New Head


Meet our new Head of School Dan Quesnel


Dan and his wife, Ellyn, of fifteen years are the parents of two children who both currently attend FCDS. Their daughter, Emily, is in the 7th grade and their son, Nate, is in the 5th grade.

Letter from new Head of School

January 29, 2018

Dan Quesnel, Oakwood's Next Head of School
Dear Oakwood Parents,

I hope this letter finds everyone doing well and looking forward to what promises to be a fun-filled spring semester at The Oakwood School.

Since my appointment in December to be the next Head of School, I have been excitedly taking advantage of every opportunity to make the transition next summer go as smoothly as possible both for my family and the Oakwood community as a whole.

From a personal standpoint, my family and I have made several trips to Greenville to explore the area, begin our search for a new home, tour the school, and allow my two future Eagles, Emily and Nate, to spend a day with some of their soon-to-be classmates at Oakwood. My kids love their new Oakwood and ECU gear, and we are all finding that the transition from Lexington Barbecue to Eastern Barbecue suits us just fine. The highlight for all of us though was definitely December 5 when Mr. Peterson held an all-school assembly welcoming my family and me, and I even got to take questions from the students.

From a professional standpoint, I have immersed myself in an effort to become even better acquainted with the Oakwood community and the many constituent groups that comprise it. During the interview process, I was struck by how welcoming everyone was and how much everyone I met truly cared about Oakwood and each other. It was this sense of community more than any other factor that drew me to Oakwood. I have visited many schools in my career, but there is a palpable sense of community at Oakwood that I have never experienced on any other campus. This sentiment was echoed by my wife, Ellyn, and our children after their first visits as well. As a result, my first priority has been getting to know the community in the time I have between now and July 1, so I can better understand what makes it so special.

In addition to the interactions I had with people during the interview process and at the assembly I attended, I have also been in regular contact with a variety of people at Oakwood, including your current Head of School, Mr. Peterson, and Board President, Randy Fry. Earlier this month, I was fortunate to attend a terrific conference with Mr. Peterson, Mr. Fry, and several other Board of Trustee members that was sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools and focused on Board and Head transitions and retention. We also spent time with members of Oakwood's business office, who were there for their own separate conference.

In order to get to know the many people in the Oakwood community on a more personal level and let them get to know me better, I have planned several visits this spring to meet with small groups of constituents. Among the groups with whom I plan to meet are faculty, students, parents, Board members, administrators, and staff, and I am sure that list will grow. Many of these visits coincide with some of the great events that will be occurring at Oakwood this spring, like the musical Bye-Bye Birdie and the Blue Jean Ball Gala & Auction, while others simply work in my schedule.

The first of these visits will be February 18-19 when I hope you will join me as I hold separate Q & A parent sessions for each of the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. The locations and times of those discussions are as follows:
  • Upper School parents -- Sunday afternoon, February 18, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. in Tedder Library of Monk Hall
  • Lower School parents -- Monday morning, February 19, 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. in Extended Day Room of Monk Hall
  • Middle School parents -- Monday afternoon, February 19, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Tedder Library of Monk Hall
If you are free then, please stop by so we can spend some time together before I officially start at Oakwood this summer on July 1. I know you are all very busy though, so if I miss you this time, I hope to see you soon.

Best regards,



Dan Quesnel

New Head of School Announcement

December 4, 2017

Dear Oakwood Community:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Head of School Search Committee, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Daniel P. Quesnel as Oakwood's next Head of School, effective July 1, 2018. The Search Committee is certain that Dan's commitment to the development of the whole child, approachable and engaging style, and independent school experience will position him to lead Oakwood with excellence into our 23rd year and beyond.

Dan has worked at Forsyth Country Day School (FCDS) in Lewisville, N.C. since 2007. Initially a Middle School teacher, coach, and the school's General Counsel, Dan has served as Middle School Director and General Counsel since 2013. Dan oversees the affairs and budget of the Middle School, which consists of 200 students and 29 faculty and staff members. In the past few years, he has assisted the Head of School with restructuring and revitalizing the school and growing enrollment after a period of decline.

During his 10-years at FCDS, Dan has implemented initiatives focused on academic excellence, global mindedness, and character development. He worked with administrators and department chairs on curricula review and development; designed and implemented STEAM-related electives courses; and worked with the school's academic center to ensure students receive appropriate services and accommodations. Dan created an annual two-week cross-cultural exchange with a school from China, as well as a Middle School trip to Europe. Dan serves as Chair of FCDS's AdvancED/SAIS Reaccreditation Committee and participates as a member of the school's Admissions Committee, Academic Committee, Professional Growth Task Force, and Philanthropy Committee.

As the school's General Counsel, Dan has worked closely with other administrators and the Board of Trustees in various areas of risk management in school operations, as well as employment, financial, and insurance matters. He is an advisor to the Head of School regarding student discipline and also serves as a member of AdvancED/SAIS visiting accreditation committees for other schools.

Prior to Dan's independent school career, he was an Associate at the law firms Wall Esleeck Babcock, LLP in Winston-Salem; Bell, Davis & Pitt, PA in Winston-Salem; and Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, LLP in Charlotte where he practiced law for independent schools and business clients in corporate, real estate, financing, employment, and employee benefit matters. Dan received his J.D. at Wake Forest University School of Law in 1999 and his B.A. in Political Science at University of North Carolina - Asheville in 1996.

Dan and his wife, Ellyn, of fifteen years are the parents of two children who both currently attend FCDS. Their daughter, Emily, is in the 7th grade and their son, Nate, is in the 5th grade. In accepting this appointment, Dan said, "It was going to take a special opportunity at a truly exceptional school for my family to leave our home at FCDS. In visiting The Oakwood School and meeting the people here, it became quite clear what a special place Oakwood is. I could not be more excited for the chance to lead Oakwood and have my family become part of such a wonderful community."

Dan's unanimous selection by both the Search Committee and The Oakwood School's Board of Trustees was the culmination of a six-month process conducted in partnership with Wickenden Associates, a leading independent school search firm, whose fees were covered by an Oakwood donor. After conducting campus visits and an extensive community-wide survey, Wickenden launched a national search targeting nearly 150 educational leaders across the country regarding Oakwood's Opportunity Statement. Oakwood's strong reputation as a 21st century independent school serving eastern NC generated applications from 47 highly qualified candidates. The Head of School Search Committee pre-screened 18 short-listed candidates, invited nine semi-finalists to interview and tour the school over a long weekend in October, and conducted two 2-day finalist visits in October and November before ultimately reaching a unanimous recommendation to Oakwood's Board of Trustees to name Dan as our next Head of School.

I would like to personally thank The Oakwood School's Search Committee for their excellent work. Their commitment to this process allowed us to select a worthy successor to Rob Peterson, and we owe each of them a sincere thank-you for their time, effort and servant leadership on behalf of the Oakwood community.

Over the course of the next several months, a Welcoming and Transition Committee and our current Head of School, Rob Peterson, will work with Dan to ensure a smooth transition in leadership as he prepares to join us on July 1, 2018. Please join Oakwood's Board of Trustees in welcoming Dan, Ellyn, Emily, and Nate!

The entire Search Committee was mindful of the importance of this decision given the exceptional leadership displayed by Rob Peterson throughout his 10-year tenure with our school. We look forward to Dan's inspiring leadership next year as "we seek to instill in our students the strength of character, the creativity, and the wisdom to make a difference in the world."

Sincerely,

Randy Fry
President, Board of Trustees
Vice Chair, 2017-2018 Search Committee


2017-18 Board of Trustees:

Randy Fry, President
Patricia Rawls, Treasurer
Ira Adler
Jason Barnett
Faye Bordeaux
Chris Dyba
Laura Hanley Davis
Joy Karriker
Linda Kuhn
David Lamb
Karsin Landis
Ogi Obi
Kim Sayers
Kelli Smith
Jim Whitehurst
Xiaoming Zeng
Rob Peterson, Head of School (ex officio)
Eileen Van Houten, Past President (ex officio)

Head of School Search Committee


The Oakwood School 2017-2018 Search Committee

Dave Hunt, Chair
Current parent, past Trustee, past Board President (2015-2017)

Randy Fry, Vice Chair
Current parent, Trustee, Board President (December 1, 2017 to present)

Ira Adler
Current parent, Trustee

Alicia Hawk
Alumni parent, past Trustee, past Board President (2009-2012), administrator (Director of Advancement)

William Monk
Advisory Board member, past parent, past Trustee

Ogi Obi
Current parent, Trustee

Jennifer Smith
Current parent, faculty, administrator (US Division Coordinator)

Sangita Tewari
Current parent, alumni parent, past Trustee

Jennifer Youngs
Current parent

Eileen Van Houten, Search Committee Advisor
Alumni parent, past Trustee, past Board President (2013-2015), 2006-2007 Search Committee Chair

Head of School Search Process

The Board of Trustee's Search Committee is committed to run an inclusive process that appropriately engages members of the school family while protecting necessary confidentiality of candidates. Search consultant, Wickenden and Associates, is helping our school to facilitate this process with the following schedule, so stay tuned for updates!

 


Letter from Randy Fry, Board President

December 4, 2017

Dear Oakwood Community:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Head of School Search Committee, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Daniel P. Quesnel as Oakwood's next Head of School, effective July 1, 2018. The Search Committee is certain that Dan's commitment to the development of the whole child, approachable and engaging style, and independent school experience will position him to lead Oakwood with excellence into our 23rd year and beyond.

Dan has worked at Forsyth Country Day School (FCDS) in Lewisville, N.C. since 2007. Initially a Middle School teacher, coach, and the school's General Counsel, Dan has served as Middle School Director and General Counsel since 2013. Dan oversees the affairs and budget of the Middle School, which consists of 200 students and 29 faculty and staff members. In the past few years, he has assisted the Head of School with restructuring and revitalizing the school and growing enrollment after a period of decline.

During his 10-years at FCDS, Dan has implemented initiatives focused on academic excellence, global mindedness, and character development. He worked with administrators and department chairs on curricula review and development; designed and implemented STEAM-related electives courses; and worked with the school's academic center to ensure students receive appropriate services and accommodations. Dan created an annual two-week cross-cultural exchange with a school from China, as well as a Middle School trip to Europe. Dan serves as Chair of FCDS's AdvancED/SAIS Reaccreditation Committee and participates as a member of the school's Admissions Committee, Academic Committee, Professional Growth Task Force, and Philanthropy Committee.

As the school's General Counsel, Dan has worked closely with other administrators and the Board of Trustees in various areas of risk management in school operations, as well as employment, financial, and insurance matters. He is an advisor to the Head of School regarding student discipline and also serves as a member of AdvancED/SAIS visiting accreditation committees for other schools.

Prior to Dan's independent school career, he was an Associate at the law firms Wall Esleeck Babcock, LLP in Winston-Salem; Bell, Davis & Pitt, PA in Winston-Salem; and Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, LLP in Charlotte where he practiced law for independent schools and business clients in corporate, real estate, financing, employment, and employee benefit matters. Dan received his J.D. at Wake Forest University School of Law in 1999 and his B.A. in Political Science at University of North Carolina - Asheville in 1996.

Dan and his wife, Ellyn, of fifteen years are the parents of two children who both currently attend FCDS. Their daughter, Emily, is in the 7th grade and their son, Nate, is in the 5th grade. In accepting this appointment, Dan said, "It was going to take a special opportunity at a truly exceptional school for my family to leave our home at FCDS. In visiting The Oakwood School and meeting the people here, it became quite clear what a special place Oakwood is. I could not be more excited for the chance to lead Oakwood and have my family become part of such a wonderful community."

Dan's unanimous selection by both the Search Committee and The Oakwood School's Board of Trustees was the culmination of a six-month process conducted in partnership with Wickenden Associates, a leading independent school search firm, whose fees were covered by an Oakwood donor. After conducting campus visits and an extensive community-wide survey, Wickenden launched a national search targeting nearly 150 educational leaders across the country regarding Oakwood's Opportunity Statement. Oakwood's strong reputation as a 21st century independent school serving eastern NC generated applications from 47 highly qualified candidates. The Head of School Search Committee pre-screened 18 short-listed candidates, invited nine semi-finalists to interview and tour the school over a long weekend in October, and conducted two 2-day finalist visits in October and November before ultimately reaching a unanimous recommendation to Oakwood's Board of Trustees to name Dan as our next Head of School.

I would like to personally thank The Oakwood School's Search Committee for their excellent work. Their commitment to this process allowed us to select a worthy successor to Rob Peterson, and we owe each of them a sincere thank-you for their time, effort and servant leadership on behalf of the Oakwood community.

Over the course of the next several months, a Welcoming and Transition Committee and our current Head of School, Rob Peterson, will work with Dan to ensure a smooth transition in leadership as he prepares to join us on July 1, 2018. Please join Oakwood's Board of Trustees in welcoming Dan, Ellyn, Emily, and Nate!

The entire Search Committee was mindful of the importance of this decision given the exceptional leadership displayed by Rob Peterson throughout his 10-year tenure with our school. We look forward to Dan's inspiring leadership next year as "we seek to instill in our students the strength of character, the creativity, and the wisdom to make a difference in the world."

Sincerely,

Randy Fry
President, Board of Trustees
Vice Chair, 2017-2018 Search Committee

2017-18 Board of Trustees:

Randy Fry, President
Patricia Rawls, Treasurer
Ira Adler
Jason Barnett
Faye Bordeaux
Chris Dyba
Laura Hanley Davis
Joy Karriker
Linda Kuhn
David Lamb
Karsin Landis
Ogi Obi
Kim Sayers
Kelli Smith
Jim Whitehurst
Xiaoming Zeng
Rob Peterson, Head of School (ex officio)
Eileen Van Houten, Past President (ex officio)


Letter from Dave Hunt, Board President and Search Committee Chair

 

November 3 , 2017

Dear Oakwood Community,

We are pleased to welcome our second and final Head of School candidate next week: Dan Quesnel on November 9-10. Unfortunately, we were informed that our third finalist withdrew from the interview process on October 30, because she accepted a Head of School position elsewhere.

With this in mind, please take the opportunity next week to meet Dan and submit your feedback online by November 11. Feedback from these sessions, along with other interviews from each of the two days, will meaningfully help the Search Committee as we ascertain who is the best fit to lead The Oakwood School in the years ahead. The Search Committee hopes to make its recommendation to the Board of Trustees at its November 16 meeting.

We appreciate the insights you have already provided to Search Committee on Glenn Chapin from October 23-24 and look forward to your continued involvement and feedback on Dan, our remaining Head of School finalist. Thank you for your input and support.

Very truly yours,

Dave Hunt
Search Committee Chair
President, Board of Trustees

Search Committee:
Randy Fry, Vice Chair
Ira Adler
Alicia Hawk
William Monk
Ogugua Obi
Jennifer Smith
Sangita Tewari
Jennifer Youngs
Eileen Van Houten (advisor)


 

Letter from Dave Hunt, Board President and Search Committee Chair

 

Head of School Finalist Interview #1

Glenn Chapin

October 23-24, 2017

 

October 20, 2017

Dear Oakwood Community,

For the last five months, the Search Committee has been actively engaged with search consultants from Wickenden Associates, conducting a national search and sourcing, vetting, and recently meeting prospective candidates. The Committee has seen strong interest in the Head of School position; over recent weeks the Committee has reviewed many candidate credentials and interviewed experienced and very talented educators. After much deliberation, the Committee has invited three candidates back to campus, each for a two-day visit on October 23-24, November 7-8, and November 9-10.

We are pleased to welcome our first candidate, Glenn Chapin and his wife Alice, to The Oakwood School community this Monday and Tuesday, October 23-24. Glenn brings 18 years of independent school leadership where he has served both domestically and internationally as a Head of School. His most recent assignments include the American School in Barcelona, Spain; Lake Mary Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida; St. John's Episcopal School in Guam; Mont'Kiara International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malasia; Karachi American School in Karachi, Pakistan; and Ruamrudee International School in Bangkok, Thailand. Prior to being a Head of School, Glenn was a high school English teacher and IB English Department Chair. Glenn received his EdM in Educational Administration from Harvard University and his BA in English Literature from San Jose State University.

There will be opportunities for all constituents -- students, teachers, administrators, department chairs, parents, alumni, volunteer leadership, Board of Trustees, Search Committee, and Rob -- to meet with Glenn individually and in small groups and provide feedback. Group meetings are as follows:

  • There will be a Full Faculty Meeting with Glenn on Monday, October 23 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Speight Student Commons of Clark Hall.
  • Oakwood Alumni are invited to a gathering to meet Glenn and his wife Alice at the Greenville Hilton Villedge Woodshed (Upper Terrace) on Monday, October 23 from 6:00 to 6:45 p.m. Please spread the word! Please RSVP with Elana Kepner, Director of Development, by Sunday, October 22.
  • Oakwood Parents are invited to meet Glenn over coffee on Tuesday, October 24 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. in the Extended Day room of Monk Hall. 
  • Oakwood's volunteer leadership in the Parent Service Association, Fine Arts Support Team, and Eagle Athletics Booster Club are invited to meet with Glenn over coffee on Tuesday, October 24 from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. in the Extended Day room of Monk Hall. 
  • All constituents who interact with each of the finalists are invited to complete a brief, confidential, online Finalist Evaluation Survey for the Search Committee. I encourage you to submit your feedback for each candidate within 24 hours of their visit -- when your impressions are top of mind. The online survey will be open until 11:59 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 11 and compiled by Wickenden.

Feedback from these sessions, along with other interviews from the two days, is very important to the Search Committee and will meaningfully help us as we ascertain who is the best fit to lead The Oakwood School in the years ahead. The Committee hopes to make their recommendation to the Board of Trustees at its November 16 meeting.

We are very excited about the pool of finalist candidates for our new Head of School. Each one has the experience, integrity and intelligence to be our next Head of School. We appreciate the insights that have already been provided by members of The Oakwood School community, and we look forward to your continued involvement. Please take a moment to thank the Search Committee for their tireless work. We will keep you updated as we continue to move forward in this very important journey.

Very truly yours,

Dave Hunt
Search Committee Chair
President, Board of Trustees

Search Committee:

Randy Fry, Vice Chair
Ira Adler
Alicia Hawk
William Monk
Ogugua Obi
Jennifer Smith
Sangita Tewari
Jennifer Youngs
Eileen Van Houten (advisor)

 


 

Letter from Dave Hunt, Board President and Search Committee Chair

 

October 18, 2017

Dear Oakwood Community,

On behalf of The Oakwood School Search Committee, I wanted to give you an update on the search for a new Head of School. In general, the process has gone extremely well because of guidance from our consulting firm Wickenden and Associates, a strong Search Committee, and the fact that Oakwood and its Head of School job are both a very desirable school and position. The following is a recap of the process to date:

LAUNCH VISIT AND APPLICATION PROCESS

Wickenden conducted a national search with the application phase June through September 19. Wickenden was pleased to have received 45 applications. Eighteen candidates were short-listed by Wickenden based on the information gathered working with the Oakwood family on June 24-26where 146 members of the Oakwood faculty and staff contributed to the online survey, and over 50 members participated in the face-to-face interviews with Wickenden. This formed the basis of the Opportunity Statement that was given to interested persons in the application phase.

SHORT LIST AND SEMI-FINALIST INTERVIEWS 

Detailed resumes, education and work history, educational philosophy, and references of these 18 were reviewed by the Search Committee and compared to the needs identified in our Opportunity Statement. From this, eight candidates (7 men and 1 woman) were invited as semi-finalists and interviewed on campus this past weekend for 1.5 hours each with the Search Committee. Semifinalists also took a 45-minute tour of the school led by one Board member and one Upper School student volunteer. The list was still confidential at this point to protect the candidates, many who had not informed their school of their job search. Afterwards, the Search Committee unanimously agreed to invite three finalists each for a 2-day interview on campus.

FINALIST INTERVIEWS

Candidates will be coming as follows: Oct. 23-24 (Mon + Tue); Nov. 7-8 (Tue + Wed); Nov. 9-10 (Thu + Fri). A bio summary of each finalist will be shared the day before he or she arrives. There will be time allotted for all constituents - students, teachers, administrators, division and department leaders, parents, alumni, donors, Board of Trustees, and Search Committee - to have the opportunity to meet each candidate and provide feedback within 24 hours through an online survey. Please look for a separate email with an interview schedule and opportunities for all constituents to be involved with the interview process.

RECOMMENDATION, BOARD APPROVAL, AND APPOINTMENT 

At the conclusion of the interviews and feedback has been reviewed, the Search Committee will make a selection recommendation to the Board for their approval. Assuming the candidate is approved and accepts our officer, the Board and the approved Candidate will work together on an acceptable contract.

While the search has been very thorough and intensive, it has been a positive and smooth process. We look forward to having each finalist on campus and know that Oakwood will find the best person to lead our wonderful school. Please remember that we as a community are not only interviewing them, but they are interviewing us as well. Please show them why Oakwood is such a special place.

With the search coming to a close, I will be turning the Board President position over to Randy Fry, who will be the incoming Board of Trustees President effective November 30, 2017. The Board approved this new leadership transition plan at our regularly scheduled Board meeting last night. Though my second 3-year trustee term was scheduled to end this past June for me to roll off the Board, I was asked to stay on as President until the Board could identify and mentor a new Board President and successfully complete the Head of School search. These will be completed by November 30, 2017, and thus it makes sense for me to complete the Board leadership transition and roll off as a trustee. Randy will be outstanding as President of The Oakwood School Board of Trustees, and the timing is optimal and logical for him and the Board to complete the current school year with our Head of School, Rob Peterson, as well as plan for the transition with the new Head of School.

It has been my honor to work with such capable and motivated people that make up The Oakwood School. The future for Oakwood is exciting. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. If you have any questions regarding the search process, please feel free to ask me or any member of the Search Committee. I also suggest you look on the school website for past communications that may answer your questions.

Sincerely and Go Eagles!

Dave Hunt
Chair of the Search Committee
President, Board of Trustees

Search Committee:

Randy Fry, Vice Chair
Ira Adler
Alicia Hawk
William Monk
Ogugua Obi
Jennifer Smith
Sangita Tewari
Jennifer Youngs

 


Head of School Search Feedback

Thank you to over 146 members of the Oakwood family who contributed to the online survey and over 50 members who participated in the face-to-face interviews with Wickenden on June 24-26. Their visit was very productive and the next steps are underway to prepare an Opportunity Statement and advertise this opening. Some of the areas suggested for our next Head of School's desired qualities and qualifications include:

  • An advanced degree 
  • Business savvy 
  • Charisma and diplomacy 
  • Clear and innovative vision for Oakwood's future 
  • Curricular development experience 
  • Enthusiasm for Oakwood's identity and mission 
  • Excellent communication skills 
  • Experience working in independent schools 
  • Fundraising and marketing experience 
  • Genuine, approachable leadership style 
  • Insight into current educational practices 
  • Transparency 
  • Turnaround specialist 
  • Understanding of Greenville's culture 
  • Willingness to make difficult decisions for the good of the school 

Please refer to the final Opportunity Statement prepared by Wickenden Associates with the following anticipated search calendar:

  • Application deadline:  September 19, 2017
  • Selection of semifinalists:  October 3, 2017
  • Semifinalist interviews:  October 14-15, 2017
  • Finalist visits:  October/November 2017
  • Appointment:  November 2017
  • Starting date: July 2018

 


 

Head of School Search Schedule

The Board of Trustee's Search Committee is committed to run an inclusive process that appropriately engages members of the school family while protecting necessary confidentiality of candidates. Search consultant, Wickenden and Associates, is helping our school to facilitate this process with the following schedule, so stay tuned for updates!

  • May 2017 - Announcement of current Head's departure and search. COMPLETED
  • May, June - Launch search. Establish a Head of School Search Committee. Interview and hire a search consultant. Learn about school and current needs, challenges, and opportunities by visiting campus and interviewing members of the school family, as well as conducting an online survey and soliciting nominations to apply for this position. COMPLETED
  • July - Create an Opportunity Statement based on feedback from our school family that will be used to advertise the position on a local, regional, and national level. Based on this survey and interview feedback, the Board of Trustees will create a charge for the new Head of School, as well as work with our current Head of School on a similar charge to solidify his 10-year legacy and ensure the next Head of School is set for success. COMPLETED
  • June, July, August, September - Advertise Head of School position, create a short-list of semi-finalists, and conduct reference checks. IN PROGRESS
  • October - Conduct semi-finalists interviews and short-list finalists.
  • October, November - Conduct finalist interviews engaging various school constituencies. Provide a follow-up online evaluation form to be used by those who meet finalists. Make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for approval. Hopefully secure a finalist if this person accepts the offer! 
  • December - Finalize a Head of School contract and announce new Head of School's appointment.
  • January to June 2018 - Establish a Head of School Transition Committee. Ensure our current Head of School is actively engaged in this process. Celebrate and honor our current Head of School's 10-year legacy and retirement.
  • July - New Head of School starts for the 2018-2019 school year.

 


  

Letter from Dave Hunt, Board President and Search Committee Chair 

June 8, 2017

Dear Members of the Oakwood Community,

I am writing today to provide you with an update regarding our Head of School search and the process we intend to follow. This change of leadership marks an important opportunity in the life of Oakwood, one that the Board of Trustees is undertaking with both eager anticipation and great care.

Ten members of the school community have been appointed to serve as the Head of School Search Committee. They are:

  • Dave Hunt, Search Committee Chair - parent, trustee, and Board President
  • Randy Fry, Search Committee Vice Chair - parent, trustee
  • Ira Adler - parent, trustee
  • William Monk - community member, past parent, supporter
  • Ogi Obi - parent, trustee
  • Jennifer Smith - parent, faculty, administration (US Division Coordinator)
  • Sangita Tewari - parent, alumni parent, past trustee
  • Jennifer Youngs - parent
  • Alicia Hawk, Search Committee Secretary - alumni parent, administration (Director of Advancement), past trustee, past Board President
  • Eileen Van Houten, Search Committee Advisor - alumni parent, past trustee, past Board President, past Search Committee Chair

We are pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has retained the highly respected educational consulting firm of Wickenden Associates in Princeton, New Jersey, to assist us in the search. Wickenden Associates has conducted more than 375 Head of School searches for a wide variety of schools across the nation. Senior Search Consultants Sue Walters and Linda Knights visited the school on June 26 and 27 to meet with the Search Committee and conduct a series of interviews with representatives of each of the school's constituencies. The information they collected will help them to develop a thorough understanding of our leadership requirements and will also be used in the development of an opportunity statement that will inform potential candidates about this unique career opportunity.

Thank you in advance for your support as we undertake this important and exciting work on behalf of The Oakwood School. Rest assured that we will keep you informed as the process proceeds.

Sincerely,

Dave Hunt
Chair of the Search Committee
President, Board of Trustees

 


 

Letter from Dave Hunt, Board President

May 17, 2017

Dear Oakwood Community,

Rob Peterson will be completing his 10th year as our Head of School at the end of his contract term on June 30, 2018. As a result of his excellent leadership and dedication to Oakwood, the Board of Trustees offered Rob the opportunity to extend his career at Oakwood for three more years, until June of 2021. Tuesday evening, Rob Peterson informed the Board of Trustees that he would not be accepting our offer of an extension. While we are disappointed with this decision, we respect that Rob and Gini are entering the next phase of their lives beginning next July, 2018 and wish them the very best.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we say thank you to Rob for guiding The Oakwood School with extraordinary leadership and an unfailing commitment to the mission of the school. Nine years ago, Rob delivered the steady hand that Oakwood needed and has continued to grow our faculty, academics, fundraising, structure and standing. We can easily say that Oakwood would not be where it is today if not for Rob's vision and guidance.

We as a school were also fortunate to inherit a tremendous teacher in Gini Peterson when we made the decision to hire Rob. We celebrate the great contributions Gini has made in the Middle School and say thank you to her for kindness, generosity and dedication. We look forward to working with Rob and Gini this next year and also celebrating their contributions.

Tuesday evening, the Board of Trustees authorized a search for the next head of The Oakwood School. Our promise to you is we will find a head that will embody the mission and values of our proud school. They will know who we are, what we value and type of student we produce. Our goal is to have this person hired before the end of the calendar year, with a beginning date of July 1st, 2018.

The first charge is to create a search committee consisting of trustees, a member of the faculty and administration and other community members. We will soon hire a consultant to lead us through the process. This will include soliciting input from faculty, parents and students. You may be called on to be included in this process.

The most important responsibility of a Board of Trustees is hiring the head, who is the Board's sole employee. We take this charge with the utmost seriousness and urgency. The search committee and Board appreciate your support as we undertake this most important process.

Sincerely,

Dave Hunt
President, Board of Trustees

  


 

Letter from Rob Peterson, Head of School

May 17, 2017

Dear Oakwood Community,

Last night I informed the Board of Trustees that I will complete my Oakwood career at the end of my contract period, June 30, 2018. This was certainly a difficult decision to make. I love The Oakwood School: its faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents. I realize, however, that I will soon be 67 years old, and the time is right for me to step down at the completion of my contract period. While Gini and I will enjoy more time doing some of the things we love, we will also enjoy keeping in touch with all of you. Our hearts will always be with each one of you and with The Oakwood School.

I thank Oakwood's Board of Trustees, the faculty and staff, and the students and their parents for making this part of my work's journey so fulfilling and rewarding. In the summer of 2007, I remember reading Oakwood's mission, philosophy, and belief statements and feeling drawn to them and then coming to The Oakwood School for the first time that August and witnessing Oakwood's spirit on full display. It was late afternoon and students, parents, and teachers were meeting one another at the PSA sponsored Meet and Greet. I saw firsthand how caring and nurturing Oakwood's teachers are and how excited the students and their families were to be back on campus after summer vacation. The Oakwood campus looked glorious on this special afternoon before the first day of school. In addition to meeting so many individuals that afternoon, I was struck once again by Oakwood's mission statement: "The Oakwood School seeks to instill in its students the strength of character, the creativity, and the wisdom to make a difference in the world". These words spoke volumes to me and because of them as well as the wonderful people I met and the challenge of growing an Upper School, I was determined to become part of this young and vibrant school that clearly knew where it was headed.

The nine years that I have been at the school have been incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. As a community, we have accomplished much during these years. The school has grown in stature and in enrollment numbers. The five founding families had a clear vision for the school and worked tirelessly to start and develop the school, which we all love and are grateful for. The Oakwood School is Greenville's only non-sectarian independent school, and our challenging 21st century programs offer outstanding preparation for students in the ever-changing world in which they live. I know that the five founding families are extremely proud of the way Oakwood has developed over its 21-year history. It is a school that truly showcases their dreams and aspirations.

I look forward to leading Oakwood through the 2017-2018 school year and ensure a seamless transition in leadership at The Oakwood School. I promise each of you that I will work diligently with the Board of Trustees and its Search Committee to find the most capable individual from a nationwide search. The Oakwood School is in a great position to attract a leader from a pool of the finest educators to become the fifth head of school.

Sincerely,

Robert R. Peterson
Head of School

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