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Succession Planning

It is with great respect that we announce the upcoming retirements of Dr. Michael Roberts, Head of School, and Dr. Jean Robbins, Head of Early Childhood. Below you will find updates and events to keep you informed during this time of transition. The Succession Committee is shepherding the leadership search process, along with independent school search firm Educational Directions. Questions about the Head of School and Head of Early Childhood search process can be directed to HOSsearch@catherinecookschool.org


Succession Committee

Ellen Best, Trustee
Tom Doar III, Trustee and Interim Head of School
Nate Eklund, Search Consultant
Penny Fine, Trustee
Dave Laurenson, Trustee

Roger Liew, Trustee
Linda K. Myers, Trustee
Stacy Shafer Peterson, Director of Advancement
Michael Roberts, Head of School
Jeff Zappone, Trustee

Announcements

Leadership Update: Advisory Committees - September 12, 2018

Dear Friends,

I hope the new school year is off to a smooth start for all of our families, faculty, and staff. Over the last several weeks, we have been working hard to establish our Advisory Committees for the Head of School and Head of Early Childhood searches. These committees represent the various school constituencies and will present counsel and advice to the Search Committees with regard to the selection of a new Head of School and Head of Early Childhood. Thank you to the following faculty, staff, and parents for their support during this important process:

Head of School Advisory Committee
David Harris (Chair), Middle School Humanities Teacher
Jolene Fairchild, 2nd Grade Teacher
Kathy Gilmore, Lower School Coordinator
Lauren Goldberg, Junior Kindergarten Teacher
Ryan Harris, Current and Alumni Parent
Margaret Hermanek, Associate Director of Annual Giving and Special Events
Calvin Jackson, Current Parent
Jenny Kernan, Current Parent
Marc McManus, Current Parent
Wayne Norman, Current and Alumni Parent
Eddie Pryce, Assistant to the Head of Middle School and High School Placement Counselor
Sandy Schwarz, Current Parent
Allegra Weiner, Current Parent
Natasha Witte, Lower School Learning Specialist

Head of Early Childhood Advisory Committee
Sandra Kane (Co-Chair), Early Childhood/Lower School Art Teacher
Kelly Waters (Co-Chair), Current Parent
Karla Beard-Leroy, Early Childhood/Lower School Music Teacher, Current Parent
Daniel Fierro, Technology Specialist
Barb Fisher, Junior Kindergarten Teacher, Current Parent
Stephanie Free, Current Parent
Patrick Gall, Early Childhood/Lower School Librarian
Malcolm Scott, Physical Education Teacher and Assistant Athletic Director
Kathryn DeVito, Current Parent
Susan Flosi, Current Parent
Meredith Goldman, Current Parent
Joe Guzowski, Current Parent
Susan Wilde, Current Parent

Additionally, we hope parents can join us for coffee this Thursday, September 13, from 8:00-9:00 a.m. in the Cafeteria as we welcome our consultants from Educational Directions, Jerry Larson and Sam Richards. After a short overview of the search process, Jerry and Sam will open the floor to any questions you have about the leadership search. We hope to see you there!

As always, we welcome any questions, comments, or feedback to HOSsearch@ccookschool.org.

Sincerely,

Linda K. Myers
Chair, Board of Trustees

Succession Update: Interim Head of School Selected - August 21, 2018

Dear Friends,

Welcome back! As you know, the Catherine Cook Succession Committee has been working diligently to develop a strong succession plan for Dr. Roberts' upcoming retirement this December. It is with great enthusiasm that I announce Catherine Cook Trustee and educational leader Tom Doar III as our Interim Head of School. A formal email will be sent to the parent community tomorrow morning, but I wanted faculty and staff to be the first to know.

This September, Tom will begin visiting our campus at least once per week to shadow Dr. Roberts, meet with faculty and staff, and begin making deeper connections within our community. He will officially assume his role of Interim Head of School on January 1. Tom will be an incredible asset to our team as we continue to navigate this time of change.

Tom became a valued member of the Catherine Cook Board of Trustees in 2017, shortly after retiring as the Head of School at North Shore Country Day School in 2016. He brings 43 years of educational leadership to our community, of which 36 years were spent in a diverse range of administration roles at independent schools. He has three children and five grandchildren, one of whom will begin Senior Kindergarten at Catherine Cook this fall.

Please join me in welcoming Tom Doar III in this new leadership position! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or your division head.

Sincerely,

Linda K. Myers
Chair, Board of Trustees

Leadership Update: Search Committees - August 20, 2018

Greetings,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the last weeks of summer. We are excited to welcome students back and look forward to another successful school year. This summer, as Chair of the Board of Trustees, I have been working closely with our search consultants, Educational Directions, to identify the Head of School and Head of Early Childhood Search Committees.

The following trustees, faculty, staff, and parents will utilize a diverse set of experiences and backgrounds to manage the search process, meet and interview candidates, and recommend a new Head of School and a new Head of Early Childhood to the Board of Trustees. I thank these volunteers for their significant time commitment and dedication over the next several months as we identify two new leaders who will build upon the amazing work and legacies of Dr. Michael Roberts and Dr. Jean Robbins.

Head of School Search Committee
Linda Myers (Chair), Trustee (Chair), Alumni Parent
Ellen Best, Trustee (Secretary), Alumni Parent
Dave Laurenson, Trustee (Vice Chair), Current & Alumni Parent
Penny Fine, Trustee (Treasurer)
Jeff Zappone, Trustee (At Large), Current Parent
Tom Doar III, Trustee
Flavio Arana, Trustee, Current Parent
Lisa Snow, Trustee, Alumni Parent
Abigail Andrick, Junior Kindergarten Teacher
Mike Kruse, 4th Grade Teacher
Jeff Edmonds, Dean of Students and Middle School Math Teacher
Bhavan Suri, Current Parent

Head of Early Childhood Search Committee
Michelle Kilkenney (Chair), Trustee, Current Parent
Marta Delgado, Trustee, Current Parent
Tom Fuller, Trustee, Current & Alumni Parent
Roger Liew, Trustee, Current Parent
Sarah Heaven, Preschool Teacher
Megan Altmayer, Lower School/Middle School Librarian
Josh Sutter, 1st Grade Teacher
Sunni Kitson, Interim Head of Lower School, Current Parent
Cory Stutts, Head of Middle School
Jill Due, Director of Admission
Stacia Garriott Kass, Current & Alumni Parent
Anjani Bhargava, Current Parent

We are also looking forward to hosting Educational Directions consultants Jerry Larson, Chris Arnold, and Sam Richards from September 11-13 to conduct individual and group meetings with administrators, faculty, staff, students, and parents. Their objective in gathering this information will be to better understand our community and, as a result, help them identify candidates best suited for Catherine Cook. Through your discussions with the consultants, you'll be able to share your valuable opinions regarding the qualities and talents you are looking for in our prospective new leaders. To learn more about Educational Directions, please visit edu-directions.com.

In the next week, we will solidify and announce the Head of School and Early Childhood Search Advisory Committees. We welcome any questions, comments, or feedback to HOSsearch@ccookschool.org.

Sincerely,
Linda K. Myers
Chair, Board of Trustees

Leadership Search Update - June 25, 2018

Greetings Catherine Cook Community,

We are excited to announce that the Board of Trustees has engaged Educational Directions to lead our succession and search process for the Head of School and Head of Early Childhood positions. As a first step, Educational Directions will help us identify and build Search and Advisory Committees for each search in the fall.

The Search and Advisory Committees bring together individuals with a diverse set of experiences, backgrounds, and points of view to manage the search process, meet candidates, and ultimately recommend a new Head of School and Head of Early Childhood to the Board of Trustees. Members will include trustees, faculty, staff, administrators, and parents. These Committees will dedicate a significant amount of time over the next several months to ensure the Board of Trustees appoints the best leaders to build upon the deep foundation at Catherine Cook and the exceptional work of Dr. Michael B. Roberts and Dr. Jean Robbins.

We look forward to our partnership with Educational Directions – they are a well-respected search firm that has conducted more than 350 independent school Head of School searches. Dr. Jerry Larson, a highly skilled and experienced search consultant, will be the lead partner working closely with the Committees and the Board of Trustees. Jerry will be assisted by his associates, Sam Richards and Chris Arnold. They will be visiting Catherine Cook on Wednesday, September 12, and Thursday, September 13, to conduct individual and group meetings with administrators, faculty, staff, students, and parents. Their objective in gathering this information will be to better understand our community, and as a result, help them identify candidates best suited for Catherine Cook. To learn more about Educational Directions please click here.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Catherine Cook. We expect to share regular updates with the community on the search progress over the coming months. We welcome any questions, comments, or feedback to HOSsearch@catherinecookschool.org.

Sincerely,

Linda K. Myers
Chair, Board of Trustees

Leadership Update - May 31, 2018

Greetings Fellow Catherine Cook Community Members,

As promised, we are writing to update you on the work we have been doing on leadership succession for our school. The Succession Committee of the Board, along with our fellow Trustees, has been working on plans for leadership succession in the coming years. We would like to provide you with an update and will share information about our progress and decisions as they are made. Thank you for your support as we continue building on the success of Catherine Cook.

It is with great respect that we announce the retirement of Dr. Michael Roberts, effective December 31, 2018. Dr. Roberts made this decision with great thought for the school's focused trajectory and his own personal considerations. With deep appreciation for his many contributions to Catherine Cook School, we are supportive of him in this decision. There is no question that his vision, leadership, and talent will be greatly missed. Catherine Cook is a leading independent school due, in large part, to his visionary commitment to our students, families, faculty, and staff. Dr. Roberts will carry out the Head of School duties through this fall, guide us towards the ISACS visit, and add his wisdom to our upcoming searches.

Below is a brief timeline of the work that is already in progress and what we expect to accomplish in the coming months:

  • Top education search firms have already been contacted, and the Succession Committee will begin interviews with finalists on June 1
  • Upon selection of a firm, the Search Committees for Head of School and Head of Early Childhood will be assembled, comprised of representatives from the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and parent community
  • A Head of School interim leadership plan will be presented this summer, outlining the strategy for January through July 2019
  • The Head of School search will begin July 2018 and the Head of Early Childhood search will begin September 2018
  • The new Head of School will be announced in late Fall of 2018 with a start date of July 2019
  • The new Head of Early Childhood will be announced in early 2019 with a start date of July 2019

We are pleased to announce that Sunni Kitson has agreed to serve as Head of Lower School for two years, through June 2020. We are delighted that Sunni will extend her service and provide continuity of leadership. We will not need to conduct a search for a Head of Lower School during the period covered by this timeline.

We wish you a great end to the school year and an enjoyable summer break. The Board and Succession Committee will continue to work diligently on the important task of identifying the newest members of our school's leadership team.

Thank you for your continued confidence and your support as we look ahead to next year and beyond.

Sincerely,
Catherine Cook School Succession Committee

Ellen Best
Tom Doar III
Nate Eklund
Penny Fine
Dave Laurenson
Roger Liew
Linda K. Myers
Stacy Shafer Peterson
Michael Roberts
Jeff Zappone

Events