Head of School Appointment

Stephanie B. Whitney

In May of 2019, the Carolina Day School Board of Directors launched a national search for prospective candidates for a permanent Head of School. As a premier independent day school in western North Carolina, CDS was in a strong position to attract outstanding applicants, and the search generated many inquiries from qualified school leaders. After carefully reviewing applications, hosting campus visits, and conducting interviews, the Carolina Day School's Board of Trustees unanimously and enthusiastically selected a candidate.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Stephanie B. Whitney as the school's next Head of School, effective July 1, 2020. Read the news release.


11-11-2019 New Head of School Announcement

Dear CDS Community,


We are pleased and honored to announce that Carolina Day School's Board of Trustees has unanimously selected Stephanie B. Whitney as the school's next Head of School, effective July 1, 2020.

Stephanie is currently Head of School at The Mead School in Stamford, Connecticut, an independent school for infants through grade eight. Before joining Mead in 2015, Stephanie spent 11 years as Assistant Head of School at Greens Farms Academy, a Pre-K/12 independent college preparatory school in Westport, CT. 

At The Mead School, Stephanie is viewed as a visionary and  strategic thinker with strong financial acumen and outstanding interpersonal skills. She has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the student experience as the heart of any decision. Stephanie's colleagues speak of her extraordinarily high ethics, approachability, and ease at building community. Stephanie has worked tirelessly at Mead to improve faculty morale, engage in community conversations, and strengthen all areas of program and curriculum.

Stephanie graduated from Purdue University with a B.A. in Business and French, and she holds an M.B.A. from Harvard University. Stephanie, who is originally from Ohio, and her husband, John, have two grown sons. 

We are thrilled to have Stephanie join Carolina Day School as our new Head of School. Stephanie is a natural leader and community builder, as demonstrated by her leadership at Mead and Greens Farms. She has the proven ability to collaborate and lead in all areas: academics, admissions, finance, advancement, and marketing. Stephanie is committed to continuing Carolina Day School's focus on supporting great faculty and academic excellence, and meeting the needs of each student. She is an innovative thinker who will successfully lead the school into the future.

The Carolina Day School community provided overwhelmingly high praise for Stephanie in the survey feedback: "She brings energy, excitement, and connection to all constituencies in our community," wrote one respondent. Another commented, "She understands what CDS needs and where we can go in the future. We'll work together to grow and improve under her guidance." 

Interim Head of School Peggy Daniels expressed that, "Our path as a school will be on solid footing with Stephanie leading the way. I am so pleased with this result, and look forward to watching the school grow and evolve in its commitment to academic excellence for current students and future generations."

Stephanie's appointment is the result of an extensive search process conducted over the last seven months under the guidance of the search firm, RG175. The 10-member Search Committee sought input from all of Carolina Day's constituents throughout the process. The initial list of over 80 candidates was narrowed to three qualified and compelling finalists for in-depth and extensive two-day interviews on campus. The feedback that was received from the Faculty Advisory Committee, faculty, administration, parents, students, alumni, regents, and trustees was paramount in the determination of Stephanie's appointment.

We appreciate everyone who spent time with Stephanie during her visit to CDS. The Search Committee found your feedback invaluable in confirming that Stephanie will bring the experience, leadership, and spirit we need in our next Head of School. Her excitement about joining CDS is evident In her letter to you, which you can read here.

On behalf of the Search Committee and Board of Trustees, we are optimistic and very excited about this next chapter for our school. As we continue this year under the steady and wise leadership of Peggy Daniels, we will find opportunities to introduce and welcome Stephanie and her husband, John, to the Carolina Day School community in the coming months.


Tom Oreck, Board of Trustees Chair

Swati Patel, Search Committee Co-chair

Suzanne Rose, Search Committee Co-chair

09-30-2019 Head of School Search Update

Dear CDS Community,

We are pleased to share with you the progress of the Head of School search. There has been tremendous interest in our Head of School position. During the summer and early fall, Resource Group 175 identified a pool of over 80 candidates from their national and international network, with whom our consultant, Bob Henderson, held in-depth conversations and interviews. After initial screening, a talented pool of diverse, qualified candidates were presented to the Search Committee to be considered as candidates for in-person interviews. The search committee reviewed those candidates' application materials, which included a minimum of a detailed cover letter, a resume, a professional writing sample, and an educational philosophy statement. The committee met for several hours to discuss in detail and evaluate each of those applicants.  

We have narrowed the pool to a group of talented semi-finalists, each of whom we will interview over the weekend of Fall Break, October 5 and 6. The choice was not easy given the outstanding quality of our applicants. However, the selection of semifinalists was a thorough and thoughtful process that has resulted in a group of highly capable and experienced individuals. Our semifinalist candidates are a diverse group, which includes not only current or former heads of school but also non-traditional candidates as well as "rising stars."  

Following the semi-finalist interviews, the committee will choose finalist candidates to visit campus during the month of October. We will have more details about these visits as they are finalized. There will be opportunities for all members of our community to engage with each finalist candidate and to provide feedback based upon those encounters to the Search Committee. 

Our semi-finalist candidates have been assured of confidentiality during this process. Please understand that we will not be able to reveal the names of candidates or answer specific questions during this stage of the search. We do, however, welcome your input and encourage you to reach out to us at any time.  

We are incredibly grateful to the members of our Search Committee for their time, dedication and commitment to engage in this very important work for our school. And we appreciate the support of the entire Carolina Day community during this process.

Best Regards,

Swati Patel '92
Co-Chair, Search Committee

Suzanne Rose
Co-Chair, Search Committee

07-09-2019 Head of School Search Update and Survey

Dear Carolina Day School community,

We hope you are having an enjoyable summer. As board chair Tom Oreck communicated in his last letter, we are writing with important updates on the work of the head of school search committee. To summarize our work to date, the CDS board of trustees engaged Resource Group 175 (RG175), represented by Bob Henderson, to assist in this process. A head of school position statement and a timeline for the search committee's work has also been created, the details of which can be found on our head of school search page at carolinaday.org/HOS.

Today, we are asking each one of you to take time to complete the following 5-minute survey to inform and support the work of the search committee and our search consultant, RG175.

We are interested in your opinions about the state of the school, the challenges and opportunities you see ahead, and the professional and personal qualities you feel are important in the next head of school. The results will be taken together with what we learned from the SAIS all-community survey in May to help the search committee with their work. All responses are confidential.

Please respond to this survey by July 22 at 5 p.m. Thank you in advance.


We will continue to keep you posted on our progress at regular intervals throughout the year. We are grateful for your support and encouragement.


Suzanne Rose, Search Committee Co-Chair

Swati Patel '92, Search Committee Co-Chair

Search Committee

The search committee for the Head of School for Carolina Day School was charged with retaining a consulting firm to work in conjunction with the committee to recruit and to interview candidates and ultimately make a recommendation to the CDS Board of Trustees. Members of the committee were carefully selected to ensure a diversity of perspective and will benefit from the school’s ongoing commitment to community-wide feedback through individual discussions, focus groups, and surveys.

Search Committee Members:

  • Suzanne Rose, Search Committee Co-Chair
  • Swati Patel '92, Search Committee Co-Chair
  • Tom Oreck
  • John Stanier
  • Patti D'Angelo
  • Ann Goosmann
  • Kemper Brown, Jr. '04
  • Max Cogburn
  • Tom Olverson
  • Mollie Lammers (Faculty Representative)
  • Keith Love

Consulting Firm

RG175 was selected for the CDS Head of School search. Search consultant is Robert P. Henderson, Jr.


Mission Statement

"Our mission is to inspire students to become innovative thinkers who communicate with intelligence and clarity, create with vision and purpose, and act with courage and compassion to confidently make a meaningful difference in the world."

Read more.

Timeline of Search Process

September 15 - Application due date
October 5-6 - Semi-finalist interviews - select Finalists
October 9-25 - Finalists visit campus
November 11 - New Head of School announced