Head of School Search

Updated July 10, 2018

Following the sudden loss of Dr. Stephanie Balmer as Harpeth Hall's Head of School in February 2018, the Board of Trustees took on its responsibility to determine our next Head of School. On February 28, 2018, the Board was pleased to announce the appointment of Jess Hill as Interim Head of School beginning May 19, 2018. Since that time, the Board has continued to focus on the future of the school, has approved our 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, and has formed a Search Committee to begin the work of selecting the next Head of School.

Head of School Search Committee

Rachel Reeves Settle '94 
Search Committee Co-Chair, Trustee, Alumna

Jackie Glover Thompson '64 
Search Committee Co-Chair, Trustee, Alumna, Past Parent

Didi Kaplan Biesman '82 
Trustee, Alumna, Past Parent

Craig Buffkin 
Trustee, Past Parent

Jane Berry Jacques '72
Chair, Board of Trustees, Trustee, Alumna, Past Parent

John T. Johnson 
Trustee, Past Parent

Frank Majors
Trustee, Current Parent

Cathy Cate Sullivan '73
Trustee, Alumna

Jay Sangervasi 
Trustee, Past Parent

Emily Cate Tidwell '75.
Past Chair, Board of Trustees, Trustee, Alumna, Past Parent, Chair of Head of School Search Committee 2013

The Board has selected executive search firm Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a firm that has completed more than 750 successful searches for school heads and other top administrators over the past 40 years.  


Search Committee's Goals and Process

The Search Committee is committed to finding our next exceptional leader who will lead Harpeth Hall forward into the next 150 years. The committee is confident that the selected person will be passionate about girls' education, will fully embrace our school and community, will build on the school's achievements, and will share in our strategic plan and vision.

The Search Committee's goal is to gather input and engage the entire Harpeth Hall community in the search process, so that as many ideas as possible are incorporated in prioritizing the qualities we seek in the next Head of School. Carney, Sandoe & Associates search consultants met with the full faculty on May 16 and the Board of Trustees on June 6.  They also met with school administrators, department chairs, alumnae, and parents during a campus visit on June 19-20.

On May 29, an online survey was distributed as a means of gathering information and gaining insight from all constituencies of the community – alumnae, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, upper school students, and trustees. More than 900 individuals completed the survey, including 442 alumnae! This enormous response demonstrates the depth of the care and commitment to Harpeth Hall in our community. Many thanks to all of those who participated.

The survey responses and visits with our many constituencies equipped the Search Committee with excellent information as they created the Position Description for our next Head of School. The Position Description has been distributed widely by our search consultants throughout the country and internationally, and they are actively engaged in extensive candidate recruitment. We invite you to share the Position Description with any outstanding prospective candidates you might know.

Carney, Sandoe & Associates 

Harpeth Hall community members may reach out directly to any of our three search consultants to provide feedback, ask questions about the search process, or nominate a candidate for Head of School. 

Aggie Underwood
Vice President, Managing Associate Search and Consulting Group
acunderwood@carneysandoe.com | 617-515-6673

Marguerite Lloyd
Senior Consultant
marguerite.lloyd@carneysandoe.com | 202-552-9009

Marlene Shaw
Senior Consultant
marlene.shaw@carneysandoe.com | 901-378-2019