Head of School Search

LETTER TO LH COMMUNITY RE: EC AND SEARCH PROCESS

December 1, 2022

Dear Lauralton Hall Community,

I am writing today with an update on our Head of School search. As you know from past communications, our next step was to identify a consulting firm to shepherd us through the process. It has also been important to us to find a team with whom we feel synergy and whose process feels in sync with our school culture.

The Board has retained the search firm Educators Collaborative (EC) to help us with our search for a new Head of School.  EC has conducted over 1,000 successful head of school searches since 1971.  Joan Beauregard and Sally Mixsell, two partners with the firm, are our consultants. Both of them have served as heads of independent schools themselves, have mentored many women leaders in independent schools, and are well respected by educators throughout the country. Sally, a Hamden resident, and Joan, now living in Seattle, were raised in Connecticut and are familiar with our school. They each graduated from a women’s college. Sally was a founding Board member of the Cristo Rey New York High School in Harlem and the first alumna Head of Stoneleigh-Burnham, a 7-12 girls boarding and day school in Greenfield, MA. Joan is on the Board of the Seattle Girls School, was raised in the Catholic faith, and graduated from a Catholic college. They are quite excited to work with us and feel that Lauralton Hall presents a very attractive professional opportunity that will produce a strong pool of candidates. 

Our intention is, as is Joan and Sally’s, that we will work hard to identify a new Head of School to begin July 1, 2023. But this search is beginning after the “first wave” of new Heads who have recently been named for 2023. We want to be sure to get this right and have agreed that if we feel the pool is not strong or deep enough in this next round, we will pivot to an Interim placement for 2023 and move the Head search to a 2024 start. We sincerely hope not to need to do that, but time and fate will tell.

The success of this search will depend in large part on the input the Search Committee and the consultants receive from the LH community. Sally will be on campus on December 13 and 14, during which time she will meet extensively with members of our community: students, faculty, staff, parents, alums and trustees, in order to develop a leadership profile for Lauralton’s next leader and to gain a sense of the opportunities and challenges facing the next Head of School. Joan will also be meeting with community members via Zoom on December 14.

We fully realize that not everyone will be able to participate in the on-campus interviews, and so the consultants have made an on-line survey available to the “internal” community and recent graduating classes through email communication. Sally and Joan will use survey responses to calibrate their follow-up conversations in person and on Zoom. Comments shared with the consultants will not be attributed to individuals (in fact, the surveys are anonymous), but this input will be extremely helpful in developing the leadership profile for the next Head of School.  

Our consultants will be advertising the position extensively in the coming weeks and accessing their extensive database and professional networks to solicit and encourage applications from well-qualified prospective candidates. Once the search committee has reviewed candidate dossiers and interviewed semifinalists, we will select the top candidates who appear to be the best match for Lauralton, and will invite these candidates to the School for two-day visits in March. There will be opportunities for representatives from all constituencies in our community to meet the candidates and provide feedback to the search committee on their impressions. Ideally, a single candidate will rise to the top and be recommended to the Board for approval sometime in April.  

In the meantime, we are grateful for your support and will continue to keep you informed about our progress.

Sincerely,

Charlotte Evans, Chair
Head of School Search Committee

Head of School Search Committee Members

Patrick Lagrange — (ex officio) board chair, parent

Charlotte Evans —  board vice chair; search committee chair, alum

Brian Elliott — trustee, parent

Peter Jokl — trustee, grandparent

Johana Rendon Ledesma — trustee, alum

Sheila Scullion Sullivan — trustee, parent, alum

Sister Mary Alice Synkewecz — chair, mission integration committee

Sue Fracker — faculty, parent

Marnory Hawes — faculty, parent

Paul Fama — former board chair, current parent

Susan Smith — Mercy Education representative

Anticipated Timeline