Head of School Dr. De Jarnett June 2023 Retirement Announcement
In September 2021, Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett announced his plans for retiring in June 2023 after having served for more than 16 years as Head of School for Dwight-Englewood (D-E). Dr. De Jarnett’s leadership during his tenure has been exceptional; his legacy — in the words of Board of Trustees President Rob Miller — has evolved the School into “one of the leading independent schools in the Tri-State area with an elite faculty, administration, and an extraordinary student body whose academic and extracurricular achievements are only matched by its diversity.”
Over the coming months, as the Search Committee conducts its work for D-E’s next Head of School, you will find updates on their process and progress on this webpage.
Head of School Search News & Updates
In this latest Email Update, Search Committee Co-Chairs Caralyn Fuld and Joshua Peirez share with all current members of the D-E community that the Head of School Job Specifications / Position Description (PDF) is now available to view online. Please click here or see below for details.
Zoom Q&A Session Recordings
Head of School Job Specification / Position Description (PDF)
Share Your Feedback
The Head of School Search Committee welcomes feedback from all members of the D-E community regarding the search process for the new Head of School. Please feel free to indicate any comments, questions or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you!
Frequently Asked Questions
The goal of this section is to anticipate your questions about the Head of School search. Please see below and/or if you wish to ask questions directly of the Search Committee please Email Co-Chairs Caralyn Fuld or Joshua Peirez. You are also welcome to submit questions, comments and/or concerns through our Head of School Search Feedback Form.
Who is on the Search Committee?
The members of the Search Committee reflect a broad spectrum of the Dwight-Englewood community and were selected based on their deep understanding of and commitment to the school. Its members are:
Daniel Carragher – D-E Faculty Member (Parent ‘26)
Caralyn Fuld – Co-Chair, Search Committee, Trustee, Past PA President (Parent ’17, ’21, ’26)
Peter Keum – Trustee, Chair of Finance Committee (Parent ’26, ’29)
Robert Miller – Trustee, Current D-E Board President (Parent ’19, ’21, ’23)
Saba Nwankpah – Trustee, Past PA Lower School VP (Parent ’30, ’34)
Josh Peirez – Co-Chair, Search Committee, Trustee, Board Vice President (Parent ’21, ’25, ’26)
Jennifer Rich – Trustee, Chair of Development Committee (Parent ’20, ‘22)
Karen Silvera – Former Trustee and D-E Board President (Parent ’10, ’12, ’15, ’19)
Ami Vaidya – Trustee, Board Secretary, Alumna, (D-E Class of ‘91); (Parent ’24, ’26)
What is the expected timeline for the search process?
Our consultant team will be visiting Dwight-Englewood on October 25 and 26, 2021, spending two full days and evenings meeting with and hearing from faculty and staff, members of the school’s leadership team. students, parent representatives, trustees, and other constituencies. In addition, we will be scheduling Zoom meetings with the extended parent body and D-E alumni and the co-chairs will help moderate and facilitate these sessions.
Active recruiting will begin immediately after the visit and the consultants plan to present to the Search Committee a group of the most promising candidates by early February. We anticipate that the Search Committee will interview these candidates before spring break and identify a select group of finalists to visit campus to meet our community later this spring. The Board hopes to appoint a new Head of School before the end of this 2021-22 school year but at the latest, early in the fall of 2022, allowing ample time for a thoughtful and comprehensive transition.
What are the goals of the search process?
What is the role of the Search Committee?
The Search Committee directs the search from start to finish. Appointed by the Board of Trustees, the committee is charged with leading the process to select Dwight-Englewood’s next Head of School and to ensure that the process is transparent, thorough, and comprehensive. It will coordinate input and feedback from the school’s varied constituencies and keep the community informed as the process evolves.
Specifically, Search Committee members will help craft a position statement, work closely with our consultants to interview referred candidates, and identify the most promising finalists to visit our community. They will devote considerable time to this process, reviewing candidates’ print materials, working with the consultants to check references, and conducting in-depth interviews to identify those individuals who most closely meet our high standards, always respecting the confidentiality of the candidate recruiting process. Ultimately the Search Committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which has the final responsibility for appointing Dwight-Englewood’s next Head of School.
What is the role of the consultants?
Carney, Sandoe & Associates is the search firm that was unanimously selected to work with the Search Committee to identify Dwight-Englewood’s next Head of School. Bruce Dennis, Barbara Chase, and Brandon Jacobs have decades of experience leading schools and recruiting new leaders. Dr. Dennis began his career as a high school English teacher in NYC before moving into school leadership positions spanning more than three decades in both public and independent schools in New York—including principal of Scarsdale HS, 12 years as Superintendent of Schools for the towns of Bedford, Pound Ridge and Mount Kisco, and 15 years as Head of School at The Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, NY from 2004 to 2019. Ms. Chase began her distinguished career as a third-grade teacher at Moses Brown School (RI). After that, she worked at the Wheeler School (RI) where she taught music, English, and history, and served as Director of Admission. From 1994 to 2012, Barbara served as Head of School in history at Phillips Academy (MA). Prior to that, she led the Bryn Mawr School for 14 years. Mr. Jacobs has consulted with a variety of schools, served as a college advisor, admissions counselor, and dorm parent, and was Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at both The Shipley School (PA) and The Hill School (PA). They will advise and guide the Search Committee throughout the entire process, ensuring that best practices are employed to represent the interests of Dwight-Englewood. After studying the school’s mission statement and other written documents, the consultants will visit the school, meet with hundreds of members of the D-E community, and craft a position description that will be used as a recruitment tool. They will then begin actively recruiting and identifying promising school leaders, drawing on the firm’s extensive database and the consultants’ intimate knowledge of the marketplace. After conducting dozens of preliminary candidate interviews, the consultants will present comprehensive dossiers of the top candidates to the search committee, who will decide whom to interview. From start to finish, Dr. Dennis, Ms. Chase, and Mr. Jacobs will be working closely with the Search Committee to ensure that the process stays on track and that communication between the school and the candidates is clear and timely.
What is the role of the current head?
What is the role of the Board?
The Board of Trustees has the full and final responsibility for selecting and hiring Dwight-Englewood’s next Head of School. To facilitate the search process, the Board created a Search Committee that will be involved in every step of the way, getting to know candidates deeply and well. The Board will meet all final candidates advanced by the search committee. At the conclusion of the process, the Board will seek a recommendation from the Search Committee and vote to appoint the next Head of School.
Recognizing that selecting our next leader is a critical milestone for the School, the Board has engaged Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a leading search firm based in Boston, to serve as consultants to the Search Committee throughout the process. The firm, which has led hundreds of national searches for independent schools in the greater New York metropolitan area and around the country will assist the Search Committee from start to finish.