About

Head of School Search

JCDS Seeking New Head of School

Ms. Pat Walker has announced her decision to retire at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.  Ms. Walker has dedicated 29 years to our school, as a teacher, Director of Admissions and for the past 9 years has served as Head of School.  An esteemed leader and educator, Ms. Walker has set the tone and maintained an environment where our entire school community feels trusted, respected, and connected.

The Jacksonville Country Day School Board of Trustees has begun a nationwide search for a new Head of School. A Head of School Search Committee has been established and has enlisted the help of a search firm, Educational Directions, a nationally known consulting firm that works with independent schools to recruit and screen potential candidates. We expect to select our next Head before the 2023-2024 school year. 

As we navigate through this important process, we will keep the JCDS community informed as to the progress of the committee.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 6 items.

  • Why is JCDS looking for a new Head of School?

    After 29 years of exceptional leadership, Ms. Pat Walker has decided to retire at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Who is conducting the search?

    The Board of Trustees has engaged the nationally known firm, Educational Directions, to assist JCDS in the search. Consultants Mike Murphy and Sam Richards will be working with us.
  • What is the role of the search committee?

    In March of 2022, the Board of Trustees appointed a Search Committee comprised of a group of talented, committed individuals with broad expertise and a deep passion for our school.  Search Committee members have been thoughtfully selected to represent the perspectives of the key stakeholders in our community.  The Search Committee will continue to work with the consulting firm to identify and select the best Head of School candidate to recommend to the Board of Trustees. 
     
    Search Committee Members:
    Keri Morales, Chair, Head of School Search Committee; Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees
    Mike Abel, Trustee, Former Parent
    Kimberly Alula,  Current Parent
    Bernice Davis, Trustee, Current Parent
    Mark Preston, Trustee, Current Parent
    Bhavin Shah, Trustee,  Current Parent
    Justin Terry, Chair, Board of Trustees, Current Parent
    Irene Wolfe, Former Trustee, Former Parent
    Greg Wong, Former Chair, Board of Trustees; Former Parent
  • Communications to the Community

  • When will the new Head of School be selected?

    We expect to select our next Head before the 2023-2024 school year.
  • Will the Community Have the Opportunity to Meet the Candidates?

    You are invited to meet the Head of School finalists.
     
    JCDS parents and friends are welcome and encouraged to meet each of our 3 finalist Head of School candidates during the upcoming parent forums.  All parent forums will be held in the Fine Arts Center and will begin at 8:15am.
     
    September 20th  Candidate TBD        
    September 28th   Candidate TBD   
    October 4th   Candidate TBD   
     
    Parents will have the opportunity to hear from each of our three finalist candidates, ask questions, and complete surveys to provide feedback.  Resumes for each candidate will be available at the parent forums.  We would love to hear from you, and your input is appreciated. All survey feedback will be thoughtfully considered by the search committee.

Head of School Search Timeline

List of 4 items.

  • 3-10-22 - Head of School Search Committee Selected

    The committee to lead the search for a new Head of School will include:

    Keri Morales, Chair, Head of School Search Committee; Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees
    Mike Abel, Trustee, Former Parent
    Kimberly Alula,  Current Parent
    Bernice Davis, Trustee, Current Parent
    Mark Preston, Trustee, Current Parent
    Bhavin Shah, Trustee,  Current Parent
    Justin Terry, Chair, Board of Trustees, Current Parent
    Irene Wolfe, Former Trustee, Former Parent
    Greg Wong, Former Chair, Board of Trustees; Former Parent
  • 3-14-22 - Announcement

    Pat Walker's retirement after the 2022-2023 school year was announced.
  • 5-10-22 - Parent Forums

    Parents were invited to attend one of two Parent Forums with our consultants, designed to provide them an opportunity to share perspectives about our school, and to share their own vision for what they may like to see in the future.
  • 8-24-22 - Semi-finalists Selected

    Dear JCDS Families:
     
    On behalf of the Head of School Search Committee, I hope that your school year is off to a wonderful start.  As we have previously communicated, our committee has been working diligently along with the national search firm Educational Directions to select the right candidate to replace Mrs. Pat Walker when she retires at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.  I would like to thank you all for your interest and enthusiasm in our search for our next Head of School.  
       
    We have been presented with many well-qualified candidates, each of whose background, expertise, and vision would make them an excellent candidate for our next Head of School.  I am pleased to share that we are preparing to enter into the final phases of the search process and would like to share key milestones and dates.   
     
    Our committee will be welcoming seven semi-finalists on campus during September for in-person interviews.  Following these interviews, our three finalists will be selected, and each candidate and their family will be invited for a two-day on-campus visit. These visits will take place September 19-20, September 27-28, and October 3-4.  During these visits, the finalists will meet with our Board of Trustees, Pat Walker, the Senior Administration team, faculty, staff, students, and members of the parent community, via parent forums.   
     
    During the parent forums, you will have the opportunity to hear from each of our three finalist candidates, ask questions, and complete surveys to provide feedback. We strongly encourage you to attend and assure you that all survey feedback will be thoughtfully considered by the search committee. This process is intended to be thorough and collaborative, and I hope you will agree that community input is integral to making the best decision for our school.   
     
    We appreciate your partnership and encourage all members of our community to take the opportunity to meet our finalists and provide input. More details about our parent forums will be forthcoming. 
     
    Sincerely, 
    keri-morales-sig.png
    Keri Morales
    Chair, Head of School Search Committee
    Vice Chair, Board of Trustees