In Our Library

A Call to Aspiring Heads: Please Take Our Survey!

March 2016 — Twenty-five years ago, Wickenden Associates conducted its first national survey of independent school leaders (Preparing for Headship: Advice from the Front Lines). Since then, we have periodically surveyed Heads of School about the challenges and rewards of leading independent schools. With NAIS predicting a wave of Head of School retirements over the next few years, we think it’s time for a new survey project. This time, we want to hear — anonymously — from the next generation of independent school leaders.

If you are actively pursuing your first independent school headship, positioning yourself for a headship down the road, or just mulling the possibility of running your own school one day, this survey is for you! The survey will close on March 31, and we will publish the results this spring.  >>Take the survey here.

Good Tips for Newly Appointed Leaders

levinsonJuly 2015 — During this month when so many independent school leaders begin their tenures at new schools, we wanted to call your attention to a recent post on the NAIS Independent Ideas blog by  Matt Levinson, whom we were delighted to place last year as the Head of University Prep in Seattle.  In his post, Moving Toward Clarity as a New Head of School, Matt discusses the value of the NAIS Institute for New Heads and offers some thoughts about steps incoming Heads can take to promote a smooth entry into their new positions. Well worth a look, especially for first-time Heads!

We wish all of our 2015-16 appointees and their new school communities an exciting and productive school year. We look forward to following their progress.

It’s Newsletter Day!

June 2013 — In the latest issue of our periodic newsletter, released today, Jim Wickenden offers the following thoughts about how this year’s Head of School search season is shaping up:

The days of quiet summers in the independent school search business are over! As had been predicted for several years, the Head of School search landscape is becoming increasingly competitive, with larger numbers of schools competing for a limited pool of highly qualified candidates. The result is a fast start to the 2013-14 search season, with late summer deadlines now becoming the norm. In this newly competitive environment, search committees are feeling the need to be nimble, creative, and aggressive.

If you are an aspiring Head of School or a current Head thinking about making a move, this is a great year to enter the fray!

For all of us at Wickenden Associates, this new reality means a busy summer spent strategizing with our search committees and building strong candidate pools for a wonderfully diverse group of schools. We will also seize the opportunity to interview potential candidates here in our Princeton office, so we encourage you to call for an appointment (609-683-1355) if we haven’t met recently or at all.

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New in Our Library: Shifting the Tuition-Setting Paradigm

April 2013 — Read Jim Wickenden’s remarks at the Schools in Balance conference in Baltimore on April 17 on this weighty topic: Financial Concerns: Shifting the Tuition-Setting Paradigm. Jim shares his views about the missteps contributing to the financial woes confronting many independent schools and proposes new governance strategies to address those challenges.