Date: February 23, 2022
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Eastern
Ensuring that the school is staffed by a dynamic faculty and staff devoted to advancing the mission of the school is the head’s most important responsibility. With the pandemic wearing heavily on educators, schools will need to work harder and smarter than ever to find excellent employees. This session will help school leaders move beyond the limitations of passive hiring – posting positions and hoping for the best – by leading a shift to year-round networking strategies. We’ll describe how schools of all scales can build the skills and structures for attracting and vetting candidates, how consultants and agencies can be used to the greatest effect and how to hold them accountable for their work, and how schools can assess candidates coming from other careers.
Former head of school and consultant, Mike Vachow, and Vanessa Alpert, director of human resources at Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, have built this presentation based on their collective, long experience in hiring and on their collaboration over the last 12 months on two COVID-era leadership searches at Pembroke Hill.
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Mike VachowPrincipal, Knuckleball Consulting
Mike Vachow is a managing director at Gowan Group, a full service consultancy to independent schools. Before becoming a consultant, Mike worked in independent day schools for 30 years, first as an English teacher and coach at the Isidore Newman School in New Orleans before moving on to administrative roles. He continued in school leadership as a division director at Lake Forest Country Day School, and for ten years as head of Forsyth School in St. Louis, and as interim head at Peoria Academy. Mike also maintains his own consulting brand, Knuckleball Consulting, for small projects and from which he publishes his monthly newsletter, Ahead in the Count. During his years serving independent schools in the Midwest, Mike chaired the board of the Independent Schools of St. Louis, and served ISACS as a member of the accreditation review committee, and as an accreditation team leader and mentor in the New Heads Network. Mike’s consulting work has focused on enrollment strategy, strategic planning, governance, and leadership searches. He has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from Middlebury College.
Vanessa AlpertDirector of Human Resources, Pembroke Hill School
Vanessa Alpertis in her 11th year as the director of human resources at Pembroke Hill School, a co-ed, PreK – 12 school of 1,200 students on two campuses in Kansas City, MO. Before coming to Pembroke Hill, Vanessa worked for 16 years as a specialist and generalist leader in human resources for both large corporations and medium sized companies. Her industry experience in human resources spans for profit and nonprofit organizations, retail/service, manufacturing (union and non-union environments), health care, and education. She was an adjunct teacher at Park University in the M.B.A. program for two years sharing knowledge and expertise in her field. Vanessa received her B.B.A. and M.B.A. at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
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