January 2019 Search Update
Dear Rowland Hall Families and Friends,
We hope 2019 is off to a wonderful start for all of you. As we begin the year, we want to provide an update on the head of school search.
Over the past several weeks, the consultants at Carney Sandoe, Jennifer Christensen and Bob Fricker, have been working with our search committee to prepare the head of school position statement. This document serves as a primary tool in the recruitment process, offering potential candidates a glimpse into our school community and culture.
Jennifer and Bob used information gleaned from the recent community survey and their on-campus interviews to shape the content of the position statement. The final product reflects the strong consensus that Rowland Hall is a dynamic, thriving school, committed to academic excellence, recruiting and retaining skilled and passionate teachers, and creating a diverse and inclusive learning environment for all. In their recruitment of candidates, Bob and Jennifer are looking for individuals who possess the characteristics we seek in our next head of school. According to the survey results, these include: strong leadership and communication skills, the ability to inspire and engage all constituents across the community, educational vision, and a knack for team-building. You can find the full position statement via the link on the right.
We are pleased with our progress thus far and look forward to reviewing candidate materials in the coming weeks. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the search committee, we invite you to reach out via email at email@example.com.
Katie Lieberman and Laura Snow Prosper
Co-chairs, Head of School Search Committee
The search for our next head of school is off to a great start. Our consultants from Carney Sandoe & Associates, Jennifer Christensen and Bob Fricker, appreciated the opportunity to meet and talk with over 100 people during their campus visit in November. Thank you to all who took the time to meet with them. Bob and Jennifer were impressed with the warmth and dedication of our school community and, like us, are excited for Rowland Hall's future.
The position statement is under development and will be shared when it is finalized—most likely in early January 2019. In the meantime, any interested candidates should send the following materials to Bob Fricker and Jennifer Christensen. Please do not contact the school directly.
- A cover letter expressing their interest in this particular position;
- A current résumé;
- A one-page statement of educational or leadership philosophy and practice;
- A list of five professional references with name, phone number, and email address of each (references will not be contacted without the candidate’s permission).
General questions or comments about the search process can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Snow Prosper
Head of School Search Committee Co-Chairs
Dear Members of the Rowland Hall Community,
I hope the first few months of school have been joyful and productive for you and your families. Since Alan Sparrow announced his retirement at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, fellow board members and I have been busy setting the stage for a successful head of school search process. Today, I am excited to share some important updates with you.
First, we have retained the leading national recruitment firm of Carney, Sandoe & Associates to guide Rowland Hall through the search process. The principal consultants working with us are Bob Fricker and Jennifer Christensen, who together bring a wealth of experience leading executive searches and a strong network of connections throughout independent schools. We've been impressed with their enthusiasm and understanding of our school culture and community, and they are eager to partner with us. Bob and Jennifer will be visiting campus November 13-15 to meet with many members of our community and gain a broader perspective of our needs and wishes for the next head of school. Keep an eye on your inbox for additional information about opportunities to meet with Bob and Jennifer, along with a community-wide survey that will be sent by the end of this month.
Second, I am delighted to announce we have formed our search committee, to be co-chaired by two outstanding board members: Katie Lieberman and Laura Snow Prosper. An active leader in the nonprofit community, Katie runs a private psychotherapy practice and is the mother of three daughters—two of whom attend Rowland Hall. Laura, who also has a daughter at our school, is a former McCarthey Home and School co-president, and is a senior administrator at the University of Utah, where she has worked for nearly three decades.
Katie, Laura, and I are honored to serve alongside the following committee members who represent the Rowland Hall faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees:
John Bird, Board member
Isabelle Buhler, 4PreK lead teacher
Jij de Jesus, Lower School Principal
Mary Lawlor, sixth-grade English teacher
Rob Mellor, Upper School art teacher
Lisa Miranda, Associate Director of Admission
Saba Siddiqui, Board member
Christopher Von Maack, alumnus and Board member
The search committee is responsible for ensuring a thorough process, vetting potential candidates, and making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for the final hiring decision. Please be assured that we are committed to an inclusive process. We welcome your thoughts, questions, and suggestions throughout the year. As our timeline and other search-related details evolve, we invite you to visit rowlandhall.org/headsearch to find contact information and updates on our progress.
Rowland Hall is an extraordinary school and this is an exciting time in its history. On behalf of our Head of School Search Committee, we look forward to collaborating with you on this endeavor. Thank you being part of our school community.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Questions or comments? Contact us at email@example.com.
Head of School Alan Sparrow Announces Retirement
Dear Members of the Rowland Hall Community,
After 26 years of being privileged to lead this wonderful school, I've decided it's time to retire. Next year, the 2019-2020 school year, will be my last as head of school at Rowland Hall. I look forward to spending more time with my family and developing my skills as an executive coach.
In some ways this is the hardest decision I have made, since coming to school every day has been a joy for 26 years and still is. On the other hand, I feel I've done my best to help the school grow and improve, and it feels like the right time to start the next chapter of my life. The school has an outstanding faculty and staff. The Board of Trustees couldn't be stronger or more visionary. It is an excellent time to make the transition.
In 1990, I was looking for an opportunity to lead a school I would want my own children to attend. I was seeking a community where they would be nurtured and challenged and where they would thrive both personally and academically. I found that school in Salt Lake City and was fortunate enough to be offered the position of head of school at Rowland Hall starting on July 1, 1992.
At that time, the titles of headmaster and headmistress were used as much or more than the title head of school. When I was asked what I wanted on my nameplate, I said I wanted the title head learner. For the past 26 years I feel that's been my most important role.
This position has been a dream job for me. I work with people every day who want to learn, grow, and become the best they can be. I feel I've been the conductor of an outstanding orchestra that has improved every year I've been here. And though the conductor is necessary to coordinate the efforts of the musicians, they are the ones that make the beautiful music. I have been so fortunate to have an incredibly talented group of ”musicians” to work with over the years.
It is a privilege to be a member of this nurturing community where there is a commitment to helping each child reach their potential. I thank all of the faculty, staff, and board members who have made this journey so rewarding. I also want to let all the students and parents who have been a part of my life over the past 26 years know how much I appreciate their commitment to being positive, contributing members of this community.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank my wife, Nancy. As a fellow educator and my partner, she has been my most important advisor and supporter. Whatever success I've had here has only been possible because of her commitment to helping me do the best I could for the school.
I look forward to working with all of you over the next two years to continue to strive for excellence at Rowland Hall and to make the transition to a new head of school successful.
Head of School
A Message from the Board Chair
Dear Rowland Hall Families and Friends,
When Alan informed the Board of Trustees of his decision to retire at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, my reaction was one of both excitement for him and sadness at losing our longtime head of school. I knew this day would come, but I was not looking forward to it.
I am so grateful to Alan for the dedication and enthusiasm he has brought to our community for nearly three decades, and I feel fortunate to have worked alongside him during my time as Board Chair. He has made Rowland Hall a joyful place to learn and grow, creating a culture where both adults and children feel known, nurtured, and inspired to be their best selves.
Under Alan’s leadership, school enrollment grew steadily throughout the 1990s and 2000s, holding steady today at nearly 950 students. As enrollment grew, Alan prioritized greater equity and inclusion, and today 25 percent of our student body identifies as people of color. Alan challenged every person at Rowland Hall to follow his model as head learner and subsequently doubled our spending on faculty and staff professional development. He oversaw the renovation and construction of multiple campus facilities, including the opening of the McCarthey Campus in 2002 and the Steiner Athletic Fields in 2014, and did so while keeping the school debt-free and growing our endowment. Bravo, Alan, on a job well done.
Alan has created a strong foundation for Rowland Hall, positioning the school exceptionally well for its next chapter. I look forward to continuing to work with him for the next 18 months, as we make a smooth transition to our next leader—and I also look forward to celebrating Alan’s accomplishments and thanking him and his wife Nancy for their exceptional service to our school.
The head of school position at Rowland Hall will be an exciting opportunity for talented educators within the independent school community, and the Board of Trustees is confident that we will attract a pool of top candidates. We are in the process of forming a search committee and researching consultants to help lead us through the recruitment process. You can expect to hear more details, and a projected timeline for our search, in the coming weeks.
Chair, Board of Trustees