Seabury Hall trims new headmaster list down to three

The Maui News

Seabury Hall has narrowed its search for a new headmaster to three candidates, with the first scheduled to visit the Olinda campus on Monday, officials said in newsletters this month.

The candidates are Keith Chicquen of Vancouver Island University in Canada; David Landis of Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Georgia; and Maureen Madden of American School in Milan, Italy.

Board of Trustees President Clay Sutherland said in a Nov. 7 newsletter that all three candidates will meet with senior administrators, teachers, parents, alumni, students and trustees. He said all constituents who meet with candidates will have an opportunity to provide the search committee with feedback, which will be considered for the final selection.

“Our goal is to learn as much about each one’s educational philosophy, leadership style and management skills as we possibly can,” Sutherland said.

Chicquen’s two-day visit to the school with his wife, Aimee, includes a coffee hour Tuesday morning at the Cooper House. Landis is scheduled to visit Nov. 29 and 30, while Madden plans to appear on campus on Dec. 6 and 7.

The search for a new head of school began in July after the school failed to renew its former headmaster’s contract. Sarah Bakhiet concluded her three-year contract at the private 6th- to 12th-grade school on June 30 after criticizing the board for months of delays and a lack of communication.

The board unanimously selected Bakhiet in 2014 to replace former Headmaster Joseph Schmidt, who retired after guiding the school for two decades.

Paul Wenninger was selected as the interim head, while the school recruited a permanent leader. The school’s search committee and consultant Resource Group 175 attracted 46 candidates worldwide for the position.

Sutherland said the committee conducted an “extensive vetting process,” with specific interview questions designed to address the school’s challenges and opportunities.

School officials have said they hope to name a new head by the end of the year. The new headmaster would take the reins on July 1.

“This is an exciting time for Seabury Hall,” Sutherland said. “Our next head will have the opportunity to shape the school in significant ways and in the process, positively impact the lives of our students for years to come. As you know, Seabury Hall plays a leading role in the educational landscape of Hawaii. Please know that our board of trustees understands this important role and takes seriously its responsibility to find an outstanding leader who will take the school to new heights.”


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