October 12, 2023
Dear St. Thomas School Community,
I write today to introduce myself and provide you with more detail about our head of school search. As board vice president/president-elect, and having been a member of the St. Thomas School community for over 10 years, I recognize the importance of this search and I am deeply honored to chair the search committee. Other members of the search committee include:
John Sherwood ’83, board president
Sarah Reed, board secretary
Erin Kaneko, trustee
Gina Kwan, trustee
Additional members representing the parent community and the faculty and staff will be identified and appointed to the search committee in mid-November.
The board of trustees has been working behind the scenes since learning of Dr. Wheeler’s plans to leave STS at the end of the 2024-2025 school year. As we wrote yesterday, Dr. Wheeler informed the board of his decision well in advance giving us ample time to plan the search process. The board met with search firms, ultimately selecting DRG Talent, a nationally recognized leader in the field, to assist us. We will be working closely with DRG talent consultants Andrew Watson and Peter Thorp. Both Andrew and Peter are familiar with our school: Andrew has consulted on past searches for St. Thomas School and Peter is a former trustee of the STS board.
As we launch the search for St. Thomas School’s new head of school, we look forward to engaging you in opportunities to meaningfully share your input about the future of the school and its leadership. John Sherwood ’83, board president, and I will attend next week’s Town Hall where time has been set aside for us to answer questions about the search process.
In addition, our DRG search consultants, Andrew and Peter, will visit STS on Wednesday, October 25 to meet directly with community members including families, faculty and staff, and students. Calendar invites will be sent directly to faculty and staff while parents and guardian can register for one of three sessions:
- Session 1 - Register
8:20-8:50 a.m. (In-person)
- Session 2 - Register
2:45-3:15 p.m. (In-person)
- Session 3 - Register
5:30-6 p.m. (Virtual)
During these sessions, there will be a brief review of the search process and ample time for your input, questions, and comments. In preparation for your session, think about the opportunities and challenges facing our school and the experiences and attributes you’d like to see in our next head of school.
On November 1, we will distribute a community survey to collect even more feedback. While we hope you can attend one of the in-person meetings, rest assured that the information gathered in the survey will be read and carefully considered.
Identifying and Screening Candidates
Following the visit and survey, DRG will create an Opportunity Statement to share with potential candidates. This statement will describe St. Thomas School and the head of school position, letting candidates know which strengths, experiences, and competencies are key attributes for our next leader. It will be shared broadly through educational channels while specific outreach to promising candidates also takes place. The deadline for applications is February 9, 2024. If you know someone with the mission-driven skills and experience needed for the position, please encourage them to visit the DRG website to express their interest!
At this point, initial candidate contacts are already taking place, and it seems clear that there will be a strong slate presented to the Search Committee soon after the application deadline. To encourage as many candidates as possible to apply, the work of the search will be confidential until a set of finalists is chosen. At that point, the finalists will visit the school where there will be opportunities to meet them.
As the search comes to an end, the Search Committee, aided by the materials produced by the candidates, multiple interviews, references, and feedback from our community survey, will make a recommendation to the board of trustees. The board will then decide upon, and hire, our next head of school.
I will be back in touch soon. In the meantime, I invite you to follow our head of school search webpage where you will find more information, answers to frequently asked questions, a search timeline, and more.
Thank you in advance for sharing your insights with DRG, and for your ongoing commitment to St. Thomas School.
Search Committee Chair
Board Vice President/President-elect