Head of School Search

This is an exciting time for our school and a unique opportunity for us to refocus on what is at the heart of a Gould education. Our mission remains one of preparing academically motivated students for college and helping them to become independent-minded, ethical citizens who will lead lives of purpose, action, excellence, and compassion in a dynamic world. Indeed, the increasing importance of our mission becomes more apparent by the day.

The search process is a rare opportunity for all of us in the Gould community to help shape the school’s future. Those of us on the committee look forward to gathering input from all of you so that we can make the very best choice for Gould.

Who is leading the search process?

The Board of Trustees maintains the overall responsibility for hiring the Head of School. At the end of last year, the trustees formed a select committee to lead the search for a permanent head of school. They are as follows:

  • Trustee Christine Teague ’66, committee co-chair
  • Former trustee/Alumni Board member Ken Remsen ’67, committee co-chair
  • Phyllis Gardiner, P’09, president, Board of Trustees
  • Chris Brooks ’99, trustee
  • Sam Adams ’77, P’18, trustee
  • Pam Senese ’82, trustee
  • Brad Clarke P’12,’15,’16,’19, faculty
  • Deb Costello P’11,’12, faculty
  • Colin Penley, faculty
  • Senior administrators Chris Sparks (assistant head of school for institutional advancement) and Beth McWilliams (chief financial officer) serve as ex officio members. 

What is the timeline for the search?

The search process is underway and is led by the Search CommitteeOn February 5, the committee selected RG175, a nationally recognized search firm, to serve as consultant to the Search Committee throughout the search process. They will visit campus on February 24 – 26. The advertising and recruitment process will continue through the summer, and a selection of finalists will visit campus in the fall. The Board of Trustees objective is to announce the appointment of Head of School by the end of September 2019. The new Head of School will start her or his leadership on July 1, 2020.

How did the Search Committee select RG175?

During the month of January committee members received and reviewed proposals from eight search firms. Then after personal interviews with four strong search firms, Bob Henderson and Clay Stites from RG175 were selected to support our head of school search.

  • Bob Henderson worked for thirty-seven years at four schools in three different time zones, including both boarding and day schools, and schools of differing configurations, cultures and philosophies.  
  • Clay Stites was one of the firm’s founders and is its most experienced member. He has completed over 100 successful head searches and worked with another 30 schools on governance and planning issues.

Both Bob and Clay will come to campus on February 24 – 26 to interview and/or survey faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and students to develop a profile of the best person to lead Gould Academy into the future.

What is the role of the Search Committee?

The Search Committee is responsible for steering the search process with guidance and support from the RG175 consultants. Bob and Clay will be on campus at the end of February to compile information from Gould’s various constituencies. They will also provide various opportunities for members of Gould’s community to share thoughts through electronic means.

Working with the Search Committee, RG175 will then create a School Profile and a Candidate Information Packet. The profile will serve as a tool to describe the Head of School position to potential candidates. The content includes the school history, mission, future plans, operations and challenges giving each candidate a transparent view of Gould to determine whether he or she is a good fit for the school.

The search committee will then sort through the initial round of candidates vetted by RG175, and organize and conduct interviews with the semifinalists and finalists. The plan is to have the finalists visit Gould in September. At the end of the process, the Search Committee will recommend a final candidate to be confirmed by the Board of Trustees. Once Gould’s new HOS has been chosen, a transition team, with the support of Bob Henderson, will facilitate the leadership transition and integration into the school. A key role of the Search Committee is to keep the Gould community informed and engaged throughout the process while respecting the confidentiality of the candidate recruitment process.

What is the Board of Trustees’ role?

The Board of Trustees assumes full responsibility for hiring the next Head of School. In September 2019, the Trustees will be on campus to meet the final candidates. Following the final interviews and with the recommendation of the Search Committee, the Board of Trustees will approve the appointment of Gould’s next Head of School.

What is the consultants’ role?

RG175’s consultants will be actively involved with the Search Committee throughout each step of this multifaceted process. The consultants’ involvement includes:

  • Fact-finding through personal interviews and electronic surveys with the Search Committee, Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, parents, students, alumni/ae, Sunday River staff, and interested Bethel residents to gain a better understanding of Gould’s culture
  • Craft a School Profile that communicates Gould’s mission, philosophy and future plans
  • Develop a candidate pool through advertising, networking and personal contact
  • Facilitate the flow of feedback between the candidates and the Search Committee
  • Resume review
  • Preliminary interviews
  • Reference checking
  • In-depth semifinalist and finalist interviews
  • Transition planning and support
  • New Head of School mentoring

What is the role of the faculty and staff?

Throughout the fact-finding stage, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to meet with the RG175 consultants to provide both feedback and commentary. Faculty and staff will remain informed throughout the search process through information and updates on the Gould website. Co-chairs Ken and Christine will be on campus at various times and will be available to update the faculty and staff. At the final stage, faculty and staff may be invited to attend an open meeting with each of the finalists. For questions or comments, please contact the Search Committee.

What is the role of students?

Throughout the fact-finding stage, students will have the opportunity to meet with the RG175 consultants to provide both feedback and commentary. Students will remain informed throughout the search process through information and updates on the Gould website. At the final stage, students may be invited to attend an open meeting with each of the finalists. For questions or comments, please contact the Search Committee.

What is the role of alumni/ae?

Throughout the fact-finding stage, alumni/ae will have the opportunity to meet with the RG175 consultants or respond through electronic means to provide both feedback and commentary. Alumni/ae will remain informed throughout the search process through information and updates on the Gould website. At the final stage alumni/ae may be invited to attend an open meeting with each of the finalists. For questions or comments, please contact the Search Committee.

What is the role of current parents?

Throughout the fact-finding stage current parents will have the opportunity to meet with the RG175 consultants or respond through electronic means to provide both feedback and commentary. Current parents will remain informed throughout the search process through information and updates on the Gould website. At the final stage, current parents may be invited to attend an open meeting with each of the finalists. For questions or comments, please contact the Search Committee.

How can I stay informed on the search process?

The Search Committee will post updates on the Gould website as information becomes available and pertains to the community.

Whom do I contact if I have any questions or comments about the search?

Please contact the Search Committee co-chairs, Christine Teague ’66 and Ken Remsen ’67.