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The 2022-2023 school year will be Head of School John Finch’s twenty-second and final year at Chandler School. With the full support of Chandler’s Board of Trustees, we would like to announce the search for Chandler’s next Head of School. The search process will be thorough, transparent and inclusive and we are committed to keeping you informed about our progress. We hope to include as many voices as possible from the community throughout the selection process.

Thank you for your continued support in this important endeavor for the future of Chandler School. Please visit this page often, it will be updated as new information becomes available. Please see below for frequently asked questions.


Latest Updates


The success of the Head of School search will depend in large part on the input that the Search Committee and the consultants receive from the Chandler community. Thank you to all the community members - administration, faculty, staff, students, parents, trustees, former trustees and alumni - who participated in the survey and listening sessions last month. 
The feedback provided has been used to gain further knowledge and understanding of our school’s strengths, the challenges we will face in the next three to five years and the personal and professional qualities we will be seeking in our next Head of School. The data gathered has also been used to develop the compelling Leadership Profile and job description to aid us in targeting and recruiting a diverse and well-suited pool of candidates.

Head of School Profile

Educators’ Collaborative created a Head of School Profile with key takeaways from the input provided by the valued members of the Chandler community. These virtual listening sessions and community surveys included all our constituents - faculty, students, administrators, staff, parents, trustees, former trustees and alumni. Through listening, they discovered themes that emerged as critical to the success of the Head of School search. Some strengths identified were the strength of our community, the stable leadership, the program and curriculum, and Chandler’s financial stability. Some takeaways identified as emerging challenges and opportunities include Chandler’s evolving identity, the School’s culture, faculty and staff retention and support, and being part of the surrounding Pasadena community. You can review a copy of the full Head of School Position Profile here.

Search Committee

The Board of Trustees has engaged Educators’ Collaborative. to provide professional support for our search. Joan Beauregard and Marcus Hurlbut of Educators’ Collaborative are both former heads of school and bring a wealth of experience in education and independent school leadership searches.

Search Timeline

Head of School FAQ

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the general timeline for the Head of School search?

    The search process consists of three general phases.

    In the initial phase, Educators' Collaborative (EC) will familiarize themselves with Chandler’s community, culture, operations, curriculum, and programs. This will be done through the aforementioned listening sessions and online survey, as well as in person visits to the school. EC will take this information and develop a position prospectus (“Information for Candidates”, “IFC”) to encourage candidates to apply and build a strong candidate pool.

    The second phase is conducted almost exclusively behind the scenes, as EC recruits and conducts initial vetting of candidates through interviews and reference checks. 

    In the third phase, the Search Committee is highly active in learning more about candidates, conducting preliminary confidential interviews, and selecting finalists. All members of the Chandler community who wish to meet the finalists will have an opportunity to do so, as all finalists will be invited to visit our school in person. The schedule for when each constituent group will have an opportunity to meet with the candidates will be available as we get closer to this date. Those who meet with finalists will then be invited to complete a confidential survey offering their impressions, which will be collected and collated by our consultants and shared back with the Search Committee.

    The work of the Search Committee concludes when the committee presents its nomination of the candidate of choice to the Board of Trustees, anticipated in May. The new Head will officially assume responsibilities at Chandler on July 1, 2023.

    Please note that each search process has its own unique pace and timing, and the time frame may shift, if necessary.
  • What is the role of the School’s Board of Trustees in the search process?

    The Board of Trustees has appointed the following trustees to serve on the Head of School Search Committee:
    • Khalilah El-Amin ‘91, Trustee and Chair of the Head of School Search Committee (Sabreen ’23)
    • Erin Baker, Trustee (Annabel ‘26 and James ’28)
    • Jared Franz, Trustee (Alexa ’26)
    • Shelan Joseph, Trustee (Leilani ’25)
    • Irvin Kaw, Trustee (Dylan ’25 and Jayden ’28)
    • Joe Lin, Board of Trustees Chair (William ’22, Caroline ’25 and Eleanor ’30)
    • Rick Madden, Trustee (Hunter ’22 and Luke ‘20 )
    • Steve Wilson Trustee (Sam ‘24 and Izaac ‘26)

    The Search Committee will be partnering with Educators' Collaborative (EC) Consultants who have been charged with conducting a comprehensive, national, and international search for a new Head of School. All inquiries related to the search will be referred to the Chair of the Search Committee and Educators’ Collaborative.

    As the process draws to completion, the Board will review the recommendations of the Search Committee and ultimately appoint the new Head of School. The Head of School is the only employee that is hired by and reports directly to the Board of Trustees, and, as a result, choosing a new Head of School is one of the Board's most important responsibilities.
  • What is the role of the Search Committee?

    The Search Committee has been charged by the Board of Trustees to lead the search process and ultimately make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees which ultimately bears responsibility for appointing the Head of School. The Search Committee, guided by input from the school community, will work with the consultants from Educators' Collaborative to construct a schedule, determine which candidates to interview and then move forward in the process and communicate regularly with the school community. 
  • How can I be involved in the Head of School search process?

    The Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring an inclusive search process and will provide opportunities for community input through various means throughout the process.

    The first opportunities will occur when the search consultants from Educators' Collaborative conduct listening sessions to learn more about Chandler’s strengths, as well as the opportunities facing the school now and in the years ahead. There will be sessions for various constituent groups including student council, parents, faculty, staff and administration, CFA, trustees, and alumni. Additionally, all members of our school community will be invited to share their thoughts through a confidential online survey administered by Educators' Collaborative. 

    As part of the finalist visits anticipated in late April, the school will hold a number of forums for various constituent groups to have an opportunity to meet with the candidates. Those who meet with finalists will then be invited to complete a confidential survey offering their impressions, which will be collected and collated by our consultants and shared back with the Search Committee.
  • What is the role of Educators’ Collaborative, the search firm, and how were they selected?

    A sub-group of the Board of Trustees conducted broad research on reputable search firms and short-listed firms based on a set of criteria. The firms that were short listed submitted proposals and engaged in interviews where they were evaluated on specific areas of focus, including but not limited to relevant background and experience, source methodology, commitment to Chandler's mission, vision and values, and their commitment to ensuring a diverse candidate pool. Following reference checks, the group unanimously recommended to the Board of Trustees the selection of Educators’ Collaborative.  

    Having conducted over 1,000 successful heads of school searches since 1971, Educators’ Collaborative is an experienced and well-respected search firm in the world of independent schools. Leading our project will be consultants - Joan Beauregard and Marcus Hurlbut. In addition to both serving as heads of independent schools, Joan and Marcus were selected because of their alignment with Chandler’s mission and core values. Their demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion affirms our school’s vision and we look forward to interviewing a well-qualified diverse pool of candidates. You can learn more about Joan, Marcus and Educators’ Collaborative here
  • What is the scope of the search?

    The search for the new Head of School is international in scope. The Search Committee is committed to ensuring the search process is as transparent as possible and will share updates with our community and feedback along the way. However, candidate confidentiality remains a critical component for success. As some potential candidates may not be actively looking for a new position, and others may not want it known that they are pursuing an interest in Chandler, the Search Committee will not comment on candidates participating (or not participating) in the search.
  • Will there be any internal candidates?

    The Search Committee encourages the application of all individuals who have a genuine interest in the Head of School position, including anyone who is currently employed at Chandler. To every extent possible, the Search Committee will attempt to create a level playing field, ensuring that the eventual nominee as Head-elect is assessed in the context of the entire field of candidates. In addition, the confidentiality of internal candidates is as important as that of candidates from outside the School.
  • How will candidates be evaluated? 

    The Search Committee is committed to creating a fair and equitable application and interview process. Candidates will be evaluated based on how well their background, experience, skills and characteristics match those desired by the school community (as drawn up by EC during the listening sessions and survey) and reflected in the position prospectus (“Information for Candidates”, “IFC”). The Search Committee will conduct thorough interviews, evaluate candidates on a defined set of criteria, and deliberate extensively about each candidate before bringing forward a select group of finalists who will visit Chandler’s campus and meet with our community. 

    As detailed in the IFC, the next Head of School will ideally possess the following characteristics and qualities: 

    Educator and Life Long Learner: 
    • An educator with a strong background and passion for students in a K-8th grade program. 
    • A ‘life-long’ learner with a growth mindset committed to education and maintaining a culture of excellence by keeping abreast of current pedagogy, latest research, and innovative practices.
    Cultural Alignment and Commitment to DEI: 
    • A leader who exemplifies Chandler School’s core values: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
    • An authentic and enthusiastic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a genuine interest in being part of a diverse community. 
    • High cultural competency with the knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to engage with and lead groups of diverse individuals in respectful, equitable and inclusive ways.

    Collaborative & Empathetic Leadership Style: 
    • An outgoing, warm, positive leader who will maintain high visibility and continually engage in/with the school community. 
    • A confident leader with a collaborative mindset who can partner, manage and/or lead depending on the situation.  
    • An astute and patient listener and observer who fosters an inclusive culture that values each individual.  

    Exceptional Interpersonal & Communications Skills:
    • An approachable leader with exceptional interpersonal and communication skills who will build mutually beneficial and creative relationships with the school’s various constituencies. 
    • An articulate, charismatic spokesperson for Chandler School in and beyond the school community.

    Strategic Leader: 
    • The ability to create a vision, inspire the community and set the direction and operating model that supports Chandler’s next 20 years as the school develops long range priorities and a master plan informed by the 2022-2027 Strategic Plan and supported by a capital campaign.

    Strong Business Acumen: 
    • Sound financial acumen and working knowledge of school budgeting, fiscal management, and plant maintenance. 
    • Demonstrated experience and success in fundraising and marketing and a willingness to participate in a leadership role in both of these areas.  
    • Solid understanding of best practices in independent school. 

    Solid Management Skills: 
    • A proven record of identifying, developing, motivating, and retaining a talented faculty, administration and staff. 
    • Proven ability to successfully partner with a Board of Trustees to ensure the appropriate strategic direction of the school. 
  • When will the new Head of School begin?

    The person selected by the Board of Trustees will officially become Chandler’s Head of School on July 1, 2023. Until that time, John Finch will continue to lead the School. However, as part of the transition process, we anticipate that whenever possible, the Head-Elect will visit the campus for key events throughout the school year to acclimate to our culture.