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HOS Search Committee Update – 6/14/19

UPDATE 6/14/19:

Dear SDJA Community,

We hope that you are all looking forward to a relaxing summer break! Our search committee has been quite active over the last several weeks, and we wanted to give you an update before the end of the school year.

Tani Weismann, one of our DRG search consultants, visited our campus last week and met with many of our constituents, including faculty, parents, administration, key supporters and our search committee. His findings from these meetings will shape the HOS job description that DRG will use to advertise for and recruit for our next Head of School. Tani was extraordinarily impressed with our school community and our beautiful campus, and he left San Diego even more convinced that we have an amazing position to offer to potential candidates.


In addition, as you know, we just completed a survey of a variety of members of our school community. Thank you to all who participated. We were very pleased to receive 278 responses from our parents, faculty, administration and key stakeholders.   The results of this survey will greatly inform our search.

The following is a summary of our survey results:

As our community, you indicated that the following four attributes of SDJA are what you most value:

  • The culture of the school – Jewish values
  • Challenging academic environment
  • Committed teaching staff
  • Belonging to a warm, inclusive community

You responded that the following should be the priorities for our next Head of School:

  • Attract and retain exceptional teachers and staff
  • Ensure academic excellence
  • Cultivate student leaders and independent thinkers
  • Understand core Jewish values, and understand the meaning of a pluralistic day school, understand the diversity of cultures among our SDJA families

You indicated that the following were the most important professional experiences for our next Head of School to have in her/his background:

  • Managing and engaging faculty and staff
  • Experience and knowledge of both secular and Jewish education
  • Ability to engage the parent community
  • Ability to delegate, follow up and empower

When asked about the characteristics of our next Head of School, you replied that the following would be the most important:

  • Strategic, creative and innovative thinker who understands the future of education
  • Warm, approachable and accessible
  • Energy, enthusiasm, and passion for Jewish education
  • Strong leadership skills/lead by example

We saw great alignment in the responses from our various constituents, which in turn gives us a clear roadmap for our Head of School search. Thank you again for your participation!

Next Steps:

As mentioned above, our search consultants will reflect upon the thoughtful participation of our focus groups, as well as the data from our survey, to construct a job description. After the job description is reviewed and edited by our search committee, the final product will be used for the next stage of our search: actively reaching out to qualified candidates in the national pool of educators. We anticipate that by late August, we will have a vetted slate of candidates with whom we will conduct initial Skype interviews.   As we have stated in the past, our goal is to have in person interviews with finalists during September and October, with a goal of reaching an agreement in November. We hope to have strong participation from our entire community as this process unfolds.

Our next communication to you will likely be at the beginning of the school year, when we will update you on the work of our recruiters and search committee. In the interim, please feel free to reach out to either one of us with your ideas, comments and feedback. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wishing you a wonderful last few days of the school year and an amazing summer!


Jessica Fink and Theresa Dupuis

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