Dear St. John’s Families:
I wrote to you in November announcing the exciting news that Meshea Matthews will become our next Head of School on July 1, 2019. Now, I would like to provide you with an update regarding what comes next.
The Board of Trustees has formed a Transition Committee to guide the process of saying our goodbyes to Mark Crotty and preparing the School and Meshea for success.
The committee is chaired by trustee Scott Parks and comprises trustees Melissa Eakes and Jennifer Sharpe and faculty/staff members Mary Odom and Sue Trumbo-Zapffe. Their charge includes:
- Celebration and send-off for the outgoing Head
- Transfer of information between the outgoing and incoming Heads
- Orientation and introductions for the incoming Head
- Well-timed campus visits for the incoming Head
- Events and relationship building for the incoming Head
- Goal-setting for the incoming Head’s first year
- Board engagement with the incoming Head
In addition, the Committee’s scope of work will require they call upon others in the St. John’s community to ensure a successful transition. For example, the Parents Association and Crusader Club will be important ambassadors as we welcome the Matthews to St. John’s.
Anticipating that you probably have questions, here are some answers I hope will add clarity and transparency to the process:
What’s the timing?
Mark is in charge until he hands over the reins to Meshea on July 1. Meanwhile, he and Meshea and the Committee are working in close contact to ensure a smooth transition.
When will we get to meet Meshea?
Connecting with the St. John’s community is a key priority for Meshea--she wants to meet you as much as you want to meet her. The Committee is working with Mark and Meshea to select a few dates for her to be on campus this spring so she can mingle and meet the parent community. Those visits will be announced once details are confirmed. The goal is for her to be visible, while not detracting from the purpose or intent of our community events before she begins her role in July.
The summer and start of the school year will also bring multiple opportunities to meet the new Head. Those events will be announced in the coming months. We appreciate your patience as the opportunities unfold for each of us to make a personal connection.
I have an important topic or question that affects the next school year. How can I discuss that with her?
It’s important to maintain a streamlined and logical flow of information. Therefore, I ask that you adhere to what amounts to our current “chain of command” through July 1. All issues should flow through Mark. He and Meshea are committed to collaborating and keeping each other informed.
How will we say goodbye to Mark?
The Committee, working with Mark, will identify events and opportunities for us to show our appreciation and to wish him well in his new role at the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS). We will share more details as we near the end of the school year.
What happens next?
Meshea is all about preparation and learning. So be assured that although you may not be immediately seeing a lot of her, she is diving deep--learning, asking questions and, in short, getting ready. She will work with Mark and the Transition Committee to find opportunities to meet the faculty, staff and students. Additionally, Mark and Meshea will continue to meet, and the Committee will also meet with her regularly to provide her with the necessary background and briefings.
This is an important time in our School’s history, a time to reflect and celebrate all that we have achieved under Mark Crotty’s leadership and to look forward with great anticipation and intentionality at all that St. John’s can become under Meshea’s leadership.
It is a chance for us all to engage with and commit to the wonderful things that St. John’s does for its students. And it is a time to open our arms to the newest members of our St. John’s family, Meshea and Timm, to welcome and support and connect.