Who Should Be on Your Head of School Search Committee


The search for a new Head of School is a demanding task that requires hours of thought, consideration, and deliberation. The resulting decision can strengthen your organization’s culture, or sometimes, create dissatisfaction among staff members. Establishing a strong search committee is an essential step before selecting and interviewing candidates. Here are three suggestions to consider as you assemble a capable search committee.

1. Revisit your mission statement. 

Understanding the mission and vision of your school is a prerequisite to determining what type of candidate is best suited for the vacant leadership role. The mission statement is the stated, concrete purpose and overall intent for the school as a whole. Before being able to hire someone to lead a school towards its purpose, the current leadership team must fully understand what exactly that purpose is and the best way to achieve the campus’ goals. Only then will the search committee be able to find a candidate that can successfully align with the mission and vision of your campus.

2. Consider the size of your search committee. 

These members will be making important decisions that will affect the future trajectory of the school. Consider a balanced search committee, where no group is over or underrepresented. Our CEO and Founder, William Vanderbloemen says, “Make sure the committee is an odd number of people, to prevent any stalemates when taking any votes.” Once you have decided on the size of your committee, commit to the number and do not deviate from it. 

3. Assemble a diverse and mature team

Start by considering the demographics of your campus. You should include members from each area of the school’s constituencies. Be sure to ask for involvement from people who are able to make rational and thoughtful decisions. Teachers and staff who are credible because of the experience they possess are vital to have on your search committee. Key stakeholders should include:

  • Board members – It is important to have at least a few board members involved from the very beginning of the process.
  • Staff members – Involving a handful of committed staff members is always helpful because they can provide perspective on the daily atmosphere of the school.
  • Teachers – At least two teachers should be on the committee so that the entire staff feels they are being fairly represented in the search.

Finding the right person to join your team can be difficult and overwhelming in many cases. Vanderbloemen understands that every search is unique, which is why our full-time consultants spend the necessary time with your school to help determine what candidates are best suited for your organization. To connect with our expert search consultants, visit our Executive Search page. We are ready to serve you!