Head of School Search

On Tuesday, October 9, 2018, the Saint Andrew’s School Board of Trustees had the honor and pleasure to announce the appointment of Ethan Shapiro as Head of School, beginning January 1, 2019.

View the Head of School Announcement

In the fall of 2017, Saint Andrew's School embarked on a search for a permanent Head of School. Please find below details about the process, the search committee, the intended timeline and letters to the community.

All of us at Saint Andrew's are committed to making the search as inclusive as possible as we strive to find a strong leader who is deeply committed to our school's mission, vision, and core values. A Search Committee comprised of trustees, a former faculty member, and an alumnus will work with consultants from Brigham Hill Consultancy to lead our school community in this process.

Saint Andrew's School parents, faculty, staff, chaplains, students, alumni, and grandparents: We welcome your thoughts and ideas in this process and invite you to reach out to the Search Committee at head.search@saintandrews.net.

Search Committee

  • Michael Bober, Co-Chair of Search Committee, Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee, Executive Committee,
    P '13, '16, '19
  • Catherine Coombs, Co-Chair of Search Committee, Secretary, and Chair of the School Life Committee, Executive Committee,
    P '13, '16, and '18
  • Mike Zammiello, Chair of the Physical Plant Committee, Executive Committee, 
    P '17, '19, '23
  • Melissa Wight, Chair of the Governance Committee,
    P '16, '18
  • Marc Scott, Chair of the Audit and Advancement Committees, Executive Committee, 
    P '25, '30
  • Albert Cohen MD, Member of the Governance and Advancement Committees,
    P '13, '16
  • Franklin Homer ’99, President of the Saint Andrew’s School Alumni Board of Directors, Audit and School Life Committee Member
  • Bari Attis, Faculty Alumna, Chair of the English Department for 16 years, member of SAS faculty for 35 years, Master Teacher, and winner of the Gary Niels Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015,
    P '89, '94
  • Steven Shapiro MD, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Chair
    P '22, '23, '23

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 14 items.

  • What is the timeline for the search?

    The search will begin during the first quarter of the year with on-campus meetings with our search firm, Brigham Hill, meeting a wide variety of Saint Andrew’s constituents. The product of these conversations will be the search profile, which describes the school, the position, and the qualities we seek in the next head of school. The search firm will use that information to identify prospective candidates and will report back to the Search Committee sometime around the end of the school year. During the summer break, the consultants will personally interview a number of prospective candidates and will provide detailed written reports to the Search Committee in advance of meeting with the committee to determine semifinalist candidates. During the latter part of the summer, the Search Committee will interview semifinalists in Boca Raton, with the hope that finalists will be invited for meetings with a broader range of constituents in the fall. If all goes well, the school will come to an agreement with one of the candidates and an announcement will be made in the late fall. The new head of school will take office officially in July 2019.
  • How long is Ethan Shapiro serving as Interim Head of School?

    Mr. Shapiro began his tenure in the summer of 2017 and will serve as Interim Head of School through June 2019. The two-year interim headship allows Saint Andrew’s sufficient time to conduct a thorough, national search to identify the best candidate to serve as permenant Head of School. 
  • Why does the search take so long?

    Head of school searches are unique. A number of factors have combined over the years to make the above timetable typical for any head of school search. These factors include contracts between schools and their heads, the custom of a head of school providing substantial notice to his or her school, the desire for the entire school community to be involved in the search, the need for candidates and Search Committees to have time for deliberation and reflection, and scheduling issues.
  • What is the role of the Board of Trustees in the search for the permanent head of school? What is the role of the Search Committee? What roles will faculty, staff, chaplains, parents, students, alumni, and other constituents have in the process?

    The primary role of the Board of Trustees is to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of the school; the Board’s most important responsibility is hiring the head of school, who is responsible for the day-to-day management and leadership of the school.

    The Search Committee is tasked with identifying and evaluating candidates for the headship and making a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The Board then votes on the appointment of the candidate as head of school.
    While the Board is responsible for the ultimate decision-making in the search process, the opinions and insights of teachers, staff, chaplains, students, parents, alumni, and others are critical to the process. As discussed below, there will be multiple opportunities for various stakeholders to provide input about the school and the qualities sought in the next head of school.
  • How will members of the Saint Andrew’s community be involved in the search process?

    As noted above, our search firm will visit campus on January 31-February 2 for meetings with a wide variety of constituents, including parents and parent leadership, faculty, staff, chaplains, administrators, alumni, students, and other friends of Saint Andrew’s. While the consultants will share details about the search process, their primary goal will be to learn about our school, to gather input about the short- and long-term priorities for Saint Andrew’s, and to hear what qualities our community members believe the next Head of School should possess. These conversations will inform the search profile, which will be used to promote the opening. In addition, there will be an online survey through which community members can offer similar input about our school’s future and our next leader.

    It is the Search Committee’s hope that the finalist interviews will also include similar involvement from a broad range of Saint Andrew’s constituents. 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.
  • When we bring candidates for division headships or other administrative positions to campus, everything is usually out in the open and transparent. Why is this process so confidential?

    In all likelihood, head of school candidates who come to Boca Raton will have either declared to their current schools their intentions to explore a move or, at the very least, informed the people to whom they report. In the latter case, the proper courtesies will have been extended, but an individual’s openness to a new situation is still considered confidential. Our search firm is known for approaching people who are not considering making a move, inviting them into a conversation about such a possibility, evaluating their backgrounds in a personal meeting and, if appropriate, prevailing on them to make an exploratory trip to campus. In such a situation, the person may or may not have disclosed the candidacy to his or her chair of the board or head of school and, accordingly, would want to make the visit to Boca Raton in strict confidence and on a purely exploratory basis. Needless to say, we would have to ensure such conditions in order to convince the person to visit with us. Finally, it is important that the process be carried out with fairness and equity to all of the candidates. Among other things, this means that we should keep all of their identities confidential, regardless of what they may or may not have said to their current schools. This approach also ensures that interviewing and referencing are conducted in an orderly, thorough, and professional way.
  • What information will the Search Committee share with the school community regarding the progress and the candidates being considered?

    The Search Committee will provide periodic updates and communicate the general progress of the search throughout the process and is committed to being as transparent as possible. In order to protect the current positions of candidates, however, the committee is not at liberty to disclose the names of people under consideration or when they will be in town for the first round of interviews. Finalist interviews may include members of the school community beyond the Search Committee, depending on the degree of confidentiality needed by the candidates. 
  • How can I recommend a candidate?

    Please send an email to Jessica McCann at mccann@brighamhill.com.  
  • How long do we expect the new head of school to stay?

    We are approaching the search with a ten-year horizon. We will ask ourselves what Saint Andrew’s will look like in a decade, what the SA experience will be, and what actions need to be taken in order to meet our goals, and then use this perspective to develop the profile in hopes that the new head will serve for approximately ten years. Generally speaking, at least a seven or eight-year term is considered appropriate for school heads. Our primary focus is on finding the right person to do the job.
  • Will internal candidates be considered?

    The Search Committee is committed to finding the best candidate to serve as the next Head of School of Saint Andrew’s. The committee will consider both internal and external candidates, and all candidates will be vetted with the same process in order to identify the individual who will be the match for the school’s current needs.
  • How was the Search Committee appointed?

    In considering how best to comprise our Search Committee, the Board of Trustees consulted a variety of sources, including the Florida Council of Independent Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools, and our search firm. Because the most important responsibility of any Board of Trustees is the hiring of the Head of School, the Search Committee has been comprised primarily of current Board members, who are current and former parents, along with the President of the Alumni Board and a former faculty member. Particular qualities sought include the abilities to think about the school from a strategic perspective, to balance long and short-term goals, to devote the substantial time necessary at various stages of the process, and to maintain confidentiality in order to ensure candidates’ willingness to enter into conversations about the opportunity. 
  • Who is the search firm?

    Brigham Hill Consultancy is a retained executive search firm that serves only not-for-profit organizations, and specializes in independent school head of school and senior administrative searches. The firm’s founder and president, Linc Eldredge, will lead our search in partnership with his colleague, Jessica McCann. Brigham Hill is a national firm with clients across the country. In particular, the firm has worked with a number of schools in Florida—including Saint Andrew’s, Pine Crest School, The Bolles School, Tampa Preparatory School, and The Out-of-Door Academy—and many Episcopal schools. 
  • How can I express my opinions about the search?

    The first opportunity to provide input is during Brigham Hill’s on-campus visit on January 31-February 2. For those who cannot attend the in-person meetings or who have additional input to share, we will also provide an online questionnaire. Responses go directly to Brigham Hill Consultancy. The firm will review them and provide the Search Committee with suggestions, opinions, and insights gleaned from the questionnaires.
  • Is this a national search?

    Yes. There is intense competition across the country for accomplished educational leaders. Thus, we will invite candidates from any and all geographic areas. We recognize that our region and city are unique and, accordingly, we will seek people whose temperaments, values, and personal styles are compatible with our culture.

Further Updates

For further updates, please note that communications will be sent out directly to our constituencies via email. If you have any questions, please email the Head Search Committee at head.search@saintandrews.net.


List of 1 items.

  • Search Timeline

    Following is an estimated timeline for the search. This proposed schedule is not meant to be precise, in as much as searches have unpredictable moments. Nevertheless, a realistic projection follows:
    Spring and Summer 2018: Development of search profile.  Identification and initial evaluation of candidates.
    Summer and Fall 2018: Candidate interviews.
    Late Fall 2018: Announcement of new Head of School.
    Spring 2019: Transition/Head of School-Elect visits Saint Andrew’s periodically.
    July 2019: New Head of School takes office

About Us

A non-profit, independent, co-educational school for grades JK - 12, Saint Andrew's School is a private day and boarding school located in Boca Raton, educating the best students from across Palm Beach County, Florida, the United States, and throughout the world in the Episcopal tradition.
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