As we head into winter and enjoy all the activities that come with it, please note that state guidelines require a PCR test for all individuals crossing state lines. Students will be required to submit a negative PCR COVID test to the health office before a student can return to campus every time they travel to a “High Risk” state. Learn more

Head of School Search FAQs

The goal of these FAQs is to anticipate some questions about the search for Brookwood’s next Head of School. We will be adding questions and answers throughout the search process.

Please submit your own questions to Jenny Perkin or Gavin McGrath at

Who is leading the search process?

The Board of Trustees is responsible for selecting and hiring Brookwood’s next Head of School. To facilitate the search process, the Board created a Search Committee that will recommend a Head of School candidate to the Board. The group is comprised mainly of trustees, with faculty, alumni and parent representatives. Working closely with this committee, the Board assures a high level of congruence between the School’s mission, challenges and opportunities for Brookwood, and the desired candidate profile. Recognizing that selecting our next leader is a critical milestone for the School, the Board plans to engage a search firm dedicated to recruiting heads of schools and other executive officers of schools and nonprofit organizations globally. We will announce the best suited consulting firm in the coming weeks.

Who is on the Search Committee?

The Search Committee consists of 10 individuals representing perspectives from all constituencies; current and past Trustees as well as other members of the broad Brookwood community.

  • Gavin McGrath ‘97, MBA, Search Committee Co-chair; Board of Trustees Finance Committee member; parent of Caroline ‘26 and Charlie ‘28
  • Jenny Perkin, M.S. Ed, Search Committee Co-chair; Board Committee on Trustees chair; parent of Jack ‘19, Cole ‘20 and Teddy ‘23
  • Molly Cook, PsyD, Board of Trustees Advancement Committee member; parent of Jael ‘26 and Meyer ‘28
  • John Corcoran, M.A., Board of Trustees Finance Committee member; parent of Eleanor ‘24
  • Sara Day, Parents’ Association vice president; parent of Maia ‘24 and Will ‘27
  • Ray Falconer, M.A., Upper School faculty (since 1999); Grades 5-8 Literacy Department Coordinator; parent of Kere ‘20 and Quinn ‘20
  • Katy Langhorst, MEd, Board Committee on Trustees member; parent of Max ‘21 and Anna ‘23
  • Monica Palmer, Ed.D, Board Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee member; Dean of Faculty at Governor’s Academy; parent of Blake ‘26
  • Moira Smith, M.S. Ed., Lower School faculty (since 2009); Grades PreK-4 Literacy Department Coordinator; parent of Miles ‘22, Owen ‘22 and Ruby ‘24
  • Chris Welles, Past Trustee 1996-2009; 2001-2002 Capital Campaign Co-chair, Past Board Committee on Trustees chair and Board Vice President; parent of Whitney ‘03, Caroline ‘04, George ‘06 and Wyatt ‘09

What is the expected timeline for the search process?

Search Process Timeline

September 24, 2019: Laura Caron shares that she will be leaving at the end of the academic year

October 3, 2019: A search committee comprised of current and former Board of Trustees members, faculty, parents, and parents of alumni is formed

October 2019: Search Committee selects consultants to partner within the search process, announcement is shared with the community

Winter 2020: A community-wide survey is conducted and interviews with constituent group representatives are held to inform the head of school position description

Spring 2020: Head of School position is posted

March 2020: Search partner receives applications, develops the pool of candidates, and reviews candidate credentials

April 2020: Semifinalist candidates are interviewed by the search committee and finalists for the position are selected

June/July 2020: Finalist candidates visit Brookwood for search committee and administrator interviews and community forums, with feedback collected

Summer 2020: The Board of Trustees votes to approve the hire of the next Head of School following a search committee recommendation

Fall 2020: Finalist is officially announced to the community as Brookwood’s seventh head of school, effective July 1, 2021

What is the role of the Search Committee?

The Search Committee directs the search process from start to finish. They will gather and coordinate input from Brookwood’s various constituencies, work with the search consultants to develop the Leadership Profile, review the initial round of candidates vetted by the search firm, and organize 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 candidate, the Committee facilitates the leadership transition and integration into the School. A major function of the Search Committee is to keep the Brookwood School community informed and engaged throughout the search process, while respecting the confidentiality of the candidate recruitment process.

What is the consultant’s role?

The consultant will provide advice to the search committee concerning format, logistics, procedure, and best practices throughout the search process. The consultants will gather data from an online questionnaire and personal interviews to better understand the Brookwood culture. Then, working closely with the Search Committee, they will translate the School’s mission, philosophy, and objectives into the Leadership Profile. The consultants ensure that the Leadership Profile includes the personal characteristics and style required for the new Head to “fit” effectively with the Brookwood School culture and values. Consultants interview and check references of all candidates before referring their credentials to the Search Committee for review. The consultants provide the Committee members with detailed interview questions designed to determine if candidates possess the specific leadership qualities identified by the Brookwood Community. They help structure interviews, visits, and references checks, and facilitate the flow of feedback between the candidates and the Search Committee. The consultant continues to advise Brookwood through the transition period for the new Head of School.

What is the Board’s role?

The Board of Trustees is responsible for hiring Brookwood’s next Head of School. The Board approved the formation of the Search Committee. Working closely with the Search Committee Co-Chairs, the Board assures a high level of congruence between the School’s mission, challenges and opportunities for Brookwood, and the desired candidate profile. The Board of Trustees will meet the finalist candidates in the fall of 2020 and, acting on the recommendation of the Search Committee, will vote to approve the appointment of Brookwood’s new Head of School.

What is the faculty, staff and adminstration’s role?

The faculty will remain actively engaged throughout the Search, from giving feedback and commentary to the search consultants during the information gathering stage prior to publication of the Leadership Profile, to meeting semifinalists and finalist candidates. Faculty, staff, and administrators will remain in close contact with the Search Committee throughout the process and will be represented on both the Search and Advisory committees.

What is the role of current parents?

Throughout the search process, parents are encouraged to share their thoughts with the Search Committee vial email to Gavin McGrath or Jenny Perkin. This winter, parents can complete the online questionnaire which will inform the Leadership Profile. Parent representatives will meet with the search consultants during the site visit and with candidates during the candidate site visits next fall.

What role will students play?

Students will be asked to participate in different ways, depending upon what is most age appropriate. Upper School representatives will meet with the search consultants during the site visit this winter. Finalist candidates will meet with student representatives next fall for a mutual exchange of insights during site visits. In addition, students are welcome to contact the Search Committee at any time with their input and thoughts on the next Head of School.

What is the role for Brookwood alumni?

Alumni will be asked to participate in the search, beginning with the online questionnaire. Alumni representatives will meet with the consultants during the winter visit and with candidates during the candidate visits next fall. There will be alumni representatives on both the Search and Advisory Committees.

How can I participate in the search process? How can I contribute?

All members of the Brookwood School community are encouraged to share their thoughts with Search Committee members. This winter, the community will be invited to complete an online questionnaire which will be available on our website.

Will I have a chance to provide input or ask questions during the search?

Yes. Throughout the process, Brookwood faculty, parents, and students will have ample opportunity to provide their feedback directly to the Search Committee, all of which will be carefully considered. It is also expected that during the candidate’s campus visits there will be an opportunity to meet with the semi-finalists.

When will the Brookwood School community get to meet the candidates?

We expect to introduce the finalists for the Head of School Search in September of 2020.

How will I stay updated about the Committee’s progress?

Regular updates, important documents, and announcements will be posted on the special Head of School Search page on Brookwood’s public website.