommendation of the Head of School Search Committee, which embarked on a nationwide search process last spring. Guided by our consultants from Independent Thinking, the Committee reviewed materials from a diverse and experienced set of candidates, then invited seven individuals to meet with the Committee early in September. After a thoughtful interview process, three finalists visited our campus for extensive interviews with the Concord Hill community.
Thank you to those of you who helped to welcome and host our candidates. Your thoughtful and insightful feedback helped the Committee determine that Nate’s leadership, experience, and abilities were the right fit for Concord Hill.
A LETTER FROM NATE DENNISON
Dear Concord Hill School Community;
It is with deep gratitude and great excitement that I accept the position as Head of Concord Hill School. What an honor and a privilege it is to be joining such a wonderful community that is dedicated to providing the best education for our youngest learners during this most critical stage of their schooling career. I want to thank the Search Committee and the Board for leading such a thoughtful hiring process that afforded me the opportunity to meet many members of the CHS community and gain a broad glimpse into CHS’ incredible program and learning experience. Special thanks to the faculty and parents who gave generously of their time and energy throughout the process, which speaks volumes about the care and commitment to ensuring the continued success of the school. It was evident throughout the process that CHS is anchored by a community of engaged parents and talented faculty that find great joy in partnering together to make every child’s learning experience joyful and enriching.
All the best,
NEW HEAD OF SCHOOL SEARCH
In February 2018, the Board of Trustees announced the search for Concord Hill’s fifth Head of School. Please find details about the process, the Search Committee, frequently asked questions, and letters to the community below.
As part of its responsibility to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of Concord Hill, one of the primary roles of the Board of Trustees is to hire the Head of School who oversees the day-to-day management and leadership of the school. A small Search Committee has been appointed by the Board to undertake the important work of partnering with our search consultants to vet potential candidates.
While the board is responsible for the ultimate decision-making in the search process, the opinions and insights of parents, teachers, staff, and other members of the Concord Hill community are critical to the process. As mentioned below, there have already been and will be more opportunities for various stakeholders to provide input about the school and the qualities sought in the next Head of School.
SEARCH COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Kim Henderson, Search Committee Chair, Alumni Parent
Chris Appleby, Head of Lower School, Maret
David Don, Current Parent
Colleen Kapsch, CHS Science & Math Resource Teacher
Katrina Kimpel, Current/Alumni Parent
Adrian Kutko, Current/Alumni Parent
Chris May, Current/Alumni Parent
Rachel Ruina, CHS Kindergarten Teacher
Ellen Spiegel, Board Chair, Current/Alumni Parent
Update: Head of School Search Committee, MAY 16, 2018
Reminder: Head of School Community Meetings, MAY 7, 2018
CHS Search Committee Update, APR 13, 2018
Search Committee Announcement and Q&A Reminder, FEB 19, 2018
A Message from the CHS Board of Trustees, FEB 12, 2018
FAQ's: Provided by CHS Search Firm Independent Thinking
Q: What is the timeline for the search?
A: The search for a new Head of School began this spring when our consultants engaged the full community in active conversations as to what our hopes and dreams are for Concord Hill and what we are seeking in our next Head of School. The consultants then began to speak with educational leaders about the opportunity to attract and vet a strong candidate pool. They will introduce candidates to the members of the Search Committee who will begin its process of interviewing and exploring attractive candidates. It is the industry practice that these stages of the process are confidential. It is likely that once the Search Committee has identified candidates that they believe could be great leaders, the process will open up and members of the community will have opportunities to meet with the candidates as they visit Concord Hill. Again, we are most committed to finding the right next Head of School rather than to adhering to a specific timeline—other than knowing that the goal is to have this individual ready to begin July 2019.
Q: What is the role of the Search Consultants?
A: The Search Consultants will partner with the Search Committee and the Board in the management of the search. They will engage with the community to hear constituents’ thoughts on what experience and qualities we are seeking in our next Head of School and our goals as a school community. They will actively recruit and do the initial vetting of potential candidates and work with the Search Committee to interview and further vet candidates. They will support and advise the Search Committee and the Board through the successful conclusion of the search.
Q: How was the Search Committee formed?
A: A small Search Committee has been appointed by the Board to undertake the important work of partnering with our Search Consultants to vet candidates. This committee is comprised of individuals who have agreed to take on this time consuming and important task on behalf of the entire Concord Hill School community. The Board is following the recommendation of our search consultants to keep this committee small.
We recognize and greatly appreciate that there are many individuals eager to help in this process. The Board is following the recommendation of our Search Consultants to maintain a small committee to ensure they can work effectively on behalf of the community. Rest assured there will be opportunities for all stakeholders to contribute in meaningful ways to this process and to offer input as we engage in the conversations noted above to define who we are looking for and as we host finalist candidates.
Q: What does the Search Committee do?
A: The Search Committee will partner with our Search Consultants to vet candidates who are interested and qualified to serve as Concord Hill’s next Head of School. They will serve as Concord Hill ambassadors in meeting and interviewing candidates. They will work on behalf of the community to ensure that the search and process are successful for the school. Ultimately, they will conduct extensive reference checking, review input from stakeholders who meet the finalist candidates, and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees as to which candidate should be offered the opportunity to serve as our next Head of School. The Search Committee does not hire the Head of School as that is the responsibility of the Board.
Q: What are we looking for in the next Head of School?
A: We are looking for a great next leader for Concord Hill who will embrace the school’s mission and culture. Our Search Consultants prepared an Opportunity Statement for perspective candidates to review which outlines what we are seeking. If you have a recommendation for a potential candidate, please email our search consultants at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How will communication be handled?
A: We are committed to keeping the community apprised as appropriate throughout the process. Please check the Head of School Search webpage for updates, and we will continue to use the various Concord Hill School communication vehicles to share information. There will be public “quiet” periods during the course of our search as the consultants and committee are conducting the confidential work of vetting potential candidates, but do seek out a member of the Search Committee if you have a question. Additionally, you can email our search consultants, Jane Armstrong and Bill Lyons, at email@example.com with questions.
Q: Will this search impact my child’s experience?
A: Concord Hill is fortunate to have a strong administrative team and faculty who will continue to do the work they do to ensure that Concord Hill is a great place for all of our children to come each day. This talented group and the Board will all be working with the new Head of School as we transition to new leadership. We are all committed to doing the work necessary to ensure the strengths of Concord Hill are only enhanced as we move forward.