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Head Search

Announcing New Head of School

We are pleased to announce that The Montessori School will welcome new Head of School, Jonathan Alden, to our school community. Our Head of School Search Committee and the Board of Trustees voted unanimously in this selection following our extensive search in collaboration with the firm Carney, Sandoe & Associates. Jon has accepted our offer to be The Montessori School’s next Head of School and will begin his role on August 1, 2022. 

Laurie Stulb’s admirable head leadership resulted in incredible growth and gains for The Montessori School over the past fourteen years. Her guidance and wisdom as both a visionary and a pragmatist successfully shepherded us through not only a major site renovation but an unprecedented pandemic. Laurie's dedication to TMS has ensured that our school is strong fiscally and academically. It is with our utmost gratitude and appreciation of Laurie that we welcome Jon and embark on this exciting new chapter at TMS.

Jon comes to us with strong experiences as Head of School. He has worked in both independent and Montessori schools with extensive leadership backgrounds as Head of School, and in admissions, marketing, finance and staff development. Jon holds an Association Montessori Internationale administration certification. Jon is passionate about educational excellence and values the importance of a strong foundation for the developing student. His professional experience and statement of educational philosophy match the mission and vision of TMS cohesively. Jon’s appreciation for all that TMS offers was evident during his thorough visit to our school and campus. His respect for TMS and the Montessori philosophy was evident not only in the time Jon took to observe the classrooms and the students at work, but also by his kind words for the faculty, students and well-appointed classrooms at all levels. Jon is pleased to return to the area where he grew up. He knows this part of Pennsylvania well, having attended Abington Friends School and The George School.  

We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who helped make our Head of School search a success. Thank you for your feedback provided through the Carney, Sandoe & Associates survey. We are grateful to the Administrative Transition Team for their effort and commitment to the Head of School search process. Thank you, to Dareus Conover, Marj Horton, Keri Kelly, Amy Robinson, Karen Walsh and Sue Zaharchuk for your dedication to the future of TMS. Please join us in congratulating Jon and welcoming him to The Montessori School!

Sincerely,
Ngoc Tran, The Montessori School Board Chair
Karen Walsh and Sue Zaharchuk, Chairs of the Head of School Search Committee

Our Approach

It is with great appreciation and gratitude that The Montessori School congratulates Laurie Stulb on the public announcement of her retirement at the end of her current contract as Head of School. Laurie has served as Head of School for the TMS community for the past 13 years and her commitment and visionary leadership have been invaluable to the students, faculty, families and institution as a whole. She ensured that our school renovations updated our facilities to meet the evolving needs of the infrastructure of the building while maintaining the integrity of our authentic Montessori educational process. Laurie is a champion for the students and their needs. Her community outreach has led to significant support for our school. We have all reaped the benefits of her advocacy for students and the importance of their education.   

The TMS Board of Trustees began the process for finding the next Head of School to begin as soon as the 2022-23 school year. The Administrative Transition Team led this process in partnership with Carney, Sandoe & Associates, and involved communication and feedback from the entire TMS community. The transition of leadership in administration reinforces and strengthens the mission of TMS as an institution. We are committed to hiring a leader who recognizes and values our unparalleled program and is committed to furthering the success of our gem of a school. We are excited for the future of TMS, and thank you in advance for your participation in this process.

FAQ's

On October 8, 2021, Laurie Stulb officially announced her plan to retire as of July, 2022. This is consistent with the end of her contract with TMS which Laurie graciously extended, guiding the school community through the Covid pandemic.

Laurie has worked diligently as Head of School for 14 years. The TMS community is grateful for her leadership and energy. She ensured that our school renovations updated our facilities to meet the evolving needs of the infrastructure of the building while maintaining the integrity of our authentic Montessori educational process. Laurie is a champion for the students and their needs. Her community outreach has led to significant support for our school. We have all reaped the benefit of her advocacy for the students and the importance of their education.  


 

Yes, TMS and the ATT (Administrative Transition Team) have contracted with Carney, Sandoe & Associates to lead us through the search process to find an excellent match for our next Head of School. We are working with Skip Kotkins, who has international experience placing Heads of Schools, including in Montessori schools. Carney, Sandoe & Associates as an industry leader has a strong track record placing heads of schools and providing leadership training to schools since 1977. 

The timeline of a HOS search can vary widely due to a number of factors. It is possible the search will conclude as early as this spring. The search process consists of the following phases:

1) Establishing a relationship between the firm and school (educating the firm about the history and culture of our school)

2) Building the candidate pool (Utilizing multiple tools, a wide net is cast for candidates. We seek both candidates who have self-identified as looking for positions, as well as recruiting candidates we know, whom we hope to entice with the TMS opportunity)

3) Promising candidates are referred to the committee 

4) First round interviews (an initial round of interviews conducted by the committee will narrow the pool to a smaller number of finalists)

5) Reference checking

6) Finalist visits

7) Selection (the committee will recommend one candidate to be voted upon by the TMS Board of Trustees)

Be in touch! Please feel free to continue to share your thoughts and questions regarding the HOS search by emailing the Administrative Transition Team at HOSSearch@themontessorischool.us

Dareus Conover
Current and alumni parent, TMS alumnus '86, Systems Architect for University of Pennsylvania College of Arts & Sciences

Marj Horton
Trustee, Director of Montessori Teacher Education Program at Chestnut Hill College

Keri Kelly
Former TMS Children’s House Guide, Reading Specialist, Alumni parent

Amy Robinson
Current TMS Lower Elementary Guide, TMS alumna '96

Brittany Shearon
Trustee, Former educator and director of literacy program within Philadelphia School District

Karen Walsh
Former Board Chair, Trustee, Alumni parent, Senior Executive Bank of America

Sue Zaharchuk
Trustee, Former leader of TMS capital campaign, Alumni parent

Administrative Transition Team Members

Dareus Conover
Current and alumni parent, TMS alumnus '86, Systems Architect for University of Pennsylvania College of Arts & Sciences

Marj Horton
Trustee, Director of Montessori Teacher Education Program at Chestnut Hill College

Keri Kelly
Former TMS Children’s House Guide, Reading Specialist, Alumni parent

Amy Robinson
Current TMS Lower Elementary Guide, TMS alumna '96

Brittany Shearon
Trustee, Former educator and director of literacy program within Philadelphia School District

Karen Walsh
Former Board Chair, Trustee, Alumni parent, Senior Executive Bank of America

Sue Zaharchuk
Trustee, Former leader of TMS capital campaign, Alumni parent

Contact Us

The Administrative Transition Team welcomes your communication and feedback. Please don’t hesitate to reach us at HOSSearch@themontessorischool.us.

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