Head of School Search

March 3, 2021

The Interim Head Search Committee has been making good progress. As previously communicated, based on our need to move quickly, the search process for the interim head is not as extensive as for the permanent head as to involvement of the larger community. In the past few weeks, the search committee has:
  • Created a short questionnaire aimed at the administrative team to best understand their thoughts for the experiences, qualities, and skills needed in an interim head. The administrative team then sought input from staff to inform the committee.
  • Interviewed each administrative team member.
  • Analyzed the interviews and used common themes to construct the interim head interview guide. Our aim is to have the interviewees provide examples of experiences that meet specific school needs. The most important theme that came out of the interviews is that an interim head should have demonstrated ability to support our Quaker mission and to keep our important DEI initiatives moving forward; and, of course, maintain and forward our high academic standards.
  • Used networking and a search firm to advertise the position.
  • Received and reviewed 20 candidate resumes and supporting information. We were fortunate to have a seasoned interim head and a search firm consultant provide input to our review.
  • Identified five initial candidates to move forward with interviews. The committee is conducting those interviews during the week of March 1. One candidate dropped out after receiving another offer.
Additional tasks moving forward are:
  • Identify additional first round candidates and interview as needed.
  • Evaluate the interviewees and narrow the list to two or three finalists.
  • Conduct additional interviews (via Zoom and hopefully on campus) with the administrative team and selected constituents to provide input to the Board, who is ultimately responsible for hiring the head of school. Again, the interim search process is not as broad and inclusive as the permanent head search will be.
  • Make an appointment in April.

February 17, 2021
In January, we announced the news of Matt Micciche’s departure from Friends School at the close of the 2020-21 school year.  The Board is grateful to Matt for his 16 years of service, which is the longest tenure of any head of school in the Baltimore area. We know that despite the pandemic, our community wants to celebrate him in the months ahead, and we look forward to having many opportunities to do so.

Today I am pleased to share an update on the process of the two impending searches -- one for an Interim Head, who will begin on July 1, 2021, and the other for a permanent Head of School, likely to be in place by July of 2022.  The interim search is already underway with the intent of naming someone to this position by April.  We are working with Peter Bailey, executive director of the Association of Independent Maryland/DC schools and Drew Smith, executive director of Friends Council on Education to assist with this process.  Members of the Interim Head Search Committee are all current trustees and include:
  • Norman Forbush ‘78, P’21, Clerk of the Board of Trustees
  • Larry Clements, former head at Friends Community School
  • Lester Davis, P ‘28, ‘30
  • Brandyn Hicks, P’31, ‘33
  • Meredith van den Beemt P’19,’20,’22, past Clerk

The process of selecting the interim head will be more abbreviated than the full search.  Our need to work quickly and find an excellent interim will require a process that will primarily include the Board of Trustees and Administrative Council, with the latter getting input from their respective divisions, as feasible.

Will also plan to begin the search for a permanent head of school as quickly as possible, with an anticipated launch of that process in April 2021. The search for a new Head of School will be a community-wide and inclusive process, and all constituent groups will have the opportunity to offer input on the desired qualities and characteristics for our new head.  A search committee for this permanent Head has not yet been formed, but the Executive Committee of the Board is currently exploring different search firms to aid us as we complete that process.  We anticipate being able to share a timeline for that search with everyone in April.

If you have questions or would like to speak with someone about the search process, please send an email to HoSSearch@friendsbalt.org.  Thank you, in advance for your partnership in the important work of selecting the next Head of School and for your ongoing support of Friends.
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