At the one year anniversary of the development of the Head of School Database (HSDB), SAIS President Debra Wilson sits down with John Gulla, executive director of the EE Ford Foundation, to discuss the progress and use of the tool. Below see takeaways from the interview and a link to the video recording.

Current Opportunities and Uses

  • The HSDB offers an easy way to collect and review background information on current heads, history of leadership at a given school, and the pathways of independent school leaders.
  • The independent school world benefits from this comprehensive database detailing current and historical information about the tenure of heads.
  • The opportunities for research and reporting exceeds expectations.
  • Unexpected patterns emerged including the high number of interim heads for the current school year.
  • The tool offers filtering dashboards to drill down on tenure of headships. Results can be filtered by size, state, religious affiliation, head’s gender, and more. For example: the dashboard revealed that the tenure of headship is shorter as the school gets smaller.
  • The database offers a search by zip code, filtering schools and their current heads by the number of miles from a certain zip code.
  • The database offers information for boards on school searches and consultants.
  • For aspiring heads, the database offers insight on the pathways of experienced heads.
  • The website includes resources for those involved in a head search whether from the perspective of the search committee or an aspiring head embarking on the interview process.
  • The database offers networking opportunities for heads looking for others with specific experiences in a particular city, region, type of school, or interim position.

Future Opportunities and Uses

  • SAIS plans to expand the database to include international schools in the future.
  • Over time the database will grow and include more comprehensive historical data dating back more than 200 years.
  • Going forward, we hope to develop additional resources for aspiring heads including interviewing advice, preparation for headship, the search process, and leadership transitions.
  • First time heads can indicate if they had a leadership coach during their first years. This will be interesting data going forward.

Throughout the video recording you will see Debra and John show how to use the sort and search features and available dashboards.

Zoom Meeting Recording