Head of School Search

In December 2018, Dr. Lee M. Levison announced his retirement as Headmaster of Collegiate School. Below you can find his announcement, along with the accompanying letter from Jonathan Youngwood '85, President of the Board of Trustees.

We will use this page to keep our community up todate on our search for Collegiate’s 29th Head of School. Led by a 10-person search committee and assisted by the search firm Carney, Sandoe & Associates, Collegiate will conduct a world-wide search in our efforts to bring the School new leadership.

Communications

List of 7 items.

  • A Letter from Headmaster Lee M. Levison

    December 4, 2018

    Dear Members of the Collegiate community,
     
    The 2019-2020 academic year, my fourteenth, will be my last at Collegiate.

    There, I wrote it. No easing into it with a prolix prologue. Short and to the point. Of course, such a decision is anything but straightforward. The word “retirement” provides clarity, but my intention is to continue to work in some capacity other than as a school head, which will have been my professional title for 28 years in June 2020. Barb and I look forward to beginning the next chapter of our lives in Maine. I believe that the time is right for the school to do the same—to commence the next dynamic chapter in its storied history.

    I want most, in this letter, to express my gratitude:

    To the three Board presidents I have had the good fortune to work with since 2006: David Forer ’69, Gar Bason ’72, and Jon Youngwood ’85. Their selfless service to the school cannot be adequately described but to say that their wise counsel, unstinting support, moral clarity, and beneficent leadership were—and are—indispensable to the life of the school. Gar Bason’s decade of extraordinary leadership and service to the school defies any suitable expression of gratitude. My life was enriched immeasurably by this partnership.

    To all who served on the Board of Trustees since 2005: Thank you for your genuine commitment to and hard work on behalf of the school. Your service enables the school’s continual evolution and improvement.

    To my colleagues on the faculty: Your efforts to inspire your students to know and understand are the heart of the school. Your intellectual commitments and your respect for the boys are palpable and paramount in their lives. Your generous commitment of time to your students beyond the classroom is absolutely appreciated by your students and their parents. My colleagues on the senior leadership team (i.e., Admin) demonstrate every day their resolute commitment to fulfilling the commitments made in our Statement of Beliefs. More personally, their counsel to me is much appreciated—and essential.
    To the staff: Your dedication to the school and your hard work are vital in shaping the culture of pride in our community. You care and that caring imbues everything you do and how you do it.

    To the students: Your curiosity, ambition, joy, and energy nourish your teachers. Your devotion to one another and to the school makes Collegiate a most special community. At your best, you make each other better in all ways.
     
    To parents: Thank you for your faith in and tireless commitment to the school. Thank you for embracing Collegiate’s values and goals.
     
    To alumni: I recognize that affections for one’s school change over time, but what is clear to me is that, regardless of where one might fall on the “Collegiate devotion scale,” the fervent feelings of alumni about Collegiate and classmates breathe an indispensable and sustaining energy into our community. In addition, the ongoing interest in and commitment to the school demonstrated by your parents through the Parents of Alumni group are remarkable and, of course, meaningful.

    To Ben, Sam, and Liza, my children: You keep me humble and make me proud. Thank you for your gracefulness in navigating the sometimes complicated moments during your school years due to my work. Your love and support mean more than you will ever know.
    To Barb: My best friend and indefatigable support. You believe in me when I am filled with doubt. I could not have done this work without your love and support. Period. Thank you is completely insufficient.

    It has been a privilege to be a part of the Collegiate community. I have been blessed to do work that I love, even on days when love is not necessarily in the air! I am honored to be a member of the Collegiate faculty and community. My focus during the next 18 months will be to work with my colleagues to narrow the gap between what we say in the Statement of Beliefs and what we do each day. My hope is for us to live those 106 words, making them part of who we are and what we do at school—and beyond 301 Freedom Place South.

    Thank you. Thank you for your many kindnesses to me.
     
    With deep appreciation,

    Lee M. Levison
    Read More
  • A Letter from the President of the Board of Trustees

    December 4, 2018

    Dear Members of the Collegiate Community,
     
    I write on behalf of the Board of Trustees concerning Dr. Lee Levison’s announcement that the 2019-20 school year will be his last as our Headmaster.  Joining us in 2006, Dr. Levison is the only head that our present students, and most of our current parents, have ever known. He has and continues to work tirelessly on behalf of our boys, our faculty, administration, and staff, as well as our broader community.
     
    There will be many opportunities between now and June 2020 to fully recognize and celebrate Dr. Levison’s many contributions.  First and foremost, he has been an exemplary steward of our mission, fostering the energy, respect, and curiosity that our faculty and students share with each other every day.  Dr. Levison embodies the character of Collegiate and our embrace of respect, kindness, humility and integrity.
     
    Any discussion of Dr. Levison’s tenure would not be complete without reference to our magnificent new home at 301 Freedom Place South.  His leadership enabled the School to move not just its address, but its soul. The vision, courage, and pure grit necessary to move our community from its home of more than a century to our modern building speak for themselves.  We now have a state-of-the-art, flexible K-12 facility that will be a home for our boys for many decades to come.
     
    On a personal note, I am grateful to Lee for the time and guidance he has offered to the Board (past and present), and to me and prior Board presidents.  His wisdom runs deep.
     
    In announcing his plans now, Dr. Levison has given the Board ample opportunity to conduct a thoughtful and successful search for his successor.  We are in the process of forming a Search Committee, which I will chair and which will report to the full Board and its Executive Committee.  The Search Committee will consist of other board members, parents (current and former), alumni, and faculty.  It will be assisted by an experienced search firm.  We expect to select our next Headmaster before the end of 2019, allowing for an effective and smooth transition.  Our work will be informed by input we seek from all of you.  And, within the confines of what at many times will need to be a highly confidential process, we will seek to provide appropriate communication and, when possible, transparency.
     
    The transition from one longtime head of school to another is necessarily a time of reflection and, potentially, inflection. As with any moment of change, there will be aspects of uncertainty. The process the Board is putting in place will be a deliberate one.  The search is an opportunity for us to recognize who we are today and to explore where we need to go.  We will focus not only on our deeply rooted strengths and proud tradition, but, as importantly, on new educational goals for the world in which our children will live.
     
    Our Statement of Beliefs, reformulated under Dr. Levison, reflects our priorities.  We believe in a diverse and just community that fosters purposeful and spirited engagement. We strive for education that prepares our students to be citizens who act with conscience, courage, and compassion.  That is Collegiate School at its best, and that is the school we will continue to be.
     
    The Board and I look forward to working with the entire community in the months to come.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Jonathan K. Youngwood '85
    President, Board of Trustees
    Read More
  • March 8, 2019 Update

    March 8, 2019

    Dear Members of the Collegiate Community,

    I write on behalf of the Board and the Search Committee to share with you our position statement, which is the formal job posting for our next head of school. The statement is now on our website and will be distributed to potential candidates.
     
    As I noted last week, with this step completed, we will begin the process of considering specific individuals. Now that we are in this confidential stage, by necessity, there will be much less that the search committee will be able to share.
     
    Thank you again for your continued support of our school. Please feel free to use the search committee email address (headsearch@collegiateschool.org) to share any further thoughts as we move forward.
     
    Jonathan K. Youngwood '85
    Chair, Search Committee
    President, Board of Trustees
    Read More
  • February 28, 2019 Update

    February 28, 2019

    Dear Members of the Collegiate Community,
     
    I write again with an update on the head of school search process, primarily to share with you some of the high level results of the survey so many of you completed.  At this  link, you can see some of the highlights of the survey responses (top 6 responses in each category), as well as a one-page summary of  some general impressions regarding the strengths and challenges facing the school gathered from the Carney, Sandoe visit earlier this month.
     
    These responses and impressions demonstrate the importance of our historic values, traditions and priorities, as well as our challenges for the future.  The strengths of our school begin with solid foundations — our standards of excellence, the curiosity of our students and faculty, and the values embodied in our Statement of Beliefs.  Yet, as recent events and discussions at Collegiate and other independent schools in New York City illustrate, we need to work continually to be a more diverse, just, and inclusive environment.  These are the considerations foremost in the mind of the search committee and the board as we continue our work.

    Before spring break, we will share with you the finalized statement that will serve as the formal job posting for our next head of school.  With that step completed, we will be deeply immersed in the search.  By necessity, my communications may become less frequent and less detailed given the need for confidentiality in order to attract the best candidates.  The search committee email address (headsearch@collegiateschool.org) will remain available to the community to share any thoughts during the process.  

    Thank you again for your continued support of our school and of this search process.
     

    Jonathan K. Youngwood '85
    Chair, Search Committee
    President, Board of Trustees
    Read More
  • February 4, 2019 Update

    February 4, 2019

    Dear Members of the Collegiate Community, 

    I write on behalf of the Board of Trustees and the search committee to once again update you on our head of school search process. As I previously shared, we have retained Carney, Sandoe & Associates to assist us, and I am pleased to detail below the ways in which the firm will continue their work learning about our community.
     
    First, representatives of Carney, Sandoe will visit the School on February 11th and 12th. In addition to meeting with our faculty, staff and students, Carney, Sandoe will be present at open meetings with our parents and alumni.
     
    Current parents will have the chance to share their thoughts on Monday, February 11th at either 8:20 a.m. or 6:00 p.m. at the School in the Main Dining Room. Alumni can join representatives of the firm at a reception on Tuesday evening, February 12th, also in the School’s Main Dining Room beginning at 6:30 p.m. More specific information on these events will follow in separate invitations.
     
    In addition, as part of the work of the search committee, we ask that you take a few minutes to complete this short survey. The survey will help inform and guide us as we move forward.
     
    Finally, should you have additional thoughts that you wish to share outside of the survey or in the coming months, we encourage you to either respond to this email or email headsearch@collegiateschool.org.
     
     
    Thank you in advance for your engagement with this process,
     
    Jonathan Youngwood '85
    Chair, Search Committee
    President, Board of Trustees
    Read More
  • January 25, 2019 Update

    January 25, 2019

    Dear Members of the Collegiate Community:
     
    I write on behalf of the Board and the Search Committee to update you on the Head of School search process and to inform you that we have retained Carney, Sandoe & Associates to assist us in our work.  Carney Sandoe is an internationally known educational recruiter for independent schools.  The Firm has worked with Collegiate in the past and knows our school and culture. 

    The Carney Sandoe team assisting us will be led by Devereaux McClatchey, who has more than 18 years of experience as a search consultant and is Carney Sandoe’s President.  Working with him will be Barbara Chase, who served as a head of school for more than 32 years, most recently at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts; Ben Bolte, who has personally worked with Collegiate previously; and Lawrence Alexander, who in addition to his search- consulting responsibilities plays a key role in Carney Sandoe’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.  In Devereaux, Barbara, Ben, and Lawrence, we have a diverse team that offers extensive experience in national searches for heads of independent schools, including schools in New York City.
     
    Our 10-person Search Committee will work closely with Carney Sandoe. The Search Committee will make recommendations to the Board of Trustees, which will make a final decision on our next head of school.
     
    This will be an inclusive process.  We are working with the Carney Sandoe team to schedule a multi-day visit to Collegiate in the next several weeks.  During that visit, our community (parents, students, alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators) will have the opportunity to share current views of Collegiate and visions for the future.  This information will be vital as we look to identify our next head of school.  Details about the visit will be shared shortly. 
     
    Jonathan Youngwood '85
    Chair, Search Committee
    President, Board of Trustees
    Read More
  • January 10, 2019 Update

    January 10, 2019

    Dear Members of The Collegiate Community,
     
    I write to update you on the search for our next Head of School. The following members of our community have agreed to serve on the search committee:
     
    • Ethan Berman, Parent of Alumni ('15, '17), current Trustee, and Chair of the Board Admissions and Financial Aid Committee
    • Ali Bhanji, Director of College Guidance
    • Jerry Bright '93, former Trustee and Chairman of the Collegiate Alumni Association
    • Sidney Child, Director of the Arts and Upper School Drama and English Faculty member
    • Karin DeMasi, Parent ('23, '24, '27, '31) and current Trustee
    • Melanie Hutchinson, Director of Teaching and Learning and former Lower School Curriculum Coordinator and First Grade Teacher
    • Josephine Linden, Parent of Alumni ('04, '12), current Trustee and former Board Treasurer
    • Beth Trilling, Middle School Mathematics Coordinator and Faculty member
    • Jonathan Youngwood '85, Parent ('19, '25) and President of the Board of Trustees
    • Rochelle Yu, Parent ('23), current Trustee and President of the Parent’s Association
     
    The committee has already begun to interview search consultants. We plan to select a firm shortly.  As I noted in my December 4 letter, the work of the Board and of the Search Committee will be informed by input we seek from all of you. We will be back to you once a consultant has been retained with further news regarding the search. We look forward to working with the entire community in the months to come.
     
    Many thanks and Happy New Year,
     
    Jonathan Youngwood '85
    Chair, Search Committee
    Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the timeline for the search?

    We expect to select our next Head of School before the end of 2019, allowing for an effective and smooth transition. 
  • Who is on the Search Committee?

    • Ethan Berman, Parent of Alumni ('15, '17), current Trustee, and Chair of the Board Admissions and Financial Aid Committee
    • Ali Bhanji, Director of College Guidance
    • Jerry Bright '93, former Trustee and Chairman of the Collegiate Alumni Association
    • Sidney Child, Director of the Arts and Upper School Drama and English Faculty member
    • Karin DeMasi, Parent ('23, '24, '27, '31) and current Trustee
    • Melanie Hutchinson, Director of Teaching and Learning and former Lower School Curriculum Coordinator and First Grade Teacher
    • Josephine Linden, Parent of Alumni ('04, '12), current Trustee and former Board Treasurer
    • Beth Trilling, Middle School Mathematics Coordinator and Faculty member
    • Jonathan Youngwood '85, Parent ('19, '25) and President of the Board of Trustees
    • Rochelle Yu, Parent ('23), current Trustee and President of the Parent’s Association
  • Who is leading the search process?

    Collegiate has retained Carney, Sandoe & Associates to assist us in our work. Carney Sandoe is an internationally known educational recruiter for independent schools. The Firm has worked with Collegiate in the past and knows our school and culture.

    The Carney Sandoe team assisting us will be led by Devereaux McClatchey, who has more than 18 years of experience as a search consultant and is Carney Sandoe’s President. Working with him will be Barbara Chase, who served as a head of school for more than 32 years, most recently at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts; Ben Bolte, who has personally worked with Collegiate previously; and Lawrence Alexander, who in addition to his search- consulting responsibilities plays a key role in Carney Sandoe’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. In Devereaux, Barbara, Ben, and Lawrence, we have a diverse team that offers extensive experience in national searches for heads of independent schools, including schools in New York City.

    Our 10-person Search Committee will work closely with Carney Sandoe. The Search Committee will make recommendations to the Board of Trustees, which will make a final decision on our next head of school.
  • Where can I find the position description?

    Interested applicants can see the position description and other pertinent information here.
  • Who do I contact with questions?

    Please email headsearch@collegiateschool.org with any questions or comments.

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