by Bert Valdman, chair of Lakeside’s head of school search committee
The search for Lakeside’s next head of school is underway. At our search committee’s first meeting, one of our top priorities was to review feedback from community members who provided their perspective on what is distinctive about Lakeside, what we should look for in a new head, and how the school can continue to be a leader in independent school education.
Thank you to everyone who filled out the community survey and who participated in stakeholder meetings. Even during a busy year, participation was broad and balanced across groups. The responses were thoughtful, sincere, and helpful in shaping the head of school position description, the document that describes Lakeside as it is today and lays out our hopes for the new head.
Several key themes emerged in the feedback:
- Lakeside is a relentlessly student-focused school committed to academic excellence, equity and inclusion, ethical behavior, and global engagement. It is animated by a culture of kindness, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Students and faculty are intellectually curious and form strong and authentic relationships.
- Lakeside should be a place where all views and perspectives can be voiced, considered, and respected, and where students are supported and encouraged to identify their passions and individual path.
- The Lakeside community should continue to ask and act on the bold questions that shape the future of education, embrace innovation, and encourage community service and curricular innovation.
We want Lakeside to be a place where all members of the community can bring their ideas and beliefs. And we want our search process to reinforce that. If we are successful, all aspects of the search process will reflect our shared values.
For example, here are some ways we are building our community’s commitment to equity and inclusion into the hiring process and the position description.
- This will be a worldwide search and we will actively recruit candidates with a wide range of perspectives, backgrounds, and ideas about education.
- Director of Equity and Inclusion Jamie Asaka is deeply involved in the search process: she was one of the administrators who met individually with our search consultants to share thoughts about Lakeside’s future, and she carefully reviewed the position description with a focus on equity and inclusion.
- All search committee members will go through Lakeside’s hiring training, led by Asaka and Assistant Director of Equity and Inclusion Debbie Bensadon. This training, which focuses on implicit bias, is the same one that all hiring committees go through at Lakeside. It will occur prior to the search committee reviewing resumes and designing interview days and questions. For more information about Lakeside’s work in equitable and inclusive recruitment and hiring, see the updates to goal one on the Our Work Together dashboard.
Just as our values around equity and inclusion are incorporated into our search, Lakeside’s values of academic excellence, ethical behavior, and global engagement will likewise be emphasized throughout the process and position description.
Thank you to everyone who nominated an individual for the role. You can continue to send nominations to LakesideHead@spencerstuart.com.
Over the next months the search process will enter a quiet phase as the search committee begins to consider potential candidates. We will share a brief update in the spring. Find more about the search for Lakeside's next head of school, including all previous updates, on this webpage.
Bert Valdman is a trustee of Lakeside School and the chair of the head of school search committee. You can contact the committee through the confidential email LakesideHead@spencerstuart.com.