The Board of Trustees (the “Board”) is responsible for selecting and hiring The Benjamin School’s next Head of School. The Board established a Search Committee comprised of current and former trustees that will manage the overall search process. The Search Committee selected Carney, Sandoe and Associates (“CS&A”), a leading search firm based in Boston, to assist in identifying qualified candidates and to also serve as consultants to the process along the way.
The Search Committee directs the search process from start to finish. The committee coordinates input from the various stakeholders of the School, works with CS&A to design the position profile, sort through the initial round of candidates vetted by the search firm, and conduct interviews with the semifinalists and finalists. At the end of the process, the Search Committee will present one broadly supported candidate to be confirmed by the Board of Trustees. Upon confirmation of the appointee, a transition committee facilitates the leadership transition and integration into The Benjamin School. A major role of the Search Committee is to keep the School community informed and engaged throughout the search process, while respecting the confidentiality of the candidate recruitment process.
The Search Committee solicited requests for proposals from several leading search firms. Following an extensive diligence process, the Search Committee selected Carney, Sandoe & Associates to serve as consultants in this search. CS&A is a well-established leader in the recruitments of heads of schools at independent schools across the country, and they have assigned two senior consultants dedicated to our search efforts, Marlene Shaw and Ben Bolté.
Carney, Sandoe & Associates provides advice to the Search Committee concerning format, logistics, procedure, and best practices in the search process. During their visit on campus February 19-20, the consultants will gather data from an online questionnaire and personal interviews to fully understand our community, culture and needs. Then, working closely with the Search Committee, they will translate the School’s mission, philosophy, and objectives into a leadership position profile. The consultants ensure that this Position Profile includes the personal characteristics and style required for the new Head to “fit” effectively with The Benjamin School culture and values. CS&A will interview and check references of all candidates before referring their credentials to the Search Committee for review. The consultants provide stakeholders who will be interviewing finalists detailed interview questions custom-designed to probe whether candidates possess the specific leadership qualities identified as required by the School. They help structure interviews, visits, and reference checks to ensure that these meet the candidates’ and the committee’s needs for information. The consultants also facilitate the flow of feedback between the candidates and the Search Committee.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for hiring the Head of School. Working closely with the Search Co-Chairs, the Board assures a high level of congruence between the School’s mission, core values, challenges and opportunities for The Benjamin School, and the desired candidate profile. The Board of Trustees will meet and review the finalist candidates, and acting on the recommendation of the Search Committee, will approve the appointment of The Benjamin School’s next Head of School.
On February 20, all faculty and staff will be invited to meet with our consultants to learn more about the search process and provide feedback to the consultants. All faculty and staff will be invited to complete the online questionnaire which will inform the Position Profile. The Search Committee has also established a Faculty Group comprised of teachers in the lower, middle and upper school divisions. The Faculty Group will meet with CS&A and interview the finalist candidates as part of the process. The Chair of the Faculty Group will also provide feedback along the way to our consultants and Search Co-Chairs. Throughout the search process, faculty and staff are encouraged to share their additional thoughts with the Search Co-Chairs via firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 19, parents of lower and middle school students will be invited to the Barker Performing Arts Center to hear from our search consultants and learn more about the search process. The following day, February 20, parents of middle & upper school students will be invited to Benjamin Hall to do the same. All parents will be invited to complete the online questionnaire which will inform the Position Profile. In addition, representatives of The Benjamin Parents’ Association will meet with candidates during the finalist campus visits in the fall. Throughout the search process, parents are encouraged to share their additional thoughts with the Search Co-Chairs via email@example.com.
Students will be asked to participate in different ways, depending upon what is most age appropriate. A group of students will be invited to meet with our consultants to offer their thoughts on qualities they would like to see in a new Head of School. The Search Committee also plans to involve students next fall to offer their insights during candidate site visits.
Alumni/ae will be asked to participate in the online questionnaire. Representatives of The Benjamin School Alumni Council will also meet with the consultants during their site visit and will meet with finalist candidates during their visits.
The search process started in January 2019 with the formation of the Search Committee. The first task was to diligence the many search firms and chose one with the best fit for our School. After extensive due diligence, the committee selected Carney, Sandoe and Associates.
The next significant step in the process will take place February 19-20 with on-campus meetings with our CS&A consultants, Marlene Shaw and Ben Bolté. The consultants will meet with a wide variety of Benjamin stakeholders to begin framing qualities the community is seeking in its next Head of School. The product of these conversations and the online questionnaire will lead to our Position Profile, and this publication will be used to connect with prospective candidates. The Position Profile will then be advertised both nationally and internationally as the consultants identify and recruit candidates in order to secure the best possible pool of applicants for the position. After spending the majority of the spring vetting potential candidates, the consultants will meet with the Search Committee in early summer to present the strongest potential candidates for the position. Interviews will then be conducted to identify semifinalists to present for in person visits to the Search Committee. The committee will then select several of the best candidates as finalists to visit our campus and to meet with the various stakeholders of the Benjamin community. CS&A and the Search Committee will then consolidate all feedback from the interviews. The Search Committee will recommend a final candidate to the Board of Trustees, based on interview feedback, for approval and, with good fortune, the announcement of a new Head of School will be made to our School community this coming fall.
We expect to introduce the finalists of the Head of School Search in the fall of 2019. Up until that point in the search the identity of candidates is confidential and known only to the Search Committee to protect the integrity of the process. It is the Search Committee’s hope that the finalist interviews will include involvement from a broad range of Benjamin stakeholders. However, our consultants have advised us that candidates are increasingly concerned about confidentiality even at the finalist stage of a search process. It is important to keep in mind that, while the finalists may have disclosed their candidacies to their direct supervisors, it can be very disruptive to a school community if teachers, staff members, parents, and students were also to learn that their head or another key administrator is involved in a search. The Search Committee may be faced with a choice between having a more “closed” process or losing exceptional candidates. The committee is committed to having as much involvement as possible from stakeholders beyond the Search Committee at the finalist stage, but we will have to make a determination about the structure of the finalist visits later in the search process.
Yes. We will be seeking the best qualified candidates across the nation. In addition, we will also likely see candidates that have experience with foreign schools. Our goal is to cast the widest net possible in finding our next Head of School. We recognize that South Florida is unique and, accordingly, we will seek people whose temperaments, values, and personal styles are compatible with our culture.
A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.