Khalilah El-Amin '91 Chair, Search Committee Update

January 13, 2022

Dear Chandler Community,

Happy New Year!
As announced last month, our beloved John Finch will be retiring at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. I write today to share with you the plans the Board of Trustees has developed to identify and recruit the next Head of School whose term will begin in July of 2023.
With the start of the new year, we are ready to begin the important work of guiding Chandler through this significant leadership transition. On behalf of the committee, I want to bring you up to date on our efforts thus far and what you may expect in the weeks and months ahead.
In light of COVID-19 and the recent impact the surge has had on our community, we have had to make some adjustments to our original plans. In spite of this, due to the many strengths of our school, the timing for this search remains optimal, and we are confident in our ability to attract many highly qualified candidates. I am grateful to our school’s leadership team, administrative team, faculty and staff for their grit, strength, and perseverance during these challenging times. I also thank the entire Chandler community in advance for remaining agile and adaptable, as we continue to forge ahead on this important work. Your commitment to this process is invaluable and we look forward to keeping you informed and collecting your feedback along the way.

The Search Committee

As communicated to you last month, the Board of Trustees has the ultimate responsibility for identifying and selecting the next Head of School. To effectively assist the Board in this important undertaking, a Search Committee has been appointed. Members of the Search Committee will bring to the table, not only their commitment, but also their respective expertise, which will appreciably enhance the quality of the search process. The following trustees have agreed to serve on the HOS Search Committee, which will be chaired by myself, Khalilah El-Amin ‘91, Trustee (Sabreen ’23) and:
  • 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)
Serving on this Committee takes a considerable time investment. I am extremely grateful to these Trustees for their willingness to serve in this important capacity which is crucial to the future of our school.

The Search Consultants

Also, as announced last month, after screening many well-qualified search firms, the Board will be partnering with Educators' Collaborative to help us with our search. 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.

The Search Process, Community Survey and Listening Sessions

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. To that end, together with Joan and Marcus, we look forward to working with our school community to find the very best person to succeed Mr. Finch.
In order to gather valuable input, our consultants have created an anonymous, online survey open to all members of the Chandler community to complete. The results of this survey will go directly to Educators’ Collaborative. The feedback will be 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. Your feedback is very important to us, and we hope you will take the time to complete the survey by January 31. Please click HERE.

In addition to the online survey, Joan and Marcus will conduct a series of in-person and zoom listening sessions with members of our school’s various constituencies between January 19 - 28. Together with the survey results, the data gathered from the listening sessions will be used to develop a compelling Leadership Profile and job description to aid us in targeting and recruiting a diverse and well-suited pool of candidates. A schedule of the listening sessions by constituency will be posted to the Head of School Search web page.
Over the next several months, the Search Committee will review dossiers and invite prospective candidates to confidential interviews with the Committee. From this group, the Committee will invite the top candidates to the school for full day onsite interviews. There will be opportunities for representatives from all constituencies in our community to meet the candidates either in-person or via zoom and provide feedback to the Search Committee. Ultimately, a single candidate will rise to the top and the Search Committee will recommend them to the Board for approval and selection. We expect the search process will take approximately four to five months with periods of intense work and activity. Going forward, we encourage you to check the Head of School Search web page for information and updates.
As an alumna of Chandler, I am truly humbled and honored to chair this search for our next Head of School. I look forward to working with the members of the Search Committee and with you all. Thank you in advance for your support and I look forward to keeping you informed on the search process.
Warm Regards,
Khalilah El-Amin, ‘91 (Sabreen ’23)
Chair, Head of School Search Committee