View in Browser

September 18, 2020

Dear Forsyth Community,

We hope that this message finds each of you safe and well. The Board of Trustees has organized the Search Committee responsible for identifying Forsyth’s next Head of School, and we want to provide the community with an update as to where our efforts stand, as well as an overview of our plans for the next several months.

Search Committee: 
We are happy to report that the following individuals have agreed to join the Search Committee:

  • Jon Giokas, Board Member & Search Committee Chair (Elizabeth, Grade 4)
  • Kelly Richert, Board President (Reagan, Grade 6)
  • Tymesha Buckner-Dobynes, Board Member (Tyler, Grade 3, and Ryan, Grade 1)
  • Abigail George, Board Member & Forsyth Alum
  • Austin Hasek, Board Member (Han, Grade 3, and Tilly, Sr-K)
  • Hopie Jernagan (Hope, Grade 4; Maude, Grade 2; and Sam, Sr-K)
  • Heather Rynasiewicz, Board Member (Margaret, Grade 3)
  • Chris Thomas, Music Teacher
  • Deborah White, Co-Director of Extended Day

The role of the Search Committee is to develop the position statement, narrow the field of candidates, solicit feedback from stakeholders, and aggregate findings from the interviews to make a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Ultimately, the final decision rests with the Board.

Forsyth has engaged Katherine Stuart and The Education Group to handle the national search for a new permanent Head of School. Katherine and her colleagues, Laura Fuller and Linda Talton, will provide Forsyth with important insight and guidance throughout the process. Katherine will visit campus next week, and her team will conduct online meetings with community members as they work to develop our position statement. We also ask each of you to complete a brief survey to share your thoughts regarding the priorities for this position. Take the Survey

We are currently doing everything possible to have a new permanent Head in place before the beginning of the 2021/22 school year. To achieve this, our anticipated general timeline for the process involves applications collected this fall and interviews conducted late fall and early winter, with the final appointment made in early 2021.

While these already aggressive targets are even more difficult in the current COVID-19 environment, we believe our goal is attainable. Doing so, however, depends in part upon certain circumstances beyond our control (for example, an applicant accepting an offer). This is necessarily a very fluid process, and we are prepared to adjust; we ask for the flexibility and understanding of our community as well.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
While the full position statement is still in development, the Board of Trustees has identified the building of a more equitable Forsyth as a top priority. This will be a key element of the search process. To support this effort, our Search Committee will participate in robust anti-bias training at one of our first meetings. We are committed to maintaining our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout this process.

We appreciate the interest that many of you have in this search, and we will attempt to be as transparent as possible. The nature of the search process, however, requires a substantial degree of confidentiality and discretion to protect the interests of candidates (some of whom may be employed elsewhere) as well as those of Forsyth, and we ask for your patience as we navigate sensitive discussions. We will distribute a more detailed communication plan soon; in the meantime, our goal is to provide email updates to the community at least once every three weeks. While the amount of detail we can provide about individual candidates may be limited, we feel that it is important to keep you apprised of our efforts.

How You Can Help:
First, remember to Take the Survey. Second, please plan to join us for a Virtual Town Hall Meeting with Katherine, Laura, and Linda from The Education Group next Thursday, September 24, at 4:30pm. Join the Meeting

We hope for considerable participation from our school community during the finalist candidate interviews, and we will offer opportunities for as many families to participate in the process as possible. We rely on you to help show our candidates why they should come to Forsyth and what makes our community so special. We will also form a Transition Committee to welcome our new Head of School and will provide more information about that initiative soon.

The Search Committee is excited to serve Forsyth, and we thank you for your time, cooperation, and patience. Please contact us with any questions.

Thank you,

Jon Giokas
Search Committee Chair

Kelly Richert
Board President


6235 Wydown Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63105
314.726.4542 |