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Head of School Search

Breck School launched a search for its next Head of School on June 30, 2016, with the announcement that Ed Kim will leave Breck School at the end of the 2016-17 school year after serving 10 years in that role. 

Maya Tester '81 has agreed to chair our search committee. Maya has been a member of the Breck community for over 40 years, under four Heads of Schools and on two campuses. She and her husband, Peter, are both Breck graduates from the class of '81 and are parents of alums Annalisa '10 and Kristina '10. Maya joined our Board of Trustees in 2013 and will lead a committee of 10 other individuals to find the next Head of Breck School. 

Below, find the latest news, updates, and answers about the search.

December 7 - Meet Candidate 2*

December 2 - Meet Candidate 1*

November 28 - Finalist Candidate Visit Information

October 3 - Information for Candidates Email and Document

September 7 - Community Survey Now Open
        Note: Survey was open through September 14. 

August 24 - Alumni Luncheon with Head of School Search Firm

August 24 - Parent Meetings with Head of School Search Firm

August 22 - Initial Steps of the Search Committee

August 17 - Search Committee Announcement

June 30 - Head of School Departure Announcement

*Candidate information has since been removed until the final announcement of the new Head of School.  (December 23)

Head of School Search FAQ

Who is leading the search process?

The Head of Breck School Search Committee is leading the search process and will make recommendations to the school’s Board of Trustees, which ultimately bears responsibility for appointing the Head of School. Maya Tester '81 is the chair our search committee. Maya has been a member of the Breck community for over 40 years, under four Heads of Schools and on two campuses. She and her husband, Peter, are both Breck graduates from the class of '81 and are parents of alums Annalisa '10 and Kristina '10. Maya joined the Breck Board of Trustees in 2013. 

What is the role of the school's Board of Trustees in the search process?

The Board of Trustees appoints a Search Committee to conduct a comprehensive, national and international search for a new Head of School, and refers all inquiries related to the search to the Chair of the Search Committee and Educators’ Collaborative, our search consultants. The Board will maintain complete confidentiality throughout the process. As the process draws to completion, the Board will review the recommendations of the Search Committee, formally resolve to pursue a candidate, bear responsibility for negotiating any terms of employment and ultimately appoint the new Head of School. The Head of School is the sole, direct report to the Board and its Chair, and, as a result, choosing a new Head of School is one of the most important responsibilities of the Board.

Who are the members of the search committee and how were they selected?

The Search Committee, chaired by Maya Tester ’81, includes 10 other individuals representing a mix of Breck alums, parents to children enrolled across all divisions, volunteers, trustees, coaches, and faculty. All members were approved by the Board of Trustees and reflect a cross section of our community.

Committee members include:

  • The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, spouse to faculty member Staci, and parent to Brooks '11 and Lincoln '13.
  • Becky O'Grady: President of the Board of Trustees, parent to Jack '16 and Mary '20
  • Andrew Turner: Trustee and past President of the Board of Trustees, parent to Mac '16 and Ben '17
  • Michael Goh: Trustee, a member of the Multicultural Parent Education Committee since '06, and parent to Joshua '22 and Samuel '24
  • Susan Bass Roberts: Trustee, parent to Preston '26
  • Jill Schurtz: Trustee, parent to Grace '20 and Jack '23
  • Piyumi Samaratunga: Past treasurer of the Parents Association, co-chair of the Multicultural Parent Education Committee, and parent to Nath '14, Brooke '18, and Melinda '18
  • Mary Gentry: Upper School Math faculty member since '98, co-chair of the sustainability committee, member of the technology committee
  • Evan Jones '86: Middle School Science faculty member since '98, a member of the Breck Faculty Advisory, and a three-sport coach
  • Ty Thayer: Breck student from '85 to '89, Lower School faculty member since '01, Lower School Multicultural Resource, Breck representative to the Minnesota Independent Schools Association of the Central States, and member of the Minnesota Association of Independent Schools
How was the search firm selected?

The Board of Trustees solicited proposals from and conducted broad research on national search firms. Members of the Board and the search committee reviewed proposals, conducted phone interviews, and invited six firms to campus for in-person interviews. Following reference checks, Maya Tester ’81 and chair of our search committee made a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for formal approval. Educators’ Collaborative (EC) represented the best combination of relevant experience and value proposition for our community and were selected as our search consultants.

EC is a nationally-known search consulting firm specializing in finding heads for independent schools like Breck. John Mackenzie and Marcus Hurlbut of EC have been engaged to assist us with the search. Both consultants have, themselves, headed independent schools and together they bring over 70 years of experience working in independent education. Both have been and remain active in regional and national independent school boards and organizations.

EC will provide guidance to the Search Committee on format, logistics, procedures and best practices in the search process. In addition, they will interview candidates, call references and are engaged throughout the interview process to support the Search Committee. Educators’ Collaborative will also assist in the assimilation of our new Head of School after he or she has been hired.

What is the scope of the search?

The search for our new Head of School is international in scope, considering both traditional independent school candidates and candidates from other sectors. It is our goal to make the search as transparent as possible with opportunities for community updates and feedback along the way. Confidentiality, however, remains a critical component for success, as potential candidates may not be actively looking for a new position. As such, the Search Committee will not comment on candidates participating (or not participating) in the search.

How can I be involved in the process?

The Board of Trustees is committed to making this an inclusive process and will provide opportunities for community input through in-person and electronic means. The first opportunities will occur when our search consultants from EC visit the school on September 6 and 7 to learn more about Breck’s strengths as well as the opportunities facing the school now and in the years ahead. There will be faculty, alumni, parent and community meetings during this time. Following the visit, all members of the school community will be invited to share their thoughts about the school and the search through a confidential online survey administered by our EC consultants. The link to this survey will be communicated shortly after school begins.

Throughout this process we will seek to find an appropriate balance between soliciting community input and respecting the privacy of the candidates. This latter consideration is essential to developing the strongest possible candidate pool. If, at any point in the process, you would like to contact Maya and the Search Committee, feel free to email directly to maya.tester@breckschool.org

How will the search committee evaluate candidates?

Candidates will be evaluated based on how well their skills and characteristics match those desired by the school community. Those skills and characteristics are identified from the survey responses and constituent interviews conducted by our EC consultants.

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

Each search process has its own unique pace and timing. Below is a general overview of our process, although the time frames may shift if necessary.

August 2016

  • Search Committee formed
  • Search firm hired
  • Preliminary advertisements posted by search firm publicly

September 2016

  • Search firm conducts two-day campus visit to meet with representatives from each of the school’s main constituencies.
  • Community-wide online survey conducted
  • Additional data gathered from various constituent groups
  • Formal Head of School announcement notice written and disseminated nationally and internationally

Fall 2016

  • Search firm collates candidate submissions, analyzes credentials and checks references
  • Search firm recommends a pool of candidates to the Search Committee
  • Search Committee reviews pool of candidates and selects a group for further consideration
  • Search Committee conducts interviews of semi-finalist candidates and proposes finalists
  • Search Committee and representatives of constituent groups participate in finalist interviews on campus

December 2016 through Winter 2017

  • Based on finalist interviews, secondary reference checking and other relevant data regarding the candidates, the Search Committee makes a recommendation to the Board for a formal ratification and appointment
  • Our goal is to complete the search process and announce the appointment of a new Head of School no later than January 2017, and perhaps earlier. If necessary, we will extend our deadlines, since we are committed to taking sufficient time to select the best possible new Head of School.

After approval by the Board of Trustees, the Head of School-Elect is announced publicly, with the expectation that he/she will assume office on or about July 1, 2017.