The Rumson Country Day School (RCDS) Board of Trustees has chosen its next head of school.
Whitney C. Slade will take the reins from 25-year top RCDS administrator Chad Small after Small's retirement starts at the end of the 2014 school year.
A graduate of Tufts University with a master's degree in education from Harvard, Slade comes to RCDS after 16 years as head of St. Micheal's Country Day School in Newport, Rhode Island. He will be the seventh head of school in RCDS' 87-year history, according to a release from the school.
“The RCDS Board of Trustees voted unanimously to offer Whitney Slade the position, and we couldn’t be more pleased that he accepted,” said John Devlin, a 1983 RCDS graduate who chaired the school’s nine-person search committee, in a released statement. “Competition for the best talent was particularly fierce this year, and we know Whitney was a finalist at a number of schools across the country. RCDS was on the top of his list when he began this process, and at the end of the process he was on the top of ours. How often do things work out that way?”
A native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, Slade was chosen as a finalist out of 50 candidates pooled nationwide in the search for a new RCDS school head that began in December of 2012, after Small announced his pending retirement, the release said.
As a finalist in the process, Slade spent two days meeting with the faculty, staff and parents. The feedback was "effusive," according to the release.
“Whitney has my enthusiastic blessing,” said Small in the release. “He shares the vision and core beliefs of Rumson Country Day and brings great energy to the job. This is the right place for him, and he is absolutely the right person to be the next head of school.”
With his expertise spanning the kindergarten through eighth grade levels of education, Slade characterizes himself as "a creative problem-solver who embraces new ideas and approaches to teaching," the release said.
He believes that children are natural born learners, and that the function of a school is to facilitate their curiosity, channel their energy, and act as mentors for their achievement.
“How a school fulfills this mission is critical to its success as a learning institution,” Mr. Slade said in the release. “I’ll continue the RCDS tradition of encouraging students to take risks, stretch themselves, and develop critical thinking skills—all within a safe, supportive atmosphere.”
Chaired by Devlin, the search committee was comprised of: Shawn Reynolds, board president; vice presidents Danielle Devine Greene and Steven Scopellite; trustees Mark Stewart and Kim Tsimbino; Sara Diaz, third grade teacher; Thomas Scott, Upper School history teacher and department head; and Jennifer Steiner Crowell, president of Parent Council, alumni of the Class of 1988.