September 14, 2023

September 14, 2023

Hello NPC Community!

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and are having a fantastic start to the school year. I am sure that most of us miss the free-flow days of summer, but at the same time, it feels like a relief to get back to a daily routine.  If you haven’t been on campus yet this year, I can tell you the excitement from the faculty, staff, and students is palpable.  

Danielle is off to a fantastic start as the Interim Head, and I want to thank her for stepping up to take care of our community during this time of transition. Her warmth, integrity, and leadership skills are going to guide us strongly through this school year.

I also want to thank the search committee for volunteering to put the heavy work into the search for the next long-term Head of School and to update you on our progress. The committee, comprised of myself, eight other past and present board members (Doug Massey, Carlisle Jensen, Craig Beni, Gretchen Cooney, Grace Hull, Carol Evens, Jamie Strang, and Brian Herlihy), along with two faculty and staff (Laura Moore and Lori Corry) were put to task a few weeks ago on the initial culling of the candidates. 

Our Head of School position attracted interest from 56 candidates. From that pool, Jerry Larson, our consultant, received 24 fully completed applications by last month's deadline. He then interviewed each candidate, making sure not only that they were qualified for the position and right for our organization but that each applicant, in fact, knows that our school is located on a small island 30 miles out to sea and is without a bridge to the mainland. From that 24, Jerry narrowed the pool to 16 individuals: a bright, engaging, and frankly remarkable group of applicants. 
Over the last several weeks, the search committee reviewed all 16 candidates' resumes, letters of interest, recommendations, writing samples, and short video interviews, where they were all asked to record themselves answering the same four questions. The committee was charged to narrow down the pool to seven semi-finalists. Although the details of the search and the candidates are confidential until the final three finalists are selected, I can absolutely tell you that each candidate is quite impressive, and each possesses the potential to be our next leader.

On September 22nd and 23rd, the committee will interview all of these individuals via Zoom, after which we will narrow the search down to the final three candidates. 

The schedule for the finalist visits is as follows (of course, subject to change):

Candidate 1: Monday, October, 2nd & Tuesday, October 3rd with the ability to do Wednesday, October 4th & Thursday, October 5th that week as well
Candidate 2: Tuesday, October 10th & Wednesday, October 11th with the ability to do Thursday, October 12th and Friday, October 13th
Candidate 3: Tuesday October 17th & Wednesday, October 18th 

We will share more information about the finalist process once we identify our three candidates.

At that time, we will seek input from the entire NPC community via an online survey.  We would like to get to know these candidates as well as possible and, in turn, have them glean as much as they can from their time with us.  It’s so important that not only are the candidates a good fit for the New School and Strong Wings, it’s imperative that they understand and want to be part of our community. 

As always, please reach out to me with any questions. Stay safe and dry this weekend. 

All the Best,
Courtney McKechnie
President, Board of Trustees

Nantucket New School