Head of School Search

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.


Alejandro Dueñas
Search Committee Co-Chair

Elizabeth Bacardi
Search Committee Co-Chair

Head Search Committee

List of 6 items.

  • The Rev. Timothy Fleck

    Priest-in-Charge, St. Thomas Episcopal Parish Church
    Father Tim is Priest-in-Charge at St. Thomas Episcopal Parish Church and School.  He came to St. Thomas in February, 2020, from Bar Harbor, Maine, where he served a partnership of three parishes.  Prior to being called to the priesthood, Tim practiced architecture in Indianapolis for almost twenty years.  Tim earned his AB in History and Science from Harvard College, Master of Architecture from Columbia University, and Master of Divinity from Bexley Hall Seminary.  Tim’s husband Bob is retired from a career in Environmental Consulting.
  • Alejandro A. Dueñas

    Search Committee Co-Chair
    Alex is a Miami native and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. He also served on the Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2020, during which he served as Board Chair for 4 years and Vice Chair for 1 year.  He is married to a St. Thomas alumni (Jolie ’90) and the father of two St. Thomas alumna (Carlota ‘19, Paulina ’21) and one rising St. Thomas 4th grader (Fernanda). Alex has previously served on the school’s Trusteeship, Finance, Advancement, Facilities and Strategic Planning Committee. He also served as a member of the School’s previous Head of School Search Committee. Alex is President and CEO of a real estate development company with business in Florida and Central America.  He is also a Director of a wealth management and investment advisory firm that offers services to high net worth individuals, families and institutions both in the US and abroad. Alex earned his BA in Finance and International Business from Georgetown University.
  • Elizabeth Bacardi

    Search Committee Co-Chair
    Elizabeth is a Miami native and just completed a six year term on the STEPS Board of Trustees. During her time on the board  she served as the Chair of Trusteeship Committee and on the Executive Committee. Elizabeth earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and English Literature. Elizabeth is married to Facundo and they have three St Thomas Alumni, (Olivia ’13 , Sealey ‘15 , Remi ‘19), and one rising 4th grader (Lila).  She also served in a variety of capacities for the St Thomas Parents Association and served on the PA Board. She also served as a member of the School’s previous Head of School Search Committee. Elizabeth was also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for St. Thomas. She serves on the Palmer Trinity School Board as Chair of Trusteeship and Secretary on the Executive Committee. Elizabeth also served on the Close Up Foundation Board  in Washington DC and on the St. Philip’s Episcopal School Board on both the Trusteeship Committee and Executive Committee. She has worked in a teaching capacity for Flamingo Elementary School, St. Philip’s Episcopal School, and St. Thomas School.
  • Jose A. Garrido, III ('93)

    Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
    Jose serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. He earned a BS in Economics from Vanderbilt University and a JD/MBA from University of Miami.  Jose worked as a corporate attorney at Squire Sanders (now Squire Patton Boggs) before joining Walton & Post, Inc., a 40-year-old international grocery and personal care distribution company, where he currently serves as its President and CEO.  In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees, Jose serves on Belen Jesuit Preparatory School’s Board of Advisors and as President for the Miami Chapter of Vanderbilt University’s Alumni Association.  Jose is an alumnus of STEPS, and he and his wife, Olga, have three current students: Jose Garrido IV (Third Grade), Alberto Garrido (First Grade), and Fernando Garrido (Jr. Pre-K). 
  • Kurt Bauer

    Chair, Board of Trustees and Junior Warden, St. Thomas Episcopal Parish Church Vestry
    Kurt Bauer currently serves as both Chair of the School Board of Trustees, and as Junior Warden of the Vestry. He was previously a co-chair of the combined Church and School Facilities Committee, overseeing capital improvement programs for our campus infrastructure and buildings. Kurt is an active community leader, volunteering as Troop Committee Chairman for Boy Scout Troop 336 in Coral Gables, where he previously served as the unit’s Scoutmaster.  He is a native of Nashua, NH, and received a Bachelor of Science in physics from Tufts University and an MBA from Boston University. Kurt also has a Master Certificate in Six Sigma and Applied Project Management from Villanova University. Kurt served in the United States Navy, and has had an extensive career working with the Department of Defense, including United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM), United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and United States Marine Corps Forces South (MFS). He is the proud father of two St. Thomas Alumni (Anna ‘12 and Matthew ‘15).
  • Wendy Coles

    Senior Warden, St. Thomas Episcopal Parish Church Vestry
    Wendy Coles serves as Senior Warden of St. Thomas Church. She has a PhD in Education from Michigan State University, a Masters in Community Leadership from Central Michigan University and a Bachelors in Applied Social Sciences from the University of Waterloo. Prior to obtaining her doctorate, she served as a school administrator in Michigan.  Wendy enjoyed a 25-year internal consulting career with General Motors. Prior to moving to Miami, Wendy coordinated services for individuals and families in Monroe County, FL as Executive Director of the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League.