February 2018 Update from the Head of School Search Committee

Dear Woodlynde School Community,
As you will recall, a few weeks ago Woodlynde Board Chair Maryann O'Conor introduced the Head of School Search Committee. I am pleased to serve as the head of this committee, and joining me on the committee are six committed, talented individuals who share a passion for Woodlynde and for ensuring we find the best next head of school. 
I am pleased to serve as the head of this committee, and joining me on the committee are six committed, talented individuals who share a passion for Woodlynde and for ensuring we find the best next head of school. These individuals are Rick Hinckley, Upper School Parent and Trustee; Jennifer Hitt, Lower School Parent and Trustee; Elizabeth Maglio, Assistant Head of School (K-8); Thomas Malecki, Upper School Parent; Abe Prontnicki, Upper School Science Teacher; and John Schmader, Alumni Parent and Trustee.
The Board of Trustees has determined that in order to find the best permanent head of school, it is prudent to have an interim head of school for the 2018-2019 school year, with our new permanent head starting in the summer of 2019. To assist the Board and the Search Committee, and after interviewing several renowned firms, we have retained the services of Carney, Sandoe & Associates (CS&A), a nationally-recognized firm that provides leadership search, teacher placement, and consulting services to fine independent schools. Since their inception in 1977, CS&A has worked successfully with over 1,800 schools to provide exceptional faculty recruitment, head of school search, and strategic consulting services. They take the time to learn the unique culture of each school, which is important for a school as special as Woodlynde.

The Search Committee's first task, with the support of CS&A, will be to find the right interim head of school to lead us next year. There are many terrific educators who bring years of head of school experience and wisdom to interim headships, and we are confident that we can find just such an individual not only to oversee effective operations of the school, but also to continue to advance Woodlynde's strategic plan.

At the same time, the Search Committee will also begin the search for our permanent head of school, and we need the help of the Woodlynde community to ensure we find the finest candidate possible.

Your Role
Our community will have two very important roles during the search. First, you will have the opportunity to help in the creation of the Position Description by meeting with our consultants at the beginning of the search process. Then, when finalists for the permanent head position visit the school later this year, you will have the opportunity to meet them, ask questions, and provide your impressions to the Search Committee. Taking all of that feedback into consideration, the Committee will then recommend one final candidate to the Board.
Skip Kotkins and Peter O'Neill from CS&A will be on campus to meet with various members of our community on March 5 and 6. We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to meet them in person and share your thoughts about the future of our school and the skills we need in a new leader to help us reach that future. For those unable to attend in person, you will also have the opportunity to provide input through an online survey. The schedule of in-person meetings and the link to the survey will be provided soon.

Ongoing Communications
Abby Anthony, Woodlynde's communication manager, has done a great job developing a Head of School Search webpage. We anticipate it being live the week of February 20, so please be sure to visit the Woodlynde website for updates, answers to FAQs, and the opportunity to provide suggestions and feedback. The Search Committee will provide regular updates to the Woodlynde community about the progress of the search both through email and updated postings on this webpage. Our goals are to ensure that your opinions and suggestions inform our search and to also keep you fully updated along the way.

Leadership transitions are challenging, but they also present us with an opportunity for self-reflection and the excitement of new perspectives and leadership. Rest assured that throughout this process, everyone will be focused on what is most important - great students interacting with great teachers every single day. We are confident that this will continue unabated as we conduct this thoughtful and inclusive search process. Thanks in advance for your participation!

Sarah Houston P'25
Search Committee Chair

Click here to view more information regarding the Head of School Search. 

Woodlynde School is a private, co-ed college prep day school located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that serves intelligent, talented students with learning differences in grades K - 12. Woodlynde provides a comprehensive, evidence-based Kindergartenelementarymiddle and high school program in a challenging yet nurturing environment for students with average to above average cognitive abilities (IQ) who have language- or math-based learning differences (such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia), Executive Function Challenges, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Auditory Processing Disorder. Even for those students without a diagnosed learning disability (LD), Woodlynde offers expert and caring teachers in small classroom settings that support academic success. Woodlynde School also offers a post-graduate (PG) program in partnership with Rosemont College as well as a regional Summer Camp for students who learn differently.