February 1, 2018
Dear SPS community:
Following last week’s two-day series of meetings with Carney Sandoe, search consultant Skip Kotkins wanted us to pass along his sincere thanks to all those with whom he spoke during his Seven Peaks visit.
Skip estimates that he spoke with over 100 individuals—parents, faculty and staff, students and board members. And as he emphasized, your input is vital in helping shape the Position Description that Carney Sandoe will use to recruit top candidates for our Head of School position. Skip sums it up: “Your candor, your perceptiveness and, most of all, your palpable passion for Seven Peaks, were evident in each conversation.”
As a Search Committee, we also want to thank the entire SPS community for your participation in the process. Many of you made yourselves available and expressed keen interest & enthusiasm about the path forward.
The Search Committee’s job is to evaluate candidates against the all-school criteria, certainly not just our own. Members of our committee sat in on many of the group forums and hearing your comments helped us to more deeply understand what you want for our school and from the next leader.
During Wednesday’s parent forum, speaking about why she chose our school over other options, one parent said it best: “Seven Peaks fosters a love of learning.” We couldn’t agree more, and we will make sure it continues to do so.
Skip will be back on campus for Re-Enrollment Night on February 6, providing parents yet another opportunity to learn more and ask questions. We hope to see you there!
As the Search Process develops, we will periodically keep you posted on progress and updates. More info here: //sevenpeaksschool.org/head-of-school-search
Dietrich von Behren
Search Committee, co-chairs
January 22, 2018
Dear SPS Community:
2018 is off to a strong start! Following our exciting news last week in which we notified the community about the search for new Head of School, The Seven Peaks Board of Directors is now pleased to announce the formation of the official Head of School Search Committee.
In selecting committee members, we were looking for qualified and interested candidates across parents, faculty and trusted advisors outside of SPS.
Search Committee Members:
Dietrich von Behren*
“We are grateful to all those who will be participating on this important committee,” says co-chair Dietrich von Behren. “We believe this roster represents a solid constituency for Seven Peaks, those who know its history and care about its future. Carol and I greatly value the ongoing support being shown for our school and we look forward to working with everyone as we move ahead.”
Skip Kotkins, senior consultant from search firm Carney Sandoe, will be on campus over the next two days to conduct interviews with administration and faculty, and will also be holding informational forums for parents on Tuesday, January 23 at 7PM and Wednesday, January 24 at 8:15AM.
We strongly encourage all SPS parents to attend to learn about the process and the goals set forth for Seven Peaks’ future leadership.
SPS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
January 17, 2018
Dear Seven Peaks Parents:
As pledged in our September 9, 2017 message to the community, the Board of Directors has worked through various priorities, taking important steps to develop the framework for a stronger academic foundation and to ensure the future leadership of our school. Today, we are very pleased to share this exciting news with parents and faculty.
Selecting a new Head of School is a critical responsibility for a Board of Directors and we are determined to find an outstanding educational leader who will embrace our school’s mission and continue to move Seven Peaks into the future. Therefore, we have retained the firm of Carney, Sandoe & Associates(CS&A).
Carney Sandoe (www.carneysandoe.com) is the nation’s leading search firm assisting premiere independent schools in finding new administrators and teachers. Headquartered in Boston MA, CS&A conducts more Head of School searches than the next three such firms combined. With a sterling reputation, their reach is national & international, and they are known for bringing the very best candidates to their client schools. Seven Peaks has the pleasure of working with CS&A senior consultant, Skip Kotkins, who is no stranger to the northwest. Born & raised and currently living in Seattle, Skip has worked with many schools across the region, including Oregon.
Based on the cycles of school leader contracts and opportunities for transition, we are launching a search for a new permanent Head of School to begin working in 2019. Furthermore, after evaluating the immediate needs to strengthen our school’s operations, Skip has advised that there are a number of very skilled and seasoned school heads who are available to help address our organizational and strategic issues on a short term basis. Accordingly, if a new permanent head of school cannot be found within the timeframe, CS&A will also be presenting new interim candidates to consider for the 2018-2019 year.
“I respect the Board’s commitment to doing what’s best for Seven Peaks,” says interim principal Kent Vallier. “I stepped into the role last year with the understanding that it’s a time of transition and the imminent plan to search for a permanent head of school. As a candidate for the selection, I look forward to participating in this process and working with the search committee, parents & faculty, and the board to facilitate a successful placement.”
Members of our school community will have a very important role in ensuring we perform a successful search and find the right person to lead our school. Specifically, you will help CS&A understand who we are, our culture, our hopes and dreams for the school, the challenges we face, and the skills and personal attributes that a new leader must possess in order to be successful.
“We are thrilled to offer this opportunity for our school,” says Carol Tobey, search committee co-chair, board member, and Seven Peaks co-founder. “In our commitment to focus on the future, we are seeking exceptional leadership that will bring fresh perspective, energy and experience to position Seven Peaks for growth. I believe we are -and will continue to be-the best choice for parents who want a premiere, independent private education for their children.”
Because we are now moving quickly in the cycle, Skip will be on the Seven Peaks campus next Tuesday and Wednesday, January 23 and 24. During that time, he will meet with the faculty, administrators and board. He will also be holding forums for staff and parents and meeting with students.
We strongly encourage you to attend one of the following forums to learn more and share your thoughts with Skip. No RSVP’s are necessary-this is offered as an opportunity to ask questions and provide your thoughts & suggestions about the future of Seven Peaks School.
FACULTY: Tuesday, January 23
PARENTS: Wednesday January 24
Based on various input gathered from the community, Skip will create the school overview and position description that will serve as Seven Peaks’ recruiting package as we launch the search for both our permanent head and an interim leaders. Later in the year, when we invite finalists for the permanent Head of School position to visit Seven Peaks, you will again have an important role in meeting them and sharing your impressions with our Search Committee.
The Head of School Search Committee will be co-chaired by Carol Tobey and Dietrich von Behren and will be joined by staff, faculty and parent advisory representatives. The names of the committee will be announced shortly and they will provide regular communication of the search proceedings on the Seven Peaks website.
A national search takes time and we will not settle for anything but the best for our school. So, while our leadership may be in transition a bit longer, you may remain confident in the continued dedication to the primary mission of Seven Peaks: to deliver an excellent education and develop confident, creative, well-rounded individuals.
This next step represents a new milestone and a very exciting phase for Seven Peaks School in what should be considered an opportunity to build for our future.
We all understand what a special place it is. Given the time spent, the trust and importance for our children, we call Seven Peaks our second home and consider it an extension of our family. Since its founding 22 years ago, we have witnessed meaningful evolution and growth while the core values of this school remain consistent. Together as a community, we are confident that we will find an exceptional leader who will want to continue the journey with us, preparing Seven Peaks for its next stage of success as a premiere independent school in Bend.
Thank you for being part of it!
SPS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dietrich von Behren