Head of Lower School Search

Dear King Community:

I am writing to announce that King School will soon begin a search for a new Head of Lower School. Karen Raidt, current Head, will step down from her position at the end of the 2017-18 school year.

King has retained a national search firm to begin the process of identifying potential candidates for the position. David Hursty, our Strategic Consultant in Residence, will guide the process, working closely with a search committee and Dr. Karen Eshoo, King School’s Head-Elect.

During Karen’s tenure, King’s Lower School has initiated and nurtured a number of important initiatives including Singapore Math, Columbia University’s Reading/ Writing Workshop, and Next Generation Science. Karen is now looking forward to returning to her passion of working more closely with individual students in the classroom. Karen’s affection for our school and commitment to our students have defined her years at King.

Over the course of the current school year, Karen Raidt and the Lower School faculty, with support from David and Marnie Sadlowsky, will continue to provide the very best experience for each child in the Lower School.

King is strongly committed to providing an outstanding PreK-12 education. We are about to embark on a major strategic review that will give the new Head of Lower School an exciting opportunity to continue to strengthen and develop our early childhood programs. We are committed to making a thoughtful decision for this position and to keeping you informed throughout the search process.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 203-322-3496, Ext. 327 or tmain@kingschoolct.org.

Sincerely,


Thomas B. Main
Head of School


Please click on the tabs below to read more.

Meet the Finalist Candidates

MEET THE HEAD OF LOWER SCHOOL FINALIST CANDIDATES

The three finalist candidates are very strong in terms of experience, expertise, and alignment with King's values. Each finalist will have the opportunity to meet extensively with the King community.

Current Parents, Students, Faculty & Staff: Please click here to access the bios for the finalists. You will need to use your portal login information to access the document.


Head of Lower School Position Statement

The Head of Lower School Position Statement describes King, the opportunity that King offers for its next Head of Lower School, as well as the attributes King seeks in its new Head.

To view the Position Statement,

  • Current Parents, Students, Faculty & Staff: Please click here to access the Position Statement. You will need to use your portal login information to access the document.
  • If you do not have access to the King School website portal areas and would like to request access to this document, please click here.

Search Committee

MEET THE SEARCH COMMITTEE

  • David Hursty (Co-Chair, Strategic Consultant in Residence), email: dhursty@kingschoolct.org
  • Marnie Sadlowsky (Co-Chair, Interim Associate Head of School for Curriculum, Head of Upper School)
  • Thomas Conheeney (President Board of Trustees, P'15, '15, '18)
  • Sandra Dauk (PreKindergarten Faculty)
  • Jessica Drbul (Parents' Association President, P'21, '23, '23, '25, '28)
  • Ellen Eagleton (Grade 4 Faculty, P'19, '24)
  • Carmen Failla (Trustee, P'26, '27)
  • Chris Millerchip (Trustee, P'17, '21)
  • Sue Mirza (Trustee, P'13)
  • Shevon Morris (Science Faculty, P'31)
We invite you to share your perspective with Search Committee members.

Search Consulting Firm, Educational Directions

We have selected a nationally recognized educational search firm, Educational Directions (EDI), whose search practice focuses on Heads and Senior Administrators. Our team at EDI will be led by Dr. Jerry Larson and Dr. John Watson.

Jerry began his independent school career at Phillips Exeter Academy, NH, and after time at the collegiate level, went to Tabor Academy, MA, where he held a number of administrative roles in addition to being a faculty member and coach. He also headed Cheshire Academy, CT, a coed boarding/day school. John has a wide perspective on independent schools, small and large, boarding and day. He just completed his 15th year as a Head of School, the last five at the K-12 Seacrest Country Day School in Naples, Florida. Prior to Seacrest, John served 10 years as Head of School at West Nottingham Academy and served as Assistant Head of School at Cheshire Academy, Peddie School, and Darrow School, all boarding schools located in the Northeast.

During a Discovery Visit to King on November 7, Jerry and John will engage in a series of meetings with King community members to learn their perspectives. As part of the Discovery Visit, the consultants will also host Open Session meetings for current Lower School parents and for Board members.

Search Process Overview

October 2017

  • Select Search Committee Co-Chairs (COMPLETE)
  • Interview potential Search Consulting Firms (COMPLETE)
  • Select Search Consulting Firm (COMPLETE)
  • Form Search Committee (COMPLETE)
  • Search Consultants’ Discovery Visit to King School campus, November 7, to meet with and learn from King Community members (COMPLETE)

November - December 2017

  • Complete Head of School Position Statement (COMPLETE)
  • Search Committee and Educational Directions (EDI) work to develop a group of candidates and vet to 6-8 semi-finalists (COMPLETE)

January 2018

  • Search Committee and EDI identify 3 finalist candidates (COMPLETE)
  • Finalists visit King School in early January to meet with members of the community and tour the campus and classes (COMPLETE)
  • Search Committee meets to recommend top candidate to Head Elect Karen Eshoo
  • Karen Eshoo reviews Search Committee's recommendation and selects new Head of Lower School
  • Announcement of Head of Lower School Elect to the community

2018

  • July: New Head of Lower School begins
  • Sept: King School community welcomes new Head of Lower School

Update December 20, 2017

Dear King School Community,

We are pleased that, as expected, there is a high level of interest in the opportunity to be the next Head of Lower School at King. We are right on schedule for this search, as detailed in the Search Process Overview. Since our November 16 update, the search consultants from Educational Directions (EDI) reviewed files nationwide from over 250 potential applicants and conducted preliminary interviews. From this pool of highly qualified applicants, EDI proposed a pool of 14 candidates to the search committee. From that strong group, the search committee identified 8 for in-depth exploration and, ultimately, chose 4 finalists.

This group of finalist candidates is very strong in terms of experience, expertise, and alignment with King’s values. All four finalists have advanced degrees in education fields, Lower School Head leadership experience, expertise in leading curricular initiatives, and commitment to both student-centered educational philosophies and teacher development. Please visit the Head of Lower School Search page on our website to read about these finalist candidates and review the Head of Lower School Position Statement. On the website, you can also review the King School Mission.

In early January, the finalists each will spend a day on campus and meet with Lower School Faculty and Staff, a Lower School parent group, students, Administration, Trustees, Head Elect Dr. Karen Eshoo, and the search committee. Finalists will also have the opportunity to tour campus. We will arrange all meetings directly with participants. After all of the finalist visits, the search committee will meet to review feedback forms and recommend the top candidate to Dr. Eshoo, who then will appoint the new Head of Lower School.

We encourage any member of the Community to reach out to us as Chairs with their perspective.

This is an exciting time for King. We have outstanding candidates in our finalist round. As they come to campus, please help us in welcoming them and demonstrating what a special School and community we are.

Sincerely,

David Hursty and Marnie Sadlowsky

Co-Chairs Search Committee

Update November 16, 2017

Dear King School Community,

We wanted to share a progress update on the search for a new Head of Lower School. Educational Directions search consultants, Dr. Jerry Larson and Dr. John Watson, were on campus this past Tuesday for their Discovery Visit. The pair spent a full day talking with Lower School Faculty, parents, administrators, and Trustees. Jerry and John also visited classrooms and ended the day meeting with the Head of Lower School search committee.

Head of Lower School Position Statement
Throughout the day, the consultants collected a great deal of information about our Lower School: its history, defining attributes, and future aspirations. Based on their learning, Jerry and John, together with the search committee, created a Position Statement that describes the opportunity that King offers for its next Head of Lower School. You can read the Position Statement on our website Head of Lower School search page.

Dr. Karen Eshoo November 21 Drop In Meeting with Lower School Parents
The search committee also discussed the process and prospective timetable. The current plan is to make a final decision in January 2018. An important element of the process will be two campus visits by Dr. Karen Eshoo, King's Head Elect. Her first trip to King will be November 20-21. During this time, Dr. Eshoo will spend time listening to Lower School Faculty and parents, visiting classes, and meeting with the search committee. We invite all Lower School parents to "drop in" and meet with Dr. Eshoo on Tuesday, November 21 from 8:00-9:00 a.m. in the Lower School, Room 6. Dr. Eshoo's second visit to campus will be to interview the finalists candidates in January.

The next few months will be very busy for the search consultants as they review files from over 250 potential applicants to recommend six to eight semi-finalists to the search committee. The search committee will choose the finalist candidates from this pool. The finalists will come to the King campus to meet with the search committee, Faculty, staff, parents, and Dr. Eshoo.

We wish to thank all those in the King community who have expressed a desire to help in the search process.

Sincerely,

David Hursty and Marnie Sadlowsky

Co-Chairs Search Committee

Update October 31, 2017

Dear King Community,

We wanted to take this opportunity to share an update with you on the progress that has been made on King’s Head of Lower School Search.

As you know, finding the right person to lead King’s Lower School is a key priority. We are pleased to let you know about progress to set us on the best path for this search. You can read further details on the activities recapped in this letter on the King website Head of Lower School Search page.

A Head of Lower School Search Committee has been formed. We will serve as Co-Chairs and partner with our fellow committee members drawn from the Board of Trustees, the Lower School Faculty, and the parent community. We are committed to a continuing effort to listen to and solicit the community’s thoughts and opinions. We encourage you to contact us with your perspective, and we will continue to reach out to you.

  • A search consulting firm, Educational Directions (EDI), has been chosen after interviewing a number of well regarded firms. We have already begun working with EDI and value the team’s expert guidance.
  • The Search Consultants from EDI, Dr. Jerry Larson and Dr. John Watson, will be on campus next week on Tuesday, November 7 for a Discovery Visit. During this visit, the consultants will engage in a series of meeting with members of the King community in order to gain valuable insights and perspectives. As part of the Discovery Visit, there will be Open Sessions with current Lower School parents and with Board members who are interested in attending. Details of the visit schedule will be announced soon.
  • The Search Committee and EDI have worked together to define a robust search process and timeline.

The Search Committee is committed to keeping you informed throughout the Head of Lower School Search. Please see the King website Head of Lower School Search page for details on the activities summarized in this letter.

Sincerely,

David Hursty
Co-Chair Search Committee
Strategic Consultant in Residence

Marnie Sadlowsky
Co-Chair Search Committee
Interim Associate Head of School for Curriculum
Head of Upper School