Dear St. Thomas Family,
In working towards identifying a new leader to guide St. Thomas Episcopal School forward, the Board of Trustees requested that we, Mr. Alejandro Dueñas and Mrs. Elizabeth Bacardi, serve as co-chairs of the Head of School search committee.
Since our appointment early last month, we have been able to make considerable progress in the pre-search phase. We have conducted multiple interviews with several recognized national search consulting firms. In addition, we have engaged in discussions with the chairpersons of various search committees who have used these firms for their searches in order to gain insight on their strengths and weaknesses. The process we undertook resulted in the decision to engage The Education Group (“TEG”)
as our search firm partner to identify and recruit our new Head of School.
For over thirty years, TEG has worked with independent schools to assist them with their searches, board governance training, strategic planning, and executive coaching. TEG has worked with many Episcopal schools in the Southeast and is considered a top firm for Episcopal school searches. Dave Davies and Marci McLean will be our lead consultants with assistance from Katherine Stuart, President of TEG, and the Rev. Peter Cheney, former executive director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools. Finally, TEG has assured us that St. Thomas Episcopal School is very well positioned for the search and a desirable situation for any candidate.
The St. Thomas Episcopal School Board of Trustees has appointed a search committee that includes Father Tim Fleck, Wendy Coles, Kurt Bauer, Jose Garrido, Elizabeth Bacardi and Alejandro Dueñas. This search committee will lead the identification and recruitment process with the goal of making a unanimous recommendation to the Board of Trustees. While the process is naturally board driven, there will be a special emphasis placed on gathering valuable input from the various constituents of the St. Thomas community.
Current and former parents, faculty, parishioners, supporters, and other stakeholders of St. Thomas will be asked to complete a survey administered by TEG. This survey is designed to discern the qualifications and personal characteristics we are seeking in our next Head of School. In addition, the consultants will conduct focus group meetings with faculty and parents as well as small group or individual meetings with administrators. Dave, Marci and Katherine have already met virtually with the Board of Trustees to begin this valuable work.
At the end of the search process, we will host the finalists and their spouses (if married) for multiple-day visits to St. Thomas. Faculty and parents will have the opportunity to meet each finalist, hear from them, and ask questions. After each final candidate visit, community members who were able to interact with the candidates will have the opportunity to complete a feedback survey.
To keep you updated throughout this important process, we will be establishing a dedicated page on the school’s website that we will update regularly. We will also retain all previous updates on the page for your reference.
Please join with us by participating in the process. Be on the lookout for an email from the school with a link to the survey. Together, we will ensure a strong next chapter in the life of our school.