Head of School Search

RCDS Head of School Search

The RCDS Board of Trustees seeks an outstanding educator with an affinity for the values of The Rumson Country Day School - especially the core values of teaching children to be kind, honest, responsible, and respectful - to assume the position of Head of School on July 1, 2020.

Summary of the Search Process

Candidates interested in this position are asked to submit the following materials to Jean Lamont and/or Sally Mixsell by July 1, 2019:

·  EC Candidate Summary Sheet (contact Jean Lamont or Sally Mixsell for that document; see contact information below)
·  Letter of Interest addressed to the Search Committee
·  Current résumé
·  Personal Statement or Statement of Educational Philosophy
·  A list of five references with contact information (including phone numbers and email addresses)

Please submit applications as a single pdf document and address any inquiries or expressions of interest to:

Jean Lamont, Partner, Educators’ Collaborative, LLC
jlamont@educatorscollaborative.com; phone: 203-605-6975


Sally Mixsell, Partner, Educators’ Collaborative, LLC
smixsell@educatorscollaborative.com; phone:  203-824-3653

RCDS does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation in its admissions or employment, or in the administration of any of its programs.

Announcements & Updates

Carson T. Smith Named Head of The Rumson Country Day School - 10/17/19

Dear RCDS Community Members,

We are very pleased to announce that Carson T. Smith has been selected to become the ninth Head of School for The Rumson Country Day School, effective July 1, 2020. Carson will succeed Jayne Geiger, who has made countless contributions and exceptionally served our school for the past three years. Jayne, who will conclude her tenure on June 30, 2020, will be working with Carson and the Administrative Team to ensure a seamless transition.

Carson will be coming to us from Thayer Academy, a coed day school of 700 students in grades 5-12 in Braintree, Massachusetts, where he has been Middle School Director (grades 5-8) for the past ten years, as well as a history teacher and coach. Previously Carson served as Dean of Students, history teacher and coach at The Derryfield School (NH, coed, day, grades 6-12) and as a math teacher, department chair, and coach at Cardigan Mountain School (NH, all boys, boarding, grades 6-9).

Over the course of his career, Carson has worked on numerous administrative and board-level committees, such as strategic planning, budget management, admissions, branding and marketing, summer programs, and development. Among other accomplishments he has led Thayer initiatives in technology and social-emotional learning, increased faculty diversity, and designed a new 5th grade program from the ground up.

A lifelong learner, Carson is currently a Doctor of Education candidate in Educational Policy and Leadership at Vanderbilt University; he has a master’s degree in Social Studies Education from Teachers College, Columbia University; and received his B.A. in Government from Connecticut College. Carson is also a graduate of St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA where he is currently a class agent. Carson’s sense of volunteerism is reflected in his serving on a public school board, coaching local youth sports teams, and volunteering with an organization that promotes self-sufficiency, through physical fitness, in people experiencing homelessness.

The selection process has been a comprehensive one, and deep thanks go to our fellow Search Committee members: Nikki Alpert, Greg Melconian, Carl Reiss, Terry Stankovits, Michael Walker, and Todd Whitenack. Having begun in February 2019, the eight-month process has included extensive vetting by our consultants; numerous conversations with references; and three rounds of in-person interviews, culminating in the recent finalist visits on campus that included all RCDS constituencies. Earlier this month the Board of Trustees, acting in its most important function, unanimously approved the choice of Carson Smith to become our next Head of School. We are grateful to everyone in this community who took part in this important process. Thank you.

Carson enjoyed widespread support from all constituency groups, perhaps best summed up by one parent who said in the survey, I have no doubt that with Carson Smith at the helm we will be a united and motivated community. I firmly believe that he will inspire my children, their teachers, my fellow parents and me to rally around our school, protect it, support it and move it into its second century as a respected and sought-after opportunity for the children in this community.

Carson will move into 101 Ridge Road in July with his wife, Amy, and their three children, all of whom will enroll in RCDS in the fall. We are delighted that Carson and his family are joining our community and look forward to great things to come under his leadership. Please join us in welcoming them when they get here!

Most Sincerely,

John H. Devlin ‘83      Jennifer Crowell ‘88                    Kristen Masserio
Board Chair                 Co-Chair, Search Committee      Co-Chair, Search Committee


Head of School Search Survey - 4/10/19

Dear Members of the RCDS Community,

We are pleased to report that the consultants assisting RCDS with our Head of School search, Jean Lamont and Sally Mixsell of Educators' Collaborative, had a very positive and productive two-day visit to our school. Thank you for welcoming them so warmly and for sharing your valuable thoughts about the school. This input will assist them in recruiting fitting candidates and provide important information for the Search Committee and the Board in the selection of our next Head of School.

We are providing the following survey link to provide an opportunity for anyone who was unable to meet with the consultants or who may wish to provide additional comments following their visit. This survey will be open for a limited time, so please respond as soon as possible. Responses are anonymous and will be provided verbatim to the Search Committee.  


Thank you,
Jennifer Crowell & Kristen Masserio, Search Co-Chairs

A Message from John H. Devlin Jr., President, RCDS Board of Trustees - 3/12/19

Dear Members of the RCDS Community,

I am writing with an update of the plans for the future of our school. As you are aware, Jayne Geiger has been serving as Interim Head of School for the past two years, and we have benefited greatly from her leadership. I am pleased to tell you that Jayne will continue with us next year. She is looking forward to returning to retirement, but she has enthusiastically agreed to stay on for one more year. I know I speak for all of us when I say how grateful we are for her personal sacrifices and contributions to RCDS, and we look forward to having her here with us again next year. 

Thankfully, Jayne’s year-long transition gives us plenty of time and well over a year to identify our next Head of School, only the ninth Head in the school’s 93-year history. We have already made some initial decisions about this process, consistent with the responsibilities of a Board of Trustees when searching for a new Head. 

To date, we have formed a Search Committee, hired an executive search firm, and planned for an Advisory Committee. Our timeline for the search will result in naming our new Head of School by next fall. 

We are grateful to Jen Crowell and Kristen Masserio, who will serve as Search Committee Co-Chairs. The committee members are: 

●       Nikki Alpert, current parent
●       Jen Crowell ‘88, alumna, current and past parent
●       John Devlin ‘83, alumnus, current and past parent
●       Kristen Masserio, current parent
●       Greg Melconian, current parent
●       Carl Reiss ‘83, alumnus and current parent
●       Terry Stankovits, current and past parent
●       Mike Walker, current and past parent
●       Todd Whitenack, current parent

While the committee will do most of the “leg work” with consultants and candidates, members of an Advisory Committee (yet to be formed) will help interview finalists when they come to campus. The advisory group will be composed of faculty, staff, parent and alumni representatives and will provide vital input to the Search Committee.

After interviewing four leading search firms, we engaged Educators’ Collaborative, a national consulting firm specializing in working with independent schools and advising with Head of School searches. EC partners, Jean Lamont, and Sally Mixsell will be guiding us in our search. Both have served as school Heads and this past fall they led the RCDS Board in an insightful and on-going strategic planning initiative. When you meet Jean and Sally, I am confident you will agree they understand the strengths and opportunities of our beloved school, and are ideally positioned to advise us during this critical selection process. 

While the primary responsibility for managing the process of nominating the next Head lies with the Search Committee, the Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring that this an inclusive process. In addition to in-person meetings with the search consultants, there will be an opportunity for input through an online survey. We will also share periodic updates via email and on our website. 

Jean and Sally will be visiting RCDS on April 8th and 9th to interview members of the school community and to meet with the Search Committee and Board of Trustees. Sessions for parents to meet with the consultants to learn about the process and offer thoughts about the core values of RCDS, challenges, and opportunities facing the school, and qualities and skill sets to be sought in the next Head of School will be as follows:  April 8th 6:00 - 6:45 p.m. and April 9th 8:15 - 9:00 a.m. 

Using the information gathered on their visit and from the online survey, Jean and Sally will develop a comprehensive position profile for the next Head of RCDS. They will begin to build the pool of candidates by listing the position with appropriate agencies and associations, contacting selected educational leaders to solicit recommendations for the position, and reaching out to potential candidates with whom they and their colleagues are familiar. After the candidate pool has been developed, the Search Committee will review the credentials of the top candidates identified by our consultants. 

Through this process, we will seek to find an appropriate balance between involving community input and respecting the privacy of the candidates. This latter consideration regarding candidates is important to help ensure the strongest possible candidate pool.

If you have suggestions or questions, I encourage you to speak with Jen and Kristen, the Search Committee Co-Chairs, or me. In the meantime, the Search Committee and Board of Trustees are grateful for your support and assistance. 


John H. Devlin, Jr. 
President, Board of Trustees 
Class of 1983
Parent ’15, ’17, ’19 and ’22

RCDS Head of School Search Committee
Search Committee Co-Chairs:
Jen Crowell ‘88, alumna, current and past parent
Kristen Masserio, current parent

Search Committee Members
Nikki Alpert, current parent
John Devlin ‘83, alumnus, current and past parent
Greg Melconian, current parent
Carl Reiss ‘83, alumnus and current parent
Terry Stankovits, current and past parent
Mike Walker, current and past parent
Todd Whitenack, current parent

Educators' Collaborative Partners
Jean Lamont, Partner, Educators’ Collaborative, LLC
Email: jlamont@educatorscollaborative.com 

Phone: 203-605-6975

Sally Mixsell, Partner, Educators’ Collaborative, LLC
Email: smixsell@educatorscollaborative.com
Phone: 203-824-3653

Suggestions or Questions

If you have suggestions or questions, please contact Jennifer Crowell & Kristen Masserio, Search Co-Chairs at HOSsearch@rcds.org.