Head of School search

Columbia Independent School (CIS) Board of Trustees Chair Kate Cleavinger announced to the school community that the school is beginning a search for a new head of school, who will begin serving in July 2020. The announcement followed current Head of School Adam Dubé’s notification to the Board that the 2019-20 school year would be his last with CIS. In July 2020, Dubé will join the Randolph School in Huntsville, Alabama, after serving as CIS’ head of school for seven years.

October 1: Educators’ Collaborative visit schedule was released.

September 26: The Board of Trustees announced the selection of Educators’ Collaborative as the search firm that will assist CIS during the search process.

September 13: Board Chair Kate Cleavinger shared the news of the CIS Head of School search.


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Anticipated Search Timeline

Step 1: September

Search consultant appointed

✓ Committee structure established

Step 2: October - December

  • Candidate recruitment

Step 3: December

  • Committee calls with preliminary candidates

  • Identification of semi-finalists

Step 4: January

  • On-campus interviews

  • Determination of finalists

Step 5: February - march

  • Second interviews (with spouses)

  • Final choice by committee

Step 6: March

  • Appointment announced to school community


Information about the process

  1.  Who will participate on the search committee?  

    a: The Board of Trustees will appoint a search committee made up of current board members. Throughout the process, this committee will engage additional stakeholders such as parents, faculty, past trustees, and founders for input. These additional stakeholders will have ample opportunity to meet potential candidates and to provide feedback through the process. The search committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees who will ultimately decide on the final candidate.   

  2. What role, if any, will Adam play in the search?

    a: The Board values Adam’s opinion very much and will consult with him throughout the process.  

  3. How does the board plan on keeping everyone updated throughout the process?

    a: This webpage will be dedicated to the search. The committee will share information on the search firm, timelines, and opportunities for the community at large to engage in the process.

  4. What qualities are you looking for in the next Head of School?

    a: The goal of the Board of Trustees is to find a Head of School who fits in to the positive culture and community that has been created at CIS over the past 20 years while helping us expand our offerings to ensure our commitment to providing the best college-preparatory experience is met. Helping to attract a diverse faculty and proven ability to fund raise are additional attributes that are required.  

  5. Can parents donate to cover the costs of the search firm?

    The school will allocate money from our current operating budget to cover the search firm and related expenses such as travel, hotel, meals, meet-and-greet events, etc. However, in the past, some parents and trustees have helped defer some of these costs with private donations.  

  6. What will change for the remainder of this school calendar?

    a: We expect few, if any, changes in Adam’s day-to-day responsibilities. The board has approved a list of specific goals for him this year, including overseeing the completion of our current capital campaign, developing a 5-year plan for the administrative structure of CIS based upon projected enrollment growth, and a 3-year curriculum plan for the upper school. Adam is passionate about all of these projects and is committed to completing them during this school year.

  7. What if you do not find a Head of School by spring?    

    a: We are confident and optimistic that this opportunity at CIS will be attractive to some well-qualified candidates that will fit with our culture. But, if we are not absolutely certain that we have the best person to lead the school in its current upward direction, we are prepared to continue the search and proceed with an interim head of school. This will allow the Board, faculty and school community the time necessary to find the best possible leader.