Carolina Day School’s new Head of School Stephanie Whitney, in her first four months in the role, has laid out ambitious plans to lead Carolina Day with “a relentless pursuit of excellence,” promising an approach that capitalizes on the strengths of the school and brings its true excellence into the light.
“Much has changed for independent schools in the past few years,” said Whitney. “It’s time to pledge smarter allocation of capital, resources, and talent to leverage the school’s longstanding tradition of excellence and drive us into the future.”
Priorities for Whitney include a stronger focus on curriculum design and mapping to support academic excellence and the arts; realigning the administrative structure of the PK–8 program to better support students and teachers; exploring expansion opportunities for the Key School and Key Learning Center to serve children with dyslexia in our community; increasing retention of top talent through an improved employee experience; buildings and grounds improvements; and fiscal initiatives for long-term sustainability. She will share more details about these plans, along with results from the recent excellence and check-in surveys with CDS families at the PA Presents virtual event on Nov. 19.
In order to set the wheels in motion, Whitney is first solidifying some key leadership roles.
Two key interim roles become permanent
Interim Upper School Principal Trip Cogburn and Interim Director of Admission and Enrollment Management Meredith Daniels have served in their respective roles since July 1, 2020, but now they will each take on the roles permanently.
Trip Cogburn joined Carolina Day in 2013, starting as a coach and athletic assistant, then a teacher, then serving as Carolina Day’s Director of Admission. He stepped seamlessly into the role of Interim Upper School principal in July following a vacancy in that position, serving the Upper School with Margot Moses as she took on more responsibility as Assistant Principal/Dean of Students. A true Wildcat, Cogburn is a CDS alumnus and is genuinely passionate about the school and the Upper School in particular. He and his wife Stacie are the proud parents of two CDS lower school students.
Meredith Daniels joined Carolina Day in 2011, starting as an administrative assistant in the Key School, and then working in the admission office. She quickly adapted to the expanded role of Interim Director of Admission and Enrollment Management in July when Trip Cogburn moved to the Upper School, and has proven herself in this critical role during an unprecedented year. She and her husband Sam Daniels ’01 are the parents of two CDS lower school students.
Steve Henry to assume role of Associate Head of School, effective July 1, 2021
Steve Henry, who has been serving as both Director of Athletics and Director of Institutional Strategy, will be promoted to the role of Associate Head of School beginning July 1, 2021. Henry, an alumnus of CDS predecessor school Asheville Country Day School, has already been serving as a strategic leader at CDS and will be Whitney’s second in command. He will still be responsible for directing strategic and operational initiatives designed to bring Carolina Day School into its next decade of excellence. Most notably, he will be leading the 2021-2022 Reaccreditation process, a critical independent school process that occurs once every decade.
“Steve’s deep knowledge of and commitment to Carolina Day School uniquely qualifies him to step into this important role,” said Whitney. “We have long relied upon his deep operational expertise, empathy, expansive community relationships and ‘will do’ attitude to ready us for challenges facing our school, ranging from the Asheville competitive landscape and into the complicated COVID-specific issues facing our school. I am deeply grateful for Steve’s leadership, and am very excited to work with him as we launch into this next decade.”
He and his wife Christine are the very proud parents of three current CDS Wildcats, in Lower School, Middle School and Upper School.
In anticipation of Henry’s role shift from Athletics to Associate Head of School, Carolina Day School will be posting the position of Director of Athletics next week.