Dear Walker Community,
As many of you know over the past nine months the Search Committee, with the support of faculty, administration, staff, alumni, parents and students has conducted an extensive international search for our new head of school. The committee was assisted by Wickenden Associates, a nationally known executive search firm with extensive experience placing heads of school. Naturally, our school attracted many strong and highly qualified candidates.
Working together with Wickenden Associates, the Search Committee selected eight (8) semi-finalists who privately toured and visited our campus a couple of months ago. From those semi-finalists, our Search Committee unanimously selected three finalists whom we felt best fit the needs of our school. Those individuals returned to campus – each with his spouse – for two days of interviews with over 80 school representatives including trustees, parents, faculty, administrators, staff, students and alumni. With input from each of these representatives, the Search Committee arrived at a unanimous decision.
Above all, it was essential to the Search Committee that the school’s values not retire with Don Robertson. It was determined at the beginning of this process, that as the “face” of Walker our new Headmaster needed to be a bold leader with strong academic credentials; someone who was fair and trustworthy and who could build consensus among our community on best practices for educating our children. The Search Committee also looked for an experienced leader, prepared and able to lead Walker through today’s climate of economic uncertainty, globalization of our children’s futures and increased competition for educational dollars.
Mr. Jack Hall has all of these qualities and more. Jack has served as Head of School for the Augusta Preparatory Day School since 1999. Over his educational career, Jack has served as Director of Admission & Financial Aid, Head of the Upper School and Middle School and Grade Chair. He has taught history, social studies, drama and religion and coached basketball, baseball and football. Jack has worked in a variety of independent schools including The Westminster Schools, The Lovett School and Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School. In addition, Jack has served as both Vice President (2004-2006) and President (2006-2008) of the Georgia Independent School Association.
Jack’s academic credentials are impressive. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater at Davidson College. In addition, he secured two advanced degrees: a Master of Science in Athletic Administration from Georgia State University in 1988 and in 1992, a Master of Arts in Education Administration from Columbia University. Jack was also a Klingenstein Fellow at Columbia University.
Jack will celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary to his bride Cathy in December. They have two children, Joseph (20) and Alice (17).
Jack will take office on July 1, 2011. To facilitate a smooth transition, the Board of Trustees has approved a Transition Committee that will serve to support Jack in his introduction to The Walker School community.
There is no question that Don Robertson will be missed by all of The Walker School. His visions for Walker twenty-six years ago have shaped who we are today. It will be hard to say goodbye to the leader, and friend, that he has become. Bear in mind that Don readily admits he is relieved to know that Walker will be led by Jack Hall, someone he finds to be of high academic standards and noble character.
Finally we’d like to take this time to personally thank you for your support during this process. You should know that each Search Committee member took this responsibility seriously and spent significant time reviewing every survey submission, feedback form, reference, and expression of concern. The high level of investment that you all have in the success of our community is obvious. It is heartening to serve a group so committed to providing the best for our children.
Plans are in progress on two or three opportunities that you will have to personally meet the Halls. We will make sure to inform you of those details as they arise. In the interim, please join me in welcoming Jack, Cathy, Joseph and Alice, to The Walker School.
Chair, The Walker School Board of Trustees
Chair, 2010 – 2011 Head Search Committee