Head of School Search
After more than a decade as Head of School at Mulgrave, John Wray has announced that he will leave in July 2023, in advance of the 2023-24 school year. While that is still a long time into the future, this length of notice is quite typical for independent schools and allows our Board of Directors to conduct a thorough search for a successor. John informed the Mulgrave Board of his decision with a great deal of notice, allowing plenty of lead time to define and conduct a thorough search plan and process.
Until his departure, John will continue to lead the school in the fullest capacity and will also work collaboratively with the Board and leadership team to ensure that the transition to a new Head of School is smooth and complete.
We know that our students, families, alumni, faculty and staff, and other friends of Mulgrave will want the opportunity to honour John and wish him well. Please stay tuned for more details about these celebrations as we get closer to his departure date in 2023.
Letters to the Community
The following are letters that have been shared with the community regarding John’s announcement and next steps. Updates will be added here throughout the process.
John Wray’s Letter to the Community (includes video message), October 20, 2021
Gopi Chande’s Letter to the Community on behalf of the Board, October 21, 2021
Consultation Survey & Open Door Sessions (Connexions article), November 4, 2021
Mulgrave’s Board of Directors has the responsibility to steer the Head of School search and decide who will carry us forward after John’s departure. A committee (Gopi Chande, Harry Wierenga, Beier Cai, and Kate Hoogendoorn, chaired by Malik Talib) will provide oversight of the process.
After a systematic review, the Board has engaged leading international search firm Perrett Laver. Lucy Hayes, Partner and Head of their Global Schools Practice, will lead the process. She has been involved in recent Head searches for Saint George’s, Crofton House, Pearson College UWC in Victoria, and the IB Organisation with successful results, and her international experience includes appointments at YK Pao School in Shanghai, the United World College of South East Asia, and the International School of Geneva.
Following an extensive consultation process during which they will collect community input, our Selection Committee of parent board members (Gopi Chande, Beier Cai, Roz Seyednejad), two faculty, and a student will perform various aspects of the process ultimately making a recommendation to the Board. This team will also be chaired by Malik Talib.
Mulgrave’s community of students, parents/guardians, faculty and staff, and alumni all have an important role to play in this process. In November, the Board will invite input via a community survey and a series of small group consultations with Lucy Hayes (including Open Door sessions on November 18th and 19th). Through these mechanisms, they will gather thoughts about the opportunities and challenges facing the school in the next decade, as well as views on the leadership attributes and characteristics needed to fulfill Mulgrave’s mission and vision and accomplish the strategic plan. The results will inform the candidate brief that will guide the search process. Please watch for more information in Connexions and via email.
The search is expected to take 8-10 months, which is typical for Head of School searches, with our new Head being appointed in the summer of 2022. The following are related key milestones and events:
- Are there opportunities for community members to participate in the search process?
- How will COVID impact the search? Isn’t it hard to hire a new Head when our top candidates might not be able to travel easily to the school?
- Why are we undertaking a global search? Mulgrave has a Deputy Head of School and two Assistant Heads...doesn’t that give us an internal succession plan?
- Is the Board qualified to make this decision for Mulgrave?
- If John isn’t leaving Mulgrave until the summer of 2023, why are we starting this process now?
- What opportunities will there be to wish John well and celebrate his accomplishments?
- How will the recent rollout of the Strategic Plan (2021-2024) impact the new Head of School?
- If we have questions or want to provide feedback, who should we speak with?