Ms. Susan Kearney
Head of School
December 18, 2018
Dear Faculty, Parents, Alumni, and Friends:
We are pleased to announce that Susan Kearney, Assistant Head at St. Paul’s School, has accepted the invitation of the Board of Trustees to become Head of Harford Day School effective July 1, 2019.
The members of the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees are confident Ms. Kearney will be a wonderful addition to our Harford Day family and we look forward to working with her in the new school year. She will succeed Ashleigh Wilkes, who has served as Interim Head for 2018-19.
The selection of the Head of School is one of the greatest responsibilities of trusteeship and all of us can be proud not only that Susan has accepted the appointment, but also that HDS attracted such high quality candidates. Working with the firm of Educators’ Collaborative, the Search Committee reviewed the credentials of 17 candidates from all parts of the country, eventually inviting three excellent finalists to come to the campus for two-day visits in early December.
In addition to carefully considering the credentials and references for each of the finalists, the Search Committee also reviewed the feedback from all constituencies, including parents, faculty and staff. The Committee was particularly impressed with the survey comments from faculty, who said they found Ms. Kearney “warm, engaging, genuine. She seemed approachable and genuinely interested in the culture of Harford Day School.” Parents said they found her “knowledgeable,” “personable,” and “confident.”
Discussions with her references were equally compelling. Through many conversations with those most familiar with her tenure at St. Paul’s, including former HDS Head of School Su Harris, the Search Committee learned that Ms. Kearney “navigates complex situations with grace,” is a “great listener,” is “highly committed to faculty,” and established “great relationships with parents.”
On December 17, the Search Committee recommended Susan Kearney as its nominee for Head of School to the Board of Trustees, which unanimously confirmed her appointment.
Ms. Kearney said she feels such a natural connection to HDS because of all the exceptional HDS graduates who have come to St. Paul’s over the years. “They have consistently been among our superstars, which I know reflects Harford Day’s academics, faculty, core values, and nurturing environment. I’m thrilled to be asked to lead such an outstanding community.”
At St. Paul’s for more than 20 years, Ms. Kearney oversees academic affairs and curriculum review. She also leads the Academic Council, a group of academic leaders whose work focuses on faculty growth and development, department review and inclusivity. She has served on the Board of Trustees’ Finance and Property Committees and was co-chair of the AIMS Accreditation Steering Committee. Susan has taught an information technology course in the Upper School and has been an affiliate faculty member at the Loyola University of Maryland School of Education. She currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees of the Irvine Nature Center.
Ms. Kearney and her husband, Mitch, an attorney, have two children—a daughter, Emma, who is currently living and working in Shanghai, China and a son, Tommy, who is a junior at Miami University of Ohio. We hope you will extend a warm welcome to our new Head of School and her family.
Fred Kuhn, MD, President, Board of Trustees
Greg Benfield ’85, Search Committee Chair