Head of School Transition

Head-of-School Transition Process

In July of 2018, the HPA Board of Trustees officially began a search for the 12th Head of School at Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy. This individual will succeed the current Head of School Robert McKendry on July 1, 2019.

The board has formed a search committee comprised of nine members of the HPA ‘ohana. (See full committee list below.) The job of the search committee will be to oversee a transparent, inclusive process and to evaluate candidates against criteria that the entire HPA ‘ohana will help to create.

The Head of School search will last through early 2019. To help navigate this process, HPA has retained the services of Carney, Sandoe & Associates (CSA), a leading independent school search firm. Karen Neitzel and Skip Kotkins from CSA will serve as lead consultants and guide a national and international outreach effort to actively recruit top candidates.

CSA will screen applicants with the goal of presenting a list of the most qualified individuals to the search committee sometime in the late fall. The committee will further screen and narrow this group. Finalist candidates will be brought to campus in January 2019. At this point, the HPA ‘ohana will play another important role, asking questions of the finalists and giving feedback to the committee. These impressions will be critical as the search committee deliberates on which new leader to recommend to the Board. The successful candidate will officially take the helm on July 1, 2019.

Throughout this process, HPA will be guided by the best practices outlined by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). We look forward to keeping you informed and involved as HPA moves through the search.

Head-of-School Search Committee

The search committee is charged with hiring the search consultant, inviting and reviewing community feedback, developing a position description, interviewing and assessing candidates, and, ultimately, recommending a final candidate to the board.

HPA Head of School Search Committee

  • Laurie Ainslie P’12, P’15, chair, board of trustees
  • Cathy Grant P’03, principal of the Lower School
  • Laura Jim ’91; P’16, P’19, Middle School faculty member 
  • Greg McKenna, Upper School faculty member and dorm parent
  • Sam Pratt ’84, search committee co-chair and trustee
  • Hannah Springer, community leader and former trustee
  • Peter Vitousek ’67, trustee
  • David Zierk P’26, P’28, search committee co-chair and trustee

To contact a member of the committee, please email

Head of School Position Description

More Information