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Head of School Search Committee

  • Larry Rooney – Chair of Buildings & Grounds Board Committee parent of Monte 1st and 3rd graders
  • Sister Julia Marie Roy – Member of Monastic Council, Director of Mission Integration
  • Sara Barry – Past Board Chair, previous search committee member, parent of Monte 8th grader
  • Tracie Kutmas – Director of Finance and Operations and parent of Monte PreK-4 and 5th graders
  • Caitriona Harris – Leader of Learning Initiatives (REACH, Camp Monte, Beyond the Bell)
  • David Jeter – Board Chair and parent of Monte 4th and 6th graders

School Search Communications

List of 4 items.

  • April 12, 2022 - Announcement of Interim HOS

    April 12, 2022
     
    Dear Monte Cassino Community,
     
    As the school year draws towards its close, the search process is underway for a new head of school. Our search committee has been working diligently with the search firm EduDx in a thoughtful process that was presented during the State of School in January. After receiving recommendations from our search firm and the search committee, we realized an interim head of school would be needed for the 2022-2023 school year. On behalf of the monastic council and Benedictine Sisters, we are happy to announce the appointment of Mrs. Tracie Kutmas as Interim Head of School at Monte Cassino, beginning July 1, 2022.
     
    Tracie has served at Monte Cassino over the past two years as Director of Finance and Operations, working closely with Kevin Smith and senior staff in all aspects of school operations. She is committed to the Catholic Benedictine mission and values of Monte Cassino and brings extensive management experience to ensure continuity and innovation.  She has great enthusiasm for all things Monte, not only as a member of the administrative team but as parent of Monte Cassino students.
     
    We are so grateful for Tracie’s acceptance of this interim position, and we are confident in her ability to lead the school in its mission.
     
    The Monastic Council and Board of Directors are committed to identifying a highly qualified leader who believes in our mission and Benedictine values and shares a love for our students.
     
    Thank you for your support for Tracie and your commitment to Monte Cassino School.
     
    Blessings~
     
    Sr. Marie Therese Long, OSB
    Prioress – St. Joseph Monastery
    President- Monte Cassino School, Inc.
     
    David Jeter
    Chair, Monte Cassino School Board
  • March 9, 2022 - Head of School Search Survey Deadline Approaching

    March 8, 2022
     
    Dear members of the Monte Cassino community,
     
    Last week our head of school search professionals from Educational Directions, Risa Oganesoff Heersche and Mathew Heersche and, were on campus to learn about the Monte Cassino community, our culture, the opportunities for the next head of school as well as the qualities sought in this individual. Mathew and Risa greatly appreciated the very warm and gracious welcome they received, experiencing and enjoying a real sense of family at Monte Cassino. They also saw the strong commitment we have to providing the best for our students, all guided by our mission and our Benedictine values.
     
    If you did not have the chance to meet with them or would like to share additional thoughts, there is still an opportunity to complete our online survey. The survey is available by clicking on the following link:
     
     
    The survey will remain open until Monday, March 13.
     
    As a reminder, Risa and Mathew, using the information gathered during their visit as well as the survey, will develop a position profile which will articulate the special qualities of the Monte Cassino community, the areas of focus for the next head of school as well as the qualities sought, both personal and professional. This document will be shared with the search committee for review and approval.
     
    The position profile will be used as part of the recruitment efforts. Over the course of the next few months, Mathew and Risa will reach out to Catholic educational leaders and programs, executive directors of educational organizations and regional school associations to notify them of this wonderful opportunity. They will be identifying and evaluating top prospects and presenting the most appropriate candidates to the search committee for our review. From this group, the search committee will identify the top-level candidates whom the committee will interview. Finalists will be selected after these interviews. There will be opportunities for school community members to meet the finalists once we have narrowed down that group.
     
    We look forward to the search process and will keep all members of our school community informed as to its progress via regular updates.
     
    For the search committee,
     
    Larry Rooney
    Search Chair
     
  • February 25, 2022 - Letter about Surveys

    February 25, 2022
     
    Dear members of the Monte Cassino community:
     
    As noted in our previous communication, our search professionals from EDU, Risa Oganesoff Heersche and Mathew Heersche will be starting the Head of School search process. An important first step is for them to visit Monte Cassino to learn as much as possible about our community. This will enable them to identify the opportunities for the new Head of School and the qualities we will seek for in this individual. They are scheduled be on campus Tuesday, March 1 and Wednesday, March 2.
     
    Matt and Risa will be spending time with members from all our community’s groups and will be asking us what we seek in our next leader. They also want to know:
    • What is the culture of our school?
    • What are the perceived challenges and opportunities of the school?
    • Where do we, as a school, want to be in five years?
    • What experience/leadership styles/personality traits will best meet those needs within our culture?
     
    We have scheduled two town-hall-styled forums to get parents’ feedback.
    • Tuesday, March 1, 6:00pm in the MPAC
    • Wednesday, March 2, 8:15am in the MPAC
     
    In the event you cannot attend one of the parent forums, you can still give your feedback using our online survey. The survey can be accessed at the following link: Monte Cassino Head of School Search Survey. Faculty, staff and administration meetings will be scheduled throughout the school day.
     
    Mathew and Risa will gather all the information from this process, and with the help of the search committee, develop a job description/position profile which will be used as a marketing tool for this wonderful opportunity. Once completed, the position profile will be shared with the school community on the Head of School Search section of the school’s website.
     
    For the search committee,
     
    Larry Rooney
    Search Chair
     
  • February 8, 2022 - Initial letter from Search Committee

    February 8, 2022
    As promised during the State of the School meetings last month, we wanted to provide the community with a progress update concerning the Head of School search process that is underway.
    The Process
    On January 11, 2022, the MCS School Board, under the leadership of Sister Marie Therese Long, President of MCS and myself, David Jeter, MCS Board Chair selected the following people to serve as the Head of School Search Committee:
    • Larry Rooney – Chair of Buildings & Grounds Committee and Monte parent of 1st and 3rd graders
    • Sister Julia Marie Roy – Monastic Council, Director of Mission Integration
    • Sara Barry – Monte parent, Past Board Chair, previous search committee member, Monte parent of an 8th grader
    • Tracie Kutmas – Director of Finance and Operations and Monte parent of PreK-4 and 5th graders
    • Caitriona Harris – Leader of Learning Initiatives (REACH, Camp Monte, Beyond the Bell)
    • David Jeter – Board Chair and Monte parent of 4th and 6th graders
     
    We recognize that the selection of the new Head is one of the most important responsibilities of the Board of Directors and that we want an exceptional individual who believes in our mission and shares a love for our students. The first action in the process was to identify and engage a search firm to assist us in this all-important task. The search committee has spent the last few weeks interviewing search consultant firms from across the country and in our local region who specialize in Head of School placement services. We are excited to announce today that the committee has selected Education Directions (EduDx) and their Catholic Search Team led by Matt and Risa Oganesoff Heersche. Educational Directions was founded in 1987 and is a highly respected national firm. Mathew and Risa bring deep experience, as educational leaders in Catholic education and as search professionals, as well as expertise and enthusiasm to our search. In addition, they have worked with a wide range of sponsored Catholic schools in their search for new leadership and are very familiar with how the values of a religious community inform the life of the school as well as the unique governance and leadership structures.
     
    EduDx and the search committee will kick off the formal search process which will include surveying the entire Monte community and stakeholders for input regarding the next leader of the school. Your input during these next few weeks in invaluable so please look out for the communications and survey information.
    Once a pool of qualified and interested candidates are identified, EduDx and the committee will begin conducting interviews and ultimately will have a finalist group for the Board of Directors and Monsatic Council to consider.
    The Projection
    While we are certainly looking forward to meeting who will become our new Head of School, our greater priority will be to honor the process and select the right person for our community. This will take some time and we hope you trust this team will select someone who will carefully build on the great progress we have made over the last several years.
    Rest assured the school is in an incredibly strong position with great momentum and this Head of School transition will not change our trajectory. The Senior Staff and Board of Directors work very well together and intend to manage this transition with minimal disruption to our students’ growth and day to day operations.
    We are also currently developing a plan should we need to appoint an interim Head of School if the search extends into the summer. Finding the right person who aligns with our school’s values is more important for the long term than making a quick hire.
    Going forward
    We will post a Head of School Search Update on the myMonte Resource Board soon. This letter will be posted there for your reference. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the search, please contact the Search Committee Chair, Larry Rooney, LRooney@manhattanconstruction or me.
    Thank you again for your support!
    David Jeter
    MSC Board Chair
With Kevin Smith’s announcement he will be leaving MC to be closer to family, the search has begun to find Monte Cassino’s next Head of School.  This page will serve as a resource of updated information pertaining to the Search Committee’s Progress. If you have any questions about the school search please email headsearch@montecassino.org