Oct 31, 2019

Head of School Search Update - October 31, 2019

Dear Members of the PDS Community,

On behalf of the PDS Search Committee, I am pleased to report on our progress in the search for our new Headmaster as well as provide you with an overview of the next steps in this process. Following the Board of Trustees’ formation of the Search Committee to lead the process of finding the next Headmaster, we have finalized the Search Committee’s membership to include the following Trustees.

  • John Alexander, Chairman of the Board of Trustees (Managing Director, Raymond James)
  • Michael Davis (Pastor, Downtown Church)
  • Earl Houston II (Shareholder, Martin Tate Morrow & Marston P.C.)
  • Susan Patterson (Community Volunteer)
  • Michael Stockburger (Senior Vice President, Westchester Group Investment Management)
  • Hunter Witherington ’92 (Partner, SSM Partners)
  • David Work ’67, Alumni Board Chair

Search Firm Selected

I am also excited to announce that the Search Committee has engaged The Education Group (TEG), a nationally-recognized search firm based in Nashville, to assist it in the search process. TEG was established in 1988 and provides search and executive coaching services specifically to independent schools. After interviewing numerous nationally-recognized search firms, we were impressed by and selected TEG based on its knowledge of PDS and our region, their experience and understanding of single-sex education, and their commitment of three consultants, including the firm’s president, to our search. A brief overview of the TEG team is below and I encourage you to learn more about the firm at www.educationgroup.com.

Overview of The Education Group Team

Dennis Campbell, Dave Davies, and Katherine Moncure Stuart will assist the Search Committee’s work. Dennis served as Headmaster at Woodberry Forest School, an all-boys middle and high school, for seventeen years and is the former Dean of Duke University Divinity School. Dennis is a senior consultant with TEG and has led multiple searches. Dave has served as Head of School at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in California and at Deerfield-Windsor School in Georgia. Dave has led national searches for sixteen senior administrative positions including four Heads of School, chaired the search for executive director of a symphony orchestra, and served on search committees for the Rector of an Episcopal Church and a University President. Katherine is the president of TEG. As a resident of Nashville who is married to a Head of School, she has a great understanding of and appreciation for Tennessee independent schools. As President of TEG, Katherine has been actively involved in both Head of School and senior administrative searches.

The Search Process and Timeline

Dennis, Dave and Katherine will be on campus November 12th and 13th to visit PDS as well as meet with the Board and Search Committee to plan the next steps of the search. Those next steps will include several additional visits to campus by the TEG team over the next few months to assist us in gathering input from all PDS constituencies. Your feedback and participation will be critical to the success of the search process, and I encourage you to take advantage of these future opportunities as they are scheduled. We will use the rest of 2019 to gather information, collect feedback, and determine the profile of the candidates we would like to identify and then expect to begin formal outreach to candidates in January which is the beginning of the typical season for recruiting a Headmaster / Head of School. Given that most candidates will be required to provide a one-year notice to their existing school (a standard practice in the independent school industry), an interim Headmaster may be required for the 2020–2021 school year. The Search Committee has taken this consideration into its broader planning and preparation steps for the full-time Headmaster search. Please be on the lookout for periodic future updates on the search process via e-mail and the PDS website.

The Board is committed to a thorough, communicative, and inclusive process. As such, your constructive feedback and ideas are welcomed throughout our search. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to steward this process on behalf of PDS, its amazing leaders and faculty and the broader PDS community. Thank you for your trust and support.

Michael Stockburger
Search Committee Chairman

Presbyterian Day School
4025 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111• 901-842-4600 Contact Us



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