Head of School Search

Search Update
January 10, 2020

Dear Carmel Community,

Last semester, DRi worked diligently to recruit and screen a wide array of applicants, and to prepare detailed assessments on each viable candidate. In December, the Search Committee reviewed written materials submitted by the candidates and had a vigorous discussion of what each might bring to Carmel, selecting a small number of semi-finalists to advance to the next round. 
The semi-finalists are each appealing in their own unique way, and the Search Committee looks forward to interviewing them in mid-January. Following these interviews, the committee will select finalists to invite to campus. We will announce the finalists and introduce them to the community through a series of on-campus meetings with parents, faculty, staff and students. We will keep you posted as this exciting process unfolds.

Thank you for your support,

Pam Feldstein
HoS Search Committee Co-Chair

Michele Slifka 
HoS Search Committee Co-Chair

Steering Committee

Michele Slifka, Co-Chair, President, Board of Trustees, Parent
Pam Feldstein, Co-Chair, Vice President, Board of Trustees, Parent
Nora Anderson, Head of School
Lisa Corner, Director of PALS and Educational Resources
Yael Slonim, Chief Operating Officer
Julie Rubin, Lower School Teacher, Parent
Sonia Levin, Middle School Teacher, Alumni Parent
Adam Batkin, Parent
Manny Citron, Board of Trustees, Parent
Colin Diamond, Board of Trustees, Parent
Glenn Dynner, Parent
Rachel Lebwohl, Board of Trustees, Parent
Natalie Salem, Parent
Rachel Schneider, Board of Trustees, Parent
Search Update
November 5th, 2019
Dear Carmel Academy Community, 
We are writing to update you on the Head of School search process and to thank you for your important role in it.  As you know, Nora announced in June that the ‘19/’20 school year would be her last at Carmel Academy. Subsequently, the Board of Trustees created a Search Committee and hired a search firm, Development Resources, inc. (DRi). In partnership with DRi and our lead consultant, Jeff Johnson, we launched a robust process to find Carmel Academy’s next Head of School.  We are indebted to Nora for her academic leadership, for her love of our children, and for working with us to create an extraordinary community of Jewish families.  Nora has set the bar very high and we are determined to make sure that the next Head of School at Carmel is equal to the task.
We are now entering the exciting next phase of the search process, focused on the recruitment of candidates. It is vitally important that this part of the process be completely confidential as nearly all candidates currently hold important positions. Only a very few candidates will make it to the final stage of the search, and we do not wish to jeopardize in any way the current standing of the candidates that will not advance.
Recruitment begins with a description of the position we are seeking to fill, which was developed with significant input from the Carmel Academy community. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in the information-gathering phase of this search. Jeff Johnson conducted several on-campus and telephonic meetings with the Carmel Academy community, to allow all constituencies an opportunity to share their perspectives on the Head of School search. As part of these meetings, Jeff met with about 50 individuals, including parents, teachers, administrators, board members, and members of the Search Committee. You have our profound gratitude for your enthusiastic and insightful feedback. Your input yielded valuable information about what the Carmel Academy community values about our school and its leaders, as well as our school community’s hopes for the future. 
With your feedback in hand and with the Search Committee’s input, DRi has also completed a Head of School position description (pdf) and ad copy. These documents are used to recruit candidates by briefly describing what makes our school distinctive, the key responsibilities of our next Head of School, and the qualifications a successful candidate should possess. We are placing ads in key online locations and sharing the position description with Jewish education leaders throughout the country.
We invite you to forward either of these documents to people in your networks that you feel may be interested in learning more. We also invite you to nominate potential candidates by emailing Jeff Johnson (johnson@driconsulting.com ) directly. Nominations are held confidential.
As promised, we will continue to keep you informed about the process – and continue to take full advantage of the community’s collective wisdom. Over the coming weeks our efforts will:
  • Shift to DRi connecting with applicants;
  • Search Committee review of candidate files;
  • Search Committee semi-finalist in person interviews; and
  • Announcement of finalists to the community.
When we reach the announcement of finalists to the community, we will invite members of the Carmel Academy community to meet each finalist, holding meetings for current parents, faculty, staff, and students. We will share more information about this as finalists are announced.
Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or thoughts. 
Pam Feldstein & Michele Slifka
Search Committee Co-Chairs 

Dear Carmel Community,

As you are all aware, our beloved Head of School Nora Anderson has announced her intention to move on from Carmel Academy at the end of the 2019-2020 school year after seventeen wonderful years. While we are very sorry to see Nora go, we are deeply grateful for her extraordinary contributions and the indelible mark she has made on the soul and excellence of the school.

As the leaders of the Search Committee, we are committed to making the search process as transparent as possible, and to engaging you, our school community, in this important undertaking. To this end, you will receive regular updates from us as we keep you informed and let you know when important milestones in the search process have been achieved. There will also be opportunities to meet both with individuals running the process, and candidates, as we move forward.

We are extremely committed to finding an excellent leader to serve as our next Head of School – an individual who truly understands and personifies the neshema of the Carmel community, and who knows and embraces the power of experiential and differentiated learning. We seek a leader who will be the compelling visionary able to continue to grow and develop our school experience while remaining true to the values and rigorous academic standards that make Carmel unique.

One of our first and most important steps was to assemble a Head of School Search Committee. Our committee is a representation of our school constituents and includes current parents, esteemed faculty, members of the leadership team, and members of the Board of Trustees. We have made a deliberate effort to include representatives from our many geographically and religiously diverse populations, and to include members who bring distinct skill sets, backgrounds, and perspectives that will enrich the process.

We have also engaged an exceptional search firm to support our process. Our partner from the firm will be coming to campus next week to visit the school, and meet with parents, faculty, administration, and the board.

We look forward to keeping you engaged and well-informed throughout the various stages of the search process. We also welcome your thoughts, ideas, and concerns, so please feel free to reach out to either of us at any time. Carmel Academy is so very fortunate to have a strong, active, and supportive community, and together we will find the next visionary leader to guide our amazing school into the future with passion and excellence.

Thank you for your support and Shabbat Shalom,

Pam Feldstein
HoS Search Committee Co-Chair

Michele Slifka
HoS Search Committee Co-Chair

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  • Carmel Academy is a private school for children of all Jewish affiliations, serving children from transitional kindergarten through 8th grade.

Carmel Academy is a recipient of UJA Greenwich, the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County and The UJA Federation on New York.