Head of School Search

Carolina Day School, a premier independent day school in western North Carolina, invites applications from inspiring, collaborative, and forward-thinking leaders for the position of Head of School, effective July 2020. This is an exceptional opportunity for the right candidate to build on our legacy of excellence and to continue our commitment to a fundamental promise of vigorous academics, student-centered teaching, and an inclusive community that delivers real-world success.



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

05-07-2019 Message from our Chair

Thank you for the many notes and calls of support for Carolina Day School over the last week. We have come to learn that the ties in our community run deep and true to the CDS mission. It is important that we, as board members, listen to you and support you in our commitment to deliver educational excellence. I wanted to give you a quick update where we are and where we are heading.

Last week, board members participated in community meetings with parents, faculty and staff. On Wednesday, at the Parent Association annual meeting, trustees were present to answer questions and hear concerns. On Wednesday afternoon, there was an All Staff/Faculty meeting, during which two board members—joined by Associate Head Peggy Daniels—facilitated an open dialogue about the school and its future. I will lead a follow-up discussion with faculty and staff this Wednesday, May 8. We are grateful for the open and frank thoughts shared by our faculty, will take their comments to heart, and look forward to continuing the discussion. 

We are appreciative of the school's strong administrative leadership, especially that of Peggy Daniels, who we are grateful and pleased to announce will step in as Interim Head of School for the 2019-20 school year that begins July 1.

Concurrently, we are interviewing search firms to identify potential candidates for the permanent head of school position. We will keep you informed as we proceed through the transition.

We are finishing what has been a challenging year for CDS, but we are enthusiastic and confident about the future. The next couple of weeks will be filled with exciting events on campus, with bell ringing ceremonies, division celebrations, and commencement. We look forward to sharing these special times and traditions with you.

Tom Oreck, Chairman of the Board

05-01-2019 Message from our Chair

Carolina Day School is announcing today that Kirk Duncan, head of school, is leaving CDS effective at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. 

Kirk came to Carolina Day School in 2014. Under his guidance, the school immediately launched a strategic planning process, which was completed in August 2015. The school then initiated an $8.9 million building and capital campaign to construct our new Lower School, library, and reception entrance, which successfully opened in August 2017.

We appreciate the role that Kirk has played in helping CDS get to the next level. The school has benefitted from his strong moral and ethical compass. As CDS moves forward in advancing its position as Asheville's leading independent Pre-K/12 school, the Board has decided to make a change in leadership. We thank Kirk for his dedication and service and wish him great success in the future.

CDS will begin the 2019-20 school year with an interim head of school. A search committee, working with an outside search firm, will identify a permanent head of school.

Additionally, I want to thank our talented and dedicated leadership team, faculty, and staff for their steadfast care and education of our children. We are excited about our future and remain committed to our fundamental promise of vigorous academics, student-centered teaching, and an inclusive community that delivers real-world success.

Tom Oreck

Chair, Board of Trustees

Search Committee

The search committee for the Head of School for Carolina Day School is 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 has been 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.

Timing Guideline for Search Process

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