July 15, 2011 Dear Faculty, Administration, Staff, and Alumni, On ...

nmhschool.org

July 15, 2011 Dear Faculty, Administration, Staff, and Alumni, On ...

Northfield Mount HermonBoard of TrusteesJuly 15, 2011Dear Faculty, Administration, Staff, and Alumni,On behalf of the head of school search committee convened by NMH Board of TrusteesChairman Mark Chardack ’73 at the end of May, I would like to update you on the searchprocess, share some significant news in this regard, and reiterate that your input at any stage willbe appreciated. It remains our goal to pursue a process that is inclusive, transparent, thorough,and fair. While it is the search committee that has been entrusted with the task of overseeing theprocess and recommending a final candidate to the board of trustees, we all have a vested interestin the outcome, so please do take advantage of opportunities to share your views.In the past six weeks, the committee, whose members include trustees, faculty, staff, parents, andalumni, has met several times. Our primary focus during this period has been the selection ofthe search consultant to lend expertise and facilitate the search process. We considered 14 firms,interviewed seven over a three-week period, invited three firms to campus to make presentations,and eventually selected Educational Directions, Inc. to be our partner in this effort. We are verypleased with this decision.Founded in 1986, Educational Directions has offices in Rhode Island (its home base), California,and Florida, and the firm has assisted with 240 head of school searches in 40 states. We will beworking directly with the firm’s co-founder, Chris Arnold, and a senior associate of the firmwhose name will be familiar to some of you: Bob Fricker served as director of external affairs atNMH from 1988 to 1993. Both Chris and Bob have years of proven experience in the field ofeducation and in the areas of leadership and institutional change. Chris began his independentschool career as teacher, coach, and dorm parent at the Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut;and Bob was head of The Independent Day School in Middlefield, Connecticut, before joiningthe Educational Directions team. We will be well served.In addition to selecting the search consultant to work with us, we also have reviewed the completedquestionnaires submitted by members of the NMH community in response to the searchcommittee’s request in early June for input on two key questions—one relating to the challenges,obstacles, and needs that the next head of school will be expected to address, and the other relatingto the qualities, talents, and skills the next head must possess in order to successfully addressthose challenges, obstacles, and needs. Thank you to those of you who took the time to respond.You will have another important opportunity to share your views in coming weeks. EducationalDirections will be issuing a questionnaire and inviting your input. All input will be seriouslyconsidered, and I strongly urge folks to take the time to respond. I have been asked by Chrisand Bob to emphasize their willingness—indeed, their eagerness—to hear from all members


of the NMH community at any point during the search process. The firm’s web site is www.edudirections.com;Chris can be reached via email at carnold@edu-directions.com, and Bob’s emailaddress is rfricker@edu-directions.com.In the coming weeks and months, we will report progress and invite your participation in thesearch process via email updates and by posting relevant information on the NMH website.(See “Head of School Search” in the About NMH section, where you will find more informationabout Educational Directions, our two consultants, and the search process in general, includingthe anticipated timeline.) If you are an alumnus or alumna whose email address is not on recordwith the school, please do check the web site (www.nmhschool.org) regularly, or contact theadvancement office to provide a current email address so you can be added to the school’sdistribution list.As we move into the next phase of the search for NMH’s next head of school, I hope you sharethe committee’s sense of optimism and confidence. Our school is thriving by every measureand, as a result, we expect to generate a robust and diverse pool of highly qualified individualseager for the opportunity to build on past successes and—with the support of an outstandingfaculty and staff and a deeply invested board of trustees—lead NMH to even higher heights.We hope and expect to have identified our new head of school before the winter break.If you have any input for members of the search committee at any time, please feel free to contactus; you may send your correspondence via Dena Fletcher, secretary to the board of trustees, atdfletcher@nmhschool.org.Sincerely,Bill Shea ’72Chair, Head of School Search Committee

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