Head of School Search
Announcing Rowland Hall's Next Head of School
June 3, 2019
Dear Rowland Hall Families and Friends,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Head of School Search Committee, I am excited to announce the appointment of Michael “Mick” Gee as Rowland Hall’s next head of school, effective July 1, 2020. Mick currently serves as head of Allendale Columbia School in Rochester, New York, a position he has held since 2012.
The board’s decision came at the conclusion of an intensive search process we initiated last October when Alan Sparrow announced his upcoming retirement. We engaged the services of Bob Fricker and Jennifer Christensen of Carney, Sandoe & Associates to lead us through the recruitment process, beginning with their campus visit last November and subsequent community survey which helped shape our position statement for the head of school opportunity. We were thoroughly impressed with the breadth and depth of the applicant pool, which included sitting heads of school, experienced educators, and candidates from around the globe. After careful evaluation, we invited seven semi-finalists to interview in mid-April, and then narrowed the field to four finalists who each spent two days visiting campus between late April and early May.
The Head of School Search Committee was unanimous in its recommendation of Mick Gee. Throughout our comprehensive process, Mick emerged as the educational leader who best embodies the core attributes our school community seeks in our next head. The committee was particularly drawn to Mick's demonstrated capacity for visible and visionary leadership; his proven ability to inspire and engage all constituents across a school community with clear communication and authenticity; and his significant experience in innovative programming, specifically in curricular design, enrollment management, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
A native of the United Kingdom, Mick began his career in 1990 as a science teacher and then the chemistry department chair at Sutton Centre School in Nottingham, England. He worked at Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 1997 to 2012—first as a teacher, coach, and department chair, then as Upper School assistant director, and finally as Upper School director for 12 years.
Mick earned his master's in education leadership from Columbia University. He attended Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, where he earned his postgraduate certificate in education (the equivalent to a master of arts in teaching) and his bachelor’s in chemistry and analytical sciences.
During his campus visit, Mick impressed everyone with his confidence, humor, and in-depth responses to tough questions about the educational challenges facing students and teachers today. He is drawn to this leadership opportunity because of our school’s values and commitment to fostering both academic excellence and ethical citizenship. After spending time on campus, Mick reflected: “Rowland Hall struck me as a place where people care about students first. It is a forward-thinking and intentional community dedicated to preparing students for their futures, and to lead productive lives that have a positive impact on others.”
Mick, his wife Amy, and their daughter Madeleine are thrilled to be moving to Salt Lake City and joining our school community. “The positive energy and feeling of being welcome on campus was palpable,” Mick said. “We are not looking forward to waiting to get there!”
On behalf of everyone at Rowland Hall, I would like to thank our search committee co-chairs, Katie Lieberman and Laura Snow Prosper, for the outstanding leadership, collaborative energy, and thoughtful perspectives they brought to this critical process. We are also deeply grateful for the service of all our search committee members, who gave generously of their time and always kept the best interests of our students and families at the forefront of their minds. We thank Bob Fricker and Jennifer Christensen for recruiting stellar candidates and providing guidance and wisdom every step of the way. Last but not least, thank you to all the faculty, staff, parents, students, trustees, alumni, and friends who engaged in the search process, demonstrating your investment in Rowland Hall and helping candidates experience the very best of our school during their time on campus.
The Board of Trustees is planning opportunities for the entire community to get to know Mick and his family during the coming months. We also look forward to celebrating the 28-year tenure of Alan Sparrow throughout the next year. We know you will all join us in honoring the legacy Alan has built at Rowland Hall, which has positioned the school for an exceptionally bright future under new leadership.
Chair, Board of Trustees
- Final Steps in the Search Process—May 2019
- Moving into the Finalist Phase—April 2019
- Head Search Update: Selecting Semifinalist Candidates—April 2019
- Head of School Position Statement—January 2019
- Recruitment Process Underway—December 2018
- Announcement of Search Committee and Consultants—November 2018
- Head of School Alan Sparrow Announces Retirement—October 2018