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Our mission is to educate children and instill in our students a love of learning and the abilities to think critically, live ethically, and appreciate the value of each individual.

Head of School Search

The Board of Trustees has initiated a formal search process for our next Head of School, who will begin on July 1, 2017.  

Questions & Answers

Our goal is to keep you informed about the search for The McGillis School’s new Head of School. The process outlined is to support the appointment of a new Head of School to commence with the 2017/2018 school year, July 1, 2017. Please check back for periodic updates throughout the search process.

The Board of Trustees has initiated a formal search process for our next Head of School, who will begin on July 1, 2017.  

Questions & Answers

Our goal is to keep you informed about the search for The McGillis School’s new Head of School. The process outlined is to support the appointment of a new Head of School to commence with the 2017/2018 school year, July 1, 2017. Please check back for periodic updates throughout the search process.

Next Head of School Announcement - Letter from the Board President

October 13, 2016

Dear McGillis Community,

Following a national search process conducted with the assistance of the highly regarded independent school search firm, Carney Sandoe & Associates, the McGillis School Board of Trustees is delighted to announce the appointment of Jim Brewer as The School’s fourth Head of School beginning July 1, 2017. Jim brings to The McGillis School an impressive professional background that spans public, independent, and alternative school experience. He is a progressive educator and administrator possessing the skills, character, and vision to lead our unique school community. We are particularly impressed with the way his core values resonate and align with those of The McGillis School’s.

Jim’s impressive career spans 16 years as both a teacher and an administrator. Early in his career, he spent seven years as a Spanish teacher and bilingual instructor at public, alternative, and independent schools in Texas, Iowa, and Oregon. In 2011, Jim took on the role of Middle School Dean of Students at University Liggett School in Michigan working with faculty on equity and inclusion, and piloting and implementing technology programs school-wide. Most recently he has served as Assistant Head of School/Head of Middle School at University Liggett School, with an enrollment of approximately 610 PK-12th grade students.

Complementing his professional achievements, Jim has earned two Master Degrees: one from Drake University in Educational Leadership, and a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Graceland University, following his graduation from University of Northern Iowa. Jim and his wife, Sara have two children who will be attending The McGillis School – they are all delighted to be joining our wonderful community.

We are fortunate that Dr. Melanie Battistone will continue as Interim Head of School through June 2017. Please join me in thanking Melanie for her exceptional leadership and commitment to The McGillis School. Melanie will return to her roles as Assistant Head of School and School Psychologist at the completion of this school year. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I also wish to thank you for your participation in and assistance with the Head of School search. Your engagement and candid feedback in this process are much appreciated.

We look forward to welcoming Jim and his family as they join our community.

Sincerely,

Tim Brown
Board Chair
The McGillis School

The McGillis School Names New Head of School - Press Release

The McGillis School Names New Head of School

The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Brewer as The McGillis School’s fourth Head of School commencing on July 1, 2017.

Jim brings to The McGillis School an impressive professional background that spans public, independent, and alternative school experience. He is a progressive educator and administrator possessing the skills, character, and vision to lead our unique school community. We are particularly impressed with the way his core values resonate and align with those of The McGillis School’s.

Jim’s impressive career spans 16 years as both a teacher and an administrator. Early in his career, he spent seven years as a Spanish teacher and bilingual instructor at public, alternative, and independent schools in Texas, Iowa, and Oregon. In 2011, Jim took on the role of Middle School Dean of Students at University Liggett School in Michigan working with faculty on equity and inclusion, and piloting and implementing technology programs school-wide. Most recently he has served as Assistant Head of School/Head of Middle School at University Liggett School, with an enrollment of approximately 610 PK-12th grade students.

Complementing his professional achievements, Jim has earned two Master Degrees: one from Drake University in Educational Leadership, and a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Graceland University, following his graduation from University of Northern Iowa. Jim and his wife, Sara have two children who will be attending The McGillis School.

“I am thrilled to become the leader of a school community that holds ethics as highly as it does academic innovation in educating its learners,” Jim shared with the community. Upon learning of his new Headship, Jim expressed his delight in being asked to lead The McGillis School, and cited the warmth of the community and commitment to learning. “I look forward with great anticipation to building on The School’s current position of strength. Enrollment is strong, students are engaged, families are committed, and the faculty and staff are highly talented. It’s an exciting time to be at The McGillis School.”

Finalist Interviews

August 26, 2016

As The McGillis School continues its growth and commitment to learning, we have been actively engaged in a search for our next Head of School, who will begin July 1, 2017 for the 2017-2018 school year. Dr. Melanie Battistone is serving as Interim Head of School for the 2016-2017 school year.

Over the last five months The School’s search consultant, Bob Fricker from Carney, Sandoe and Associates, has been actively recruiting candidates for our next Head of School. The strong interest in the position is an explicit affirmation of the work so many of you have done to build the foundation of our school as evidenced by such qualified candidates from some of the top schools in the nation.

In late July, the Search Committee worked hard at narrowing the healthy field of candidates to a small group of highly qualified semi-finalists. In the decision-making process, Committee members were guided and informed by criteria established during Bob Fricker’s visit with the community this May.

In mid-August, semi-finalists toured The School and interviewed in-person with the Search Committee. The Search Committee unanimously agreed upon three finalists. Now comes the part we have been looking forward to the most: providing the opportunity for you to get to know the candidates and share your feedback and impressions.

In mid-to-late September, each candidate will spend two days at The McGillis School touring The School and meeting with parents, faculty, staff, Board Members, and other school community members. Below are dates of the visits and the times for candidates to meet with parents. We hope that you can attend either a morning or evening meeting with each of the finalists.

• Finalist 1: September 12-13
      Parent Meeting
          Monday, September 12, 5:30 – 6:30 P.M.
          Tuesday, September 13, 8:30 – 9:30 A.M.
 
• Finalist 2: September 15-16
      Parent Meeting
          Thursday, September 15, 5:30 – 6:30 P.M.
          Friday, September 16, 8:30 – 9:30 A.M.
 
• Finalist 3: September 26-27
      Parent Meeting
           Monday, September 26, 5:30 – 6:30 P.M.
           Tuesday, September 27, 8:30 – 9:30 A.M.
 

We will provide you with information about each candidate approximately two days prior to the scheduled visit, as well as a link for submitting your thoughts to the Search Committee following the visit. Until that point, details of the search process and candidates remain private, as candidates have been assured that, until just prior to their visits, all names will remain confidential.

We thank you for your participation in this important process.

Head of School Position Description

Carney, Sandoe and Associates, our search consultants, have released a position description. 

Position Description

Search Firm Update

April 8, 2016

The Head of School Search Committee is pleased to announce that we have engaged Bob Fricker from Carney, Sandoe and Associates to be our search consultant as we look to identify our next Head of School.

Carney, Sandoe & Associates has completed more than 750 successful searches for Heads of School and other top administrators in 46 states and 8 countries. Bob Fricker, our lead consultant, has amassed ten years of consulting experience and has completed more than 90 Head of School searches and an additional 40 senior administrative searches. One of the many reasons the Search Committee chose Carney, Sandoe and Associates is Bob’s extensive work with schools in the west, and his reputation for adeptly identifying the nature and needs of each specific institution is unparalleled. Prior to assisting with searches, Bob served as head at several independent schools.

Bob will be visiting The School for two days to meet with groups from our community. These meetings are critically important to the process, as they will provide Bob in-depth understanding of what makes The McGillis School such a special place and why this position is such a unique opportunity. The visit will take place on April 12-14th.

Everyone from the community who is interested in participating in the process is invited to join the group to provide insight into our school and pass along suggestions on the search. We hope that you will be able to attend one of the two following Parent Forums next week. In addition to those meetings, members of The McGillis School community will also be invited to participate in our annual Parent Satisfaction online survey next week that will include several questions about the Head of School.

Weds., April 13 5:30 – 6:30 P.M. Parent Forum in the Library
or
Thursday, April 14 8:30 – 9:30 A.M. Parent Forum in the Library

Will my child's experience at The McGillis School be affected?

No. The Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Melanie Battistone as the Interim Head of School. Dr. Battistone has worked with the students of The McGillis School for 12 years - most recently, in her role as Assistant Head of School. Dr. Battistone also enjoys an excellent working relationship with the administration, faculty, and the Board of Trustees. We will continue to grow and improve our programs with new milestones already in place for next year.

Who will lead the search process?

Ultimately it is the Board of Trustees’ responsibility to select and hire our next Head of School. The Board has established a Search Committee to direct the process and eventually recommend a Head of School candidate to the Board.

Who is on the Search Committee?

Hal Pos (Chair) Past Chair Board of Trustees, Board of Trustees, Advancement Committee Chair, Parent of an Alumnae ‘12
Paul Chung Middle School Math & Science Teacher, RIPL Designer (Research, Innovation, Play, & Learning
Gretchen Dietrich Board of Trustees, Parent
Matt Haber Board of Trustees, Parent
Mara Rabin Board of Trustees, Parent
Kate Reymann Parent Association 16/17 Room Parent Coordinator, Parent
Kerry Bedell Director of Institutional Advancement
Ted Sweetland Board of Trustees, Parent, Parent of an Alumnae '12

This committee has a deep understanding of The McGillis School’s strengths, values, and opportunities. There will be several opportunities in the future for all members of The School community to participate in the search process.

What are the specific responsibilities of the Search Committee?

The Search Committee directs the search process from start to finish. They are currently interviewing national Head of School search firms, will partner with the selected search firm to develop the Position Description, will coordinate input from The School’s varied constituencies, sort through an initial round of candidates vetted by the search firm, and organize and conduct interviews with the semifinalists and finalists. At the end of the process, the Search Committee will present a unanimously supported candidate to be confirmed by the Board of Trustees. A major function of the Search Committee is to keep The School community informed and engaged throughout the search process, while respecting the confidentiality of the candidate recruitment process.

What is the expected timeline of the search process?

March 2016 Search Committee conducts interviews with three leading national search firms
April 2016 Search Committee and Consultants partner on development of Position Description; informed by a Parent and Faculty Survey and additional forums
May 2016 Position Posted
June - July 2016 Search Committee and Consultants review candidates
August - September 2016 Confidential semi-finalist candidate interviews
September - October 2016 Finalist candidates visit The McGillis School
October - November 2016

Board of Trustees selects new Head of School

July 2017 New Head of School begins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Has The School retained a search consulting firm?

Yes. The consultant will visit The McGillis School to meet with The School community, including the Board of Trustees, Search Committee, administration, faculty, staff, and parents to better understand The School’s culture.

Will I have a chance to provide input or ask questions during the search?

Yes. Throughout the process, administration, faculty and parents input will be actively solicited beginning with an online survey in April 2016. You will also have the opportunity to meet with the search firm in April when they visit our School. This input will guide the position description and the recruitment of “good fit” candidates. Additionally, people are encouraged to share their feedback with the Search Committee via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There will be an opportunity to meet during the finalist candidates’ school visits. 

Letters from Tim Brown, Board Chair, and Matt Culberson, Head of School, announcing that Matt Culberson will be leaving The McGillis School

February 12, 2016

Dear McGillis Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we write to inform you that Matt Culberson will be leaving The McGillis School after a decade of remarkable leadership and dedication. Matt has accepted the position of Head of School at a school in the northwest. His last day at McGillis School will be June 30th.

Matt has accomplished much during his tenure at McGillis, from building our beautiful facility and successfully leading us through a period of tremendous growth to staffing the school with dedicated and gifted faculty. He has filled classes with wonderful students, built an engaged McGillis community, and inspired all of us with his commitment to making the McGillis School the very special place it is today. He leaves us with a solid foundation that includes an excellent faculty and administrative team, a strong academic program, a stable and balanced budget with steady enrollment, a burgeoning endowment and healthy operating reserves, and perhaps most importantly, a phenomenal community. While we will miss Matt tremendously, we have so much to thank him for including his exceptional leadership and vision, his dedication to excellence, and his service to so many children and their families.

Prior to Matt's informing the Board of his departure, we had created a Leadership Succession Working Group to plan and prepare for such a transition. This group will now, with input from the Executive Committee, form a Search Committee and begin the important work of finding the right leader for the future of The McGillis School. The projected timeline and procedure for hiring our next Head of School will include the engagement of a qualified search firm and a formal job announcement in May, interviews of candidates in late summer, interviews of finalists in early fall, with a successful hire in October. Dr. Melanie Battistone has graciously accepted the position of Interim Head of School. We are so grateful to Melanie for her service to our school during this time.

If you have any questions or concerns about this transition, please don't hesitate to ask. We hope you will join us in wishing Matt and Charlotte our very best in their Northwestern adventures, and in thanking Matt for his tremendous leadership and dedication to the McGillis School. Please see his letter to our community below.

Sincerely,

Executive Committee
Tim Brown, Chair
Hal Pos, Past -Chair
Laura Brockbank, Secretary
John Malooly, Treasurer
Gretchen Dietrich, At-large
Chris Eisenberg, At-large
David Litvak, At-large

February 12, 2016

Dear McGillis School Community,

The best decade of my long life in schools has been my opportunity to be Head of School at The McGillis School since 2006. So it is with a large measure of sadness that I will be leaving my position on June 30, 2016 to become Head of School at a K-12 near Seattle, WA. This has been a difficult decision, but one that I believe in the long run will best serve me, my family, and the future growth of The McGillis School.

As you know, The McGillis School is an extraordinary community of students, faculty, and parents that have come together and built what for many of us is our community anchoring point. We share values and a vision that our children can positively effect change in our increasingly complex and interconnected world. We share the belief that being part of this educational community is the start of a lifetime of loving to learn and explore, and of building strong academic and ethical foundations. I have reveled each day in the opportunity to be part of building this enduring and phenomenal community with you. I have no doubt that the work in which we engaged for the past ten years at McGillis will be the most rewarding work of my life.

I know that I leave a strong and healthy school in the hands of a highly competent and strong Board of Trustees, a remarkable administrative leadership team, and a deeply passionate and talented faculty. The future of The McGillis School is exciting and bright!

Thank you for all that each of you do in shaping the experiences of our children and in supporting me. I will miss you.

Matt Culberson
Head of School