Head of School Search

Letter from Head Search Committee Chair Kris Leslie

January 22, 2019

Dear Flintridge Prep Families and Friends, 

As you have heard from David Codiga, Peter Bachmann will retire at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. I am extremely honored to have been appointed Chair of the Search Committee to lead the Board of Trustees’ efforts to select the next Head of School. Flintridge Prep has been my family’s home for the past 15 years and while my sons are now alums, I believe deeply in “Prep for Life” and am committed to ensuring that our next leader embraces our mission, values and culture and is prepared to lead us through the opportunities and challenges that are ahead. 

The Search Committee 
As David mentioned, the Board has been preparing for this transition for some time, and, as part of that process, has identified several current trustees to serve as members of the Search Committee. Each of these committee members has demonstrated leadership and a deep commitment to Prep and represents a range of views and perspectives. The role of the Search Committee will be to select and recommend a candidate to be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval. Members of the Search Committee are: 

  • David Codiga—Chair of Board of Trustees, parent of Jackson ’15, Hope ’19 and Sasha ’19 

  • Ken McCormick—Trustee and parent of Charlie ’20 

  • Janice Ohta—Secretary of the Board of Trustees, parent of Isabella ’11, Garrett ’15 and Bareth ’15 Weiss 

  • Jaynie Studenmund—returning Trustee, Past Chair of the Board (2008-2010), parent of Scott ’08 and Connell ’12 

  • John Wong ’85—returning Trustee, alumnus and parent of Ethan ’21 

Our Search Consultants 
We have retained Carney Sandoe & Associates (CSA), a leading national search firm to guide us through the process. We are thrilled with our CSA team of Bob Fricker and Jennifer Wong Christensen. Bob is the Practice Leader for CSA’s Domestic Head of School Search and has conducted more than 110 head searches across the U.S., including Westridge, Viewpoint and Archer School for Girls in the Los Angeles market. In addition to her work in search since 2016, Jennifer is a former South Pasadena resident and spent two decades in college counseling and admissions at Mayfield Senior School, Archer School for Girls, Marin Academy and Claremont McKenna College, among others. 

The Search Process 
We have launched a national search for our next Head of School. Our goal is to be as inclusive and transparent as possible throughout the process while recognizing the importance of maintaining confidentiality for any interested candidates. We fully anticipate attracting the most talented candidates from around the country, and they will want assurances of confidentiality until the finalist stage. It is likely that our strongest candidates will all hold current positions at other institutions and not want to jeopardize their standing earlier in the process. This is crucial, and we hope you will understand this needed balance. 

The first step in the process is a CSA visit to our campus February 6-8. Over the course of the three days, there will be opportunities for all of our community constituents to provide input to Bob and Jennifer on the qualities you most value in our next Head of School. Alumni, current parents, faculty, staff and former trustees will receive invitations to these events shortly. Following the visit, all community members will receive a confidential community-wide survey. We hope that you will all participate in some way, so Bob and Jennifer come away with a deep understanding of Prep, what makes us special and what we value most in our next leader. CSA will take all the input and create a Search Document and Position Profile that will be provided to all of you.   

Over the next several months, CSA will work with the Committee to identify and evaluate potential candidates. Our goal is to select two or three finalists who will visit our campus in the fall. While the exact shape of those visits will need to be determined once we have our finalists, we will publish the dates and schedule well in advance. During the finalist visits, we also plan to appoint an Interview Committee comprised of faculty, staff, current parents, parents of alumni and alumni. This committee will interview each of the finalists and provide feedback to the Search Committee. We plan to announce our next Head of School later in the fall of 2019. 

Ongoing Communications 
We are committed to an inclusive and transparent process and plan to update the community frequently. We also encourage you to contact the Search Committee at headsearch@flintridgeprep.org with questions, input and concerns. You may also find additional information on the Prep website (www.flintridgeprep.org/head-search), including answers to frequently asked questions, a draft calendar and an archive of all related communications. 

Under Peter’s leadership, the Flintridge Prep community of today is diverse, vibrant and deeply committed to our mission of nurturing in our students the knowledge, critical skills, community values and creativity essential for an engaged, balanced and responsible life. With your participation, we are well positioned to find a Head of School that will further that mission. 


Kris Leslie 
Chair of Search Committee

About the Search Committee

Kris Leslie, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and parent of Robbie ’16, Michael ’13 and Ryan ’11, is the Chair of the Search Committee. The other committee members are:

  • David Codiga, Chair of the Board of Trustees and parent of Hope ‘19, Sasha ’19 and Jackson ’15
  • John Wong, Jr. ’85, trustee and parent of Ethan ’21
  • Ken McCormick, trustee and parent of Charlie ’20
  • Janice Ohta, trustee and parent of Barrett ’15, Gareth ’15 and Isabella ’11
  • Jaynie Studenmund, trustee and parent of Connell ’12 and Scott ’08

Kim Kinder, Director of Finance and parent of Scott ’05 and Claire ’08, is the administrative liaison to the Search Committee.

About the Search Firm

After interviewing three firms, the Search Committee chose Carney Sandoe & Associates to manage the search for our next Head of School.

Carney Sandoe & Associates is an educational recruiting and consulting firm founded in 1977 with the primary mission of helping K-12 non-profit, independent, charter and like-kind (non-public) schools worldwide recruit and hire highly qualified teachers and administrators. The firm specializes in retained executive search and management consulting for educational organizations. Carney Sandoe is nationally recognized for their work, and Prep has used CSA to hire 22 faculty members over the last several years.

Our search consultants are:

Robert Fricker
In addition to his experience as a school administrator and school head, Bob has conducted searches for heads of school across the country as well as in California.
Email: bob.fricker@carneysandoe.com

Jennifer Wong Christensen
Jennifer has extensive professional background in both independent schools and colleges.
Email: Jennifer.christensen@carneysandoe.com
Bio: https://www.carneysandoe.com/team-member/jennifer-christensen

Town Hall Meetings

Carney Sandoe & Associates will meet with faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni and former trustees on February 6, 7, and 8. The evening Town Hall sessions are listed below. Parents who are also alumni may attend either or both of the Town Hall sessions according to their preference and availability.

Reception for past trustees with Carney Sandoe & Associates:
Wednesday, February 6 at 5:30 pm in Chandramohan Library

Town Hall for alumni with Carney Sandoe & Associates:
Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00 pm in Norris Auditorium

Town Hall for parents with Carney Sandoe & Associates:
Thursday, February 7 at 7:00 pm in Norris Auditorium


When will Peter Bachmann retire?

Peter will complete the 2019-2020 school year, retiring as head on June 30, 2020. He will continue to lead Prep until that day. Prep’s Board of Trustees and Peter have carefully planned the transition and have ample time to conduct a comprehensive search for the next head of school. As Head Emeritus, Peter will remain a part of the Prep community.

Who will conduct the search for a new head?

The selection of the Head of School is the single most important duty of the Board of Trustees. As is customary in independent schools, the Board has created a Head of School Search Committee comprised of trustees to lead the search process to find an inspiring, extraordinary leader.

The Committee, led by Board Vice Chair Kris Leslie, is working with Carney, Sandoe & Associates (https://www.carneysandoe.com), search consultants retained by the Board of Trustees to construct a process that results in an exceptionally strong appointment and engages the school community as much as possible without undermining the recruitment of excellent candidates. Carney Sandoe & Associates is a search firm with extensive experience conducting worldwide, comprehensive searches for independent school heads. Prep has used Carney Sandoe & Associates in searches for 22 faculty members in recent years.

How was the Board Search Committee formed?

Governance is a primary responsibility of the Board. As such, the committee is made up of trustees.

Kris Leslie, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and parent of Robbie ’16, Michael ’13 and Ryan ’11, is the Chair of the Search Committee. The other committee members are:

  • David Codiga, Chair of the Board of Trustees and parent of Hope ’19, Sasha ’19 and Jackson ’15
  • John Wong, Jr. ’85, trustee and parent of Ethan ’21
  • Ken McCormick, trustee and parent of Charlie ’20
  • Janice Ohta, trustee and parent of Barrett ’15, Gareth ’15 and Isabella ’11
  • Jaynie Studenmund, trustee and parent of Connell ’12 and Scott ’08

Kim Kinder, Director of Finance and parent of Scott ’05 and Claire ’08, is administrative liaison to the Search Committee.

How will the search process work?

Carney Sandoe & Associates is working with the Search Committee to understand the school’s culture and needs. In February, its representatives, Bob Fricker and Jennifer Christensen, will meet with a variety of community members. Shortly after that, CSA will conduct a survey of community members who were unable to participate in the on-campus meetings. The process will remain quiet as CSA and the Search Committee vet potential candidates. In fall 2019, finalists will be brought to campus. Throughout this period and through his transition to Head Emeritus at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Peter Bachmann will continue his daily activities as school Headmaster.

Will the whole community be involved in the search process?

Yes. The whole Prep community, including faculty, staff, parents, alumni and trustees, will have the opportunity to participate in interviews and/or in a comprehensive online survey.

When will the new head of school be chosen?

Our goal is to hire a new Head of School in the fall of 2019 and have the new head assume responsibilities on July 1, 2020.

How can I stay informed about the search process?

Throughout the search process, the Search Committee will keep the entire Prep community informed with updates and information via email and on our website. Please understand that this process is not totally transparent because confidentiality must be maintained until the final candidates are invited to campus in fall 2019.

I would like to suggest a potential candidate or offer other input on the process. Who should I contact?

Please contact our search consultants at Carney Sandoe & Associates:

Bob Fricker– bob.fricker@carneysandoe.com
Jennifer Christensen – jennifer.christensen@carneysandoe.com

You can also communicate confidentially with the Board Search Committee Chair, Kris Leslie (headsearch@flintridgeprep.org).

Will internal candidates be considered for this position?

Candidates have been promised complete confidentiality. In order to recruit the very best candidates from anywhere in the world, our consultants need to be able to assure all candidates that their candidacy will remain confidential as long as possible, typically until the finalist round next fall. A detailed description of the position will be provided to the public in late February.

Who do I contact if I have other questions?

Kris Leslie, the Search Committee Chair, has set up a confidential email account. You can email your questions to her: headsearch@flintridgeprep.org.

Flintridge Preparatory School
4543 Crown Avenue La Cañada Flintridge CA 91011
Tel: 818-790-1178
Fax: 818-952-6247
Located near Pasadena and Los Angeles in La Cañada, CA, Flintridge Prep is a private independent, coed day school for grades 7-12.
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