Head of School Search
On January 14, 2020, Thayer Academy Head of School Ted Koskores ‘70 P ‘10, ‘13 announced that he will conclude his 18-year tenure at the end of the next school year, on June 30, 2021. The Board of Trustees has retained Spencer Stuart, a highly regarded national search firm, to work with the Academy’s Search Committee to find a new Head of School. This page will be updated periodically to provide news and information regarding the search. Please feel free to contact the search committee at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
January 14, 2020
Dear Thayer Community,
I write to share the news that next year, on June 30, 2021, I will be stepping away from my position as Head of School after what will have been eighteen very fulfilling years in that role. My wife, Karen, and I will be leaving with cherished memories.
Connections to Thayer run deep in our family. My brother, Nick ’63, and I graduated from Thayer; in 2003, I was honored to be the first Thayer alumnus appointed as Headmaster; Karen has worked here as the Gallery Director and an art teacher for the past sixteen years; and our children, Tom ’10 and Kristina ’13, are both alumni -- as is our future daughter-in-law, Allie Menard ’10.
During my time here, I have been privileged to work with remarkably capable and committed teachers, staff, and fellow administrators; outstanding Trustees; supportive alumni; and caring parents. Especially meaningful has been the opportunity to participate in the journeys of the bright, aspirational, and warm-hearted students who inspire us on a daily basis.
To that latter point, there is nothing more rewarding for educators than to nurture students. Those rewards are particularly abundant at Thayer, where our school culture is representative of the larger society of which we are a part and exudes a reverence for academics and a commitment to the arts, athletics, and service. More special still, however, is that ours is a culture that accents the importance of participation, mutual support, and affirmation as the key ingredients to building a caring and sound community. In sum, we teach that life is a team sport. Working with others to enrich further this vibrant culture has been the most gratifying experience over my forty-four years in teaching.
With all that said, I am eager to pursue the opportunities that lie ahead of me over the next year and a half. To cite just a few: reinforcing the highest standards of kind and respectful behavior within our community, furthering new experiential and interdisciplinary programs, moving closer to significant upgrades of our Middle School facilities, and expanding the pool of giving in support of the Academy’s mission.
Karen and I are thankful for the years we have already spent here; and in the months to come, we look forward to adding even more fond memories of this special community.
Ted Koskores ’70, P ’10, ’13
Head of School
January 14, 2020
Dear Members of the Thayer Academy Community:
It has been my privilege to know and work with Ted over the last decade, first as a Thayer parent and then as a Trustee and Chair of the Board of Trustees. Ted has been a tremendous leader who has helped shape Thayer both as a top-tier academic institution and a vibrant and inspiring community.
Under Ted’s leadership, Thayer has accomplished a great deal. We attract and maintain an exceptional faculty. The professional development of this faculty is one of his highest priorities, and our families benefit from this commitment and foresight. We have achieved high levels of enrollment and brought together a diverse, cohesive, and collaborative student body. The recent addition of the fifth grade only adds to the dynamic nature of our school. Ted consistently enhances Thayer’s academic programming, reflected by the school’s continuing commitment to cross-disciplinary, experiential, and global learning opportunities. All of Ted’s efforts create an environment that engages students, faculty, and families in the most welcoming, energetic, and productive ways.
Ted has been instrumental in our efforts to strengthen our programs and community through enhanced facilities. During his tenure, extraordinary building projects -- both in scope and number -- have transformed the campus and benefited virtually every area of school life. Thayer also has achieved record results in philanthropy in support of these projects, enhancing the school’s well-being and contributing to the Academy's long-term strength.
Ted’s presence and impact is immediately apparent as you sit in on a class, chat with a student, cheer our athletes, attend a parent-teacher conference, watch our students perform on stage, or visit an art exhibition. Thayer’s current level of excellence is a direct result of his hard work, commitment, and leadership over the past seventeen years.
As we launch the search for the next Head of School, the Board of Trustees is ready to execute one of our most important duties. We are excited by this opportunity and eager to begin. We are confident that Thayer will attract qualified applicants nationwide and that we will have a strong pool of candidates to consider. We expect to announce our next Head of School in the fall of 2020.
The Board interviewed several national search firms to assist with the process and has retained Spencer Stuart. Spencer Stuart is highly regarded and has participated in several of the most recent ISL and local Head of School searches. Board members Michael Joe P ’17, ’20 and Jen Havlicek P ’18, ’21, ’21 will chair the Search Committee. I also will serve on this committee. We will soon announce additional members of the Search Committee (which will include other Board members, faculty, and staff), as well as the next steps in the search. There will be opportunities for you to provide input as we move through this important process. We encourage each of you to participate and welcome your viewpoints. Your involvement is critical to ensure that Thayer’s next Head of School reflects our commitment to academic excellence, our unique culture, and our future goals. The Board has posted FAQs and other information about the search process on the school website to answer your immediate questions, and we will update the site as this process unfolds. Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com with any additional questions.
We will have many opportunities to thank Ted and celebrate his contributions. I know he has many things he wants to accomplish over the next eighteen months as he continues to move Thayer Academy forward.
Selecting a new Head of School represents an important milestone as we both honor Ted and choose the next Head of the Academy. I welcome the opportunity to work with you on this critical endeavor.
Melissa Bayer Tearney P ’14
Chair, Board of Trustees
Michael Joe P '17, '20
Jen Havlicek P '18, '21, '21
Donavan Brown '01
Kevin Cedrone P '22
Upper School Math and Computer Science Department Head
Middle School English Department Head
Elaine DeLuca P '20, '21
Joseph Farmer P '23
Maureen Keleher P '24, '26
Upper School English & Foreign Language Faculty, Class Dean
Brendan McDonough '87 P '18, '22
Michael McNally P '22, '24, '27
Melissa Bayer Tearney P '14
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Director of International Student Enrollment
- 1. Who will select the new Head of School?
- 2. What is the role of the search firm?
- 3. How will community members be able to provide input?
- 4. What are you looking for in a new Head of School?
- 5. When do you expect to announce a new Head of School?
- 6. How can I keep updated on the search process?
- 7. How do I share any questions or comments regarding the search?
The Board of Trustees is responsible for selecting the next Head of School. To manage this process, the Board has established a Search Committee that will recommend a Head of School candidate to the Board. Board members Michael Joe P ’17, ’20 and Jen Havlicek P ’18, ’21, ’21 are co-chairs of the Search Committee, and Board Chair Melissa Bayer Tearney P ’14 is also serving on the committee.
The Search Committee is comprised of selected members of the Board and also from the faculty/staff. Committee selection was based on diverse viewpoints; complementary skill sets; and a commitment to the hard work required to gather input from the community, select and interview candidates, and make a final recommendation.
The Board interviewed several national search firms to assist with the search process and has retained Spencer Stuart. Spencer Stuart is a highly regarded search firm and has assisted with several of the most recent ISL and local Head of School searches.
As a first step, the Search Committee and Spencer Stuart will gather input from the community regarding the ideal profile of the next Head of School and develop an understanding of the most critical school opportunities and challenges. Next, Spencer Stuart will assist the Committee in creating a position description and articulating a search strategy that reflects the community’s feedback. Spencer Stuart will then spend time in the market, speaking with people about the opportunity, assessing the capabilities of interested prospects, and developing a diverse pool of potential heads for the Search Committee to consider. Spencer Stuart will guide the Search Committee as it gets to know the candidates through a series of interviews, additional meetings, and references. Finally, the search firm will assist the school through the final stages of contract negotiations, announcements, and onboarding.
Under the direction of the Search Committee, and with assistance from Spencer Stuart, the search process will include active solicitation of input from all stakeholders (board members, parents, faculty, staff, students, and alumni). This will begin with on-campus meetings, during which those interested will be able to provide suggestions as to the desired qualifications and characteristics of a new Head of School. These meetings will be supplemented with an online survey. Please be on the lookout for future updates regarding next steps.
Defining the desired qualifications and characteristics of the new Head of School is our first step. The Search Committee will actively seek input on this topic from parents, board members, faculty, staff, students and alumni. This is an important goal of the search process. We strongly encourage you to participate in the opportunities that will be provided to share your ideas.
At a few critical milestones, we will reach out to the community via email; however, on an ongoing basis, information will be available on the Thayer website (thayer.org/about/head-of-school-search).
We will do our best to keep the community apprised of our process, but it is important to recognize that some parts of the process will be highly confidential.
Dear Thayer Community,
We hope that everyone is staying healthy and hopeful during this uncertain period, a time when we will move forward together. As the Academy transitions to its new distance learning program, ThayerConnect, we want to provide a few updates regarding the search for our next Head of School.
Position Specification: Many thanks to those of you who met with members of the Spencer Stuart executive search team during their visits to campus. Over the past months, nearly 30 meetings were held on campus with faculty, students, administrators, staff, alumni, parents, and board members to hear about people's aspirations for the school and its next Head of School. In addition, an online survey was shared with the community; more than 300 responses were received, with more responses from students expected in the coming weeks. These conversations and survey submissions are instrumental in shaping our thinking about the ideal profile and informed the Position Specification for our next Head of School, which we are pleased to share with you below. Our consultants from Spencer Stuart are eager to start engaging in conversations with prospects.
Search Committee Membership: We are pleased to announce that Maureen Keleher P '24, '26 (US English, Foreign Language, Class Dean) and Elaine DeLuca P '20, '21 (Trustee) have joined the Head of School Search Committee. We thank them for agreeing to invest their time and energy to this important endeavor, and we know that we will all benefit from the greater input and perspective they bring.
COVID-19: At this time, we do not anticipate that the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will impact our timeline and search process. That said, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as appropriate.
We greatly appreciate those who have been able to participate in this process and look forward to hearing from those who have yet to do so. We welcome your comments, feedback, and nominations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Joe P '17, '20, Trustee
Jen Havlicek P '18, '21, '21, Trustee
Head of School Search Committee Co-Chairs