Empowering young mindsNursery through eighth grade
Gordon School

A Message from the Head of School Search Committee Co-Chairs

June 2017

We would like to take this opportunity to update you on the progress of the Head of School search as the Board of Trustees seeks to identify Ralph Wales’ successor. While some activity related to the search has been visible to the Gordon School community, many of the most important steps over the coming months will be taking place behind the scenes, and we want to provide periodic updates about this progress.

Our Educators’ Collaborative consultants Jayne Geiger and Jean Lamont spent two days on campus in early April, meeting with parents, students, teachers, staff and alumni. In addition, all members of the school community were invited to fill out an online survey, giving more feedback regarding the state of the school and the direction of the search. With the benefit of all this information, EC and Gordon put together a detailed profile for this exciting leadership opportunity. The profile can be viewed via this link. 

Our consultants report that Gordon has attracted robust interest from many highly qualified candidates from a broad range of backgrounds. The candidate pool includes experienced heads of schools, others in senior administrative positions at independent schools ready to move to their first headship, and some individuals with strong leadership positions outside of independent schools. 

Our search committee will begin evaluating candidates in mid-June, with the intention of identifying a small group of finalists who will be invited to the campus for interviews in the fall. Out of respect for candidate privacy, all communication with candidates and all interviews prior to the finalist stage will be handled in a confidential manner. During the finalist visits, however, there will be opportunities for those in the school community to meet with the candidates and to provide their impressions of each. It is the search committee’s goal to select the next Head of School this fall, and we are on track to meet that schedule. As a reminder, the Head-Elect will not officially assume responsibilities at Gordon until July 1, 2018 upon the conclusion of Ralph Wales’ tenure. 
We will provide additional information between now and the finalist visits. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Marianne Monte and Amanda Riegel
Head of School Search Committee Co-Chairs

Information for candidates

posted April 18th

After a successful visit to Gordon in early April, Gordon's search consultants produced a detailed sixteen-page document describing the school and the position of Head of School.
The document is meant to serve as a briefing for anyone considering applying to be Gordon's next Head of School. The last pages are given over to a description of Gordon's next leader:
Gordon School’s next Head of School will be:

A passionate advocate for Gordon’s mission and its unwavering belief that the community is enriched by difference, inclusivity, and a commitment to social justice who:
Has had experience, professionally and personally, that provides a deep understanding of Gordon’s mission of inclusive engagement among community members of different races, religions, family structures and sexual orientations. The ability to lead the community to the next level of conversation and action is important.
Enthusiastically embraces the school’s commitment to a progressive, multicultural curriculum and recognizes the significance of its excellent academic, arts and athletic programs.
Delights in and celebrates the progress and growth of each learner and fosters a love of learning, curiosity and a questioning spirit for all.
A warm, engaging leader who fosters Gordon’s strong sense of community, connecting effectively with all constituents. He/she will:
Embody integrity and provide energetic, optimistic and confident leadership.
Have strong interpersonal skills that include empathy, sincerity, and humility. A sense of humor is a valuable quality.
Engage authentically with all constituents in the school community and with the community-at-large.
Connect with children of all ages in meaningful and joyful ways. Gordon’s size enables the Head of School to know every family well.

An experienced and innovative educator with the vision to lead Gordon in the evolving landscape of the 21st Century who has:
A thorough understanding of educational pedagogy and child development. Experience as a classroom teacher is an asset in understanding issues relating to the teaching and learning environment.
The ability to be an inspiring and effective leader for the faculty and staff who fosters a vibrant professional learning community, engages them in on-going reflection and builds strong teams.
The vision and courage to engage the community in bold and even daring ways as Gordon considers a range of forward-thinking opportunities: strengthening partnerships in the community-at-large, tapping new resources, increasing support for a range of learning styles, further integration of technology and expanding global connections.
An eloquent spokesperson with exceptional communication skills who is:
An excellent listener able to understand multiple perspectives so that all constituents feel heard. Navigating the complexities of a diverse community and engendering trust with an appropriate level of transparency are crucial.
A compelling champion for Gordon who can represent the school’s excellence and value to society to garner financial support in both traditional and creative ways.
A dynamic ambassador who can passionately market Gordon’s core values and its ‘value proposition’ to both internal and external audiences and raise its profile in the broader community.
A leader with significant senior administrative experience who is:
Strong and decisive and able to instill confidence as Gordon moves forward and pursues strategic initiatives.
Creative and tireless in pursuing additional sources of non-tuition revenue through innovative strategies and persuasive and authentic fundraising.
A collaborative ‘team player’ in his/her relationship with trustees, senior administrators, faculty and staff.
Able to recruit, support and retain Gordon’s excellent faculty and staff. The ability to delegate responsibility effectively and promote professional development is critical.
Adept at providing financial oversight as the school institutes a customized tuition plan, seeks to strengthen enrollment and makes wise decisions about the allocation of resources as Gordon addresses the challenge of financial sustainability.

Open parent meetings announced

April 5th and 6th

While we are all looking forward to spring break for a little time off, you should know that our consultants Jean Lamont and Jayne Geiger are far from vacation mode! They were at the NAIS conference last week beginning to source possible candidates for Gordon, and the position has been posted in several industry portal

We are busy making preparations for their visit to Gordon on April 5th and 6th. We are so excited for them to experience this community through interactions with a wide variety of people on campus. Accordingly, we have designed a schedule that will hopefully give Jean and Jayne a comprehensive understanding of what makes Gordon so unique. As you can imagine, it is no small feat to orchestrate a schedule with so many moving parts, and we appreciate you making any accommodations to be there. 

We hope that you will be able to attend one of the Open Parent Meetings:

Wednesday, April 5th, 6:30-7:30pm Wales Theater
Thursday, April 6th, 8:15-9:00am Wales Theater

Many thanks
Amanda and Marianne
PS: Everyone in the Gordon community is also reminded to fill out the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QDLLFL9

An update, and a survey, from the search committee

Thursday, February 23rd


We are happy to report that the search is off to a very positive start! Our first major task has been to hire a search firm that would appreciate both the uniqueness of Gordon’s mission as well as the significance of this leadership transition in Gordon's history. The process of selection was in itself an opportunity to reaffirm our school’s mission and make sure that our consultants appreciate the collaborative nature of the Gordon community. 

You will be pleased to hear that it was a unanimous decision to hire Jean Lamont and Jayne Geiger from Educators’ Collaborative to help Gordon select our next Head of School. Both women have been Heads of K-8 schools and demonstrate a commitment to issues of diversity and social justice in both their personal and professional lives. Jean and Jayne came to the pitch prepared and confident, yet also conveyed a sincere humility that it would be an incredible privilege to guide Gordon on this journey. 

We hope that you will take the opportunity to read more about their experience thorough their EC bios: 


We would also like you to meet these consultants in person when they visit Gordon April 5th and 6th. The primary purpose for their visit is to gather feedback from a variety of people in order to help draft a position profile for prospective candidates. Accordingly, Jean and Jayne will meet with various groups, including open forums for discussion with individual constituencies. We will make every opportunity to give the community access to the consultants during their site visit. We will communicate the site visit schedule well in advance so that you can participate in these meetings. In addition, we encourage you to confidentially respond to an online survey to ensure feedback from the full Gordon community. The link to this survey is: 


The survey will remain open until March 31st but early responses will help prepare Jean and Jayne for their visit.

Stay tuned for more specifics about the site visit, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. 

Marianne and Amanda

The search committee roster

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Selecting a search committee in a community as inclusive and participatory as Gordon is no small feat! We are fortunate to have an abundance of dedicated people who are eager to add input to this process. We were advised to keep the numbers small, and think about people who could advocate from various constituencies yet would not represent any particular group. We feel confident that this search committee is composed of engaged, thoughtful members of the community who will advocate for the collective future of Gordon. 

If you have questions about the search committee selection, search process and timing please feel free to reach out to either of us directly at mmonte@cox.net or amandagriegel@gmail.com.

Marianne Monte
Search committee co-chair
Board of Trustees, member
Parent of a Gordon fourth grader

Amanda Riegel
Search committee co-chair
Board of Trustees, vice chair
Parent of a Gordon third grader and a first grader

Search committee members

Lynn Bowman
Middle School director
Parent of Brandon Bowman ’09 and Alex Bowman '06

Flossie Crisp
Board of Trustees, member
Parent of Bea Hruska '16 and a sixth grader

Damian Ewens '90
Parent of a first grader and a Kindergarten student

Marlon Henry
Director of Technology
Parent of a Kindergarten student

Eugene Johnson '87
Board of Trustees, member
Parent of a fourth grader and a Nursery student

Veronica Jutras
Health and wellness teacher
Parent of a Preschool student

George Matouk
Chair, Board of Trustees
Parent of a seventh grader and a fourth grader

A letter from the search committee leadership

Thursday, January 25th, 2017

Dear Gordon School Community,

Every morning, Gordon students enter school with an optimism and curiosity that is creatively fostered and intentionally developed by the faculty and staff. Change is embraced as a necessary part of learning. However, some changes are easier to navigate than others. It is hard for any of us to imagine Gordon without Ralph Wales at the helm. 

That said, because of the tremendous work done by Ralph and the faculty and the staff, Gordon's Head of School position will attract an exceptionally competitive array of candidates. As the two chairs of the search committee, we wanted to inform you about the hiring process and to affirm our commitment to make this process as inclusive as possible.

The Search Committee
The ultimate responsibility for hiring a new Head of School rests with the Board of Trustees. To aid in that effort, the Board has asked us to assemble a search committee comprised of trustees, parents, and representatives from faculty and staff. This group contains trusted community members who bring a deep understanding of Gordon and its mission to this process. 

The Search Process
With the help of a consultant hired by the search committee, we will launch a national search for the new Head of School. Throughout the process, we will balance a desire to keep the community informed with the need to respect the confidentiality of the candidate recruitment process. Often, competitive candidates will require total confidentiality until the finalist process begins in late fall. That said, there will be ample opportunities for community input. 

The first important step in the process will be a visit to the school by the search consultants in early spring. During this visit, the search team will meet with parents, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, and students to develop a profile of the qualities and abilities that we seek in Gordon's next leader. It is vitally important that we hear your thoughts and receive input from you in this process. We will organize a variety of forums for the Gordon community to meet with the search consultants. These meetings will be an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about the search and to voice your ideas about the qualities you value in our next Head of School. 

More specific information on the schedule will be forthcoming.

Community Survey
An additional opportunity to provide feedback will be by participating in our community-wide survey. After the consultants’ site visit, we will email you a link to a confidential survey about your priorities in selecting a new leader for Gordon. We strongly encourage all members of our community to fill out the survey, as this is an excellent way to ensure that your thoughts are heard.

Next Steps
Once we have compiled the information from the community, Gordon's consultants will create a candidate profile, one of many ways we will publicize the search. Throughout the spring and summer, the consultants will recruit potential candidates. Working with the search consultants, the search committee will screen and evaluate candidates to bring back to campus for a weekend of interviews in the early fall (confidential). We will count on your participation and feedback as a full community for the finalist visits later in the fall (public). Flexibility is a key component of this process, and the timing of these events may change. We will endeavor to keep everyone informed to the greatest extent possible.

We plan to update you periodically about the progress of this search, and provide updated information in this space on the school website. If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to reach out to either of us directly at the email addresses below.

Ralph has faithfully dedicated his heart and soul into making sure that Gordon stays on the leading edge of educational pedagogy and social justice. All of our children are privileged to grow and learn in a community that is entirely focused on their unique developmental needs. We are energized and committed to finding our next extraordinary leader who will recognize the unique space that Gordon occupies in our families’ lives. 

Thank you in advance for your confidence and trust. 


Marianne Monte
Board of Trustees, member
Parent of a Gordon fourth grader

Amanda Riegel
Board of Trustees, vice chair
Parent of a Gordon third grader and a first grader
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