Message to Search Committees:

Great heads don't just manage schools well, they brighten the future for students. As a head of school search firm, we can help you find your great leader.

Retained Search

With a retained search, our team guides and supports your committee through every phase of the process.  We share full responsibility with you to bring the search to a successful conclusion.

• We help you clearly articulate the goals for the next head of school and then identify the skills required for this individual to be successful in light of the school’s distinctive culture and mission.

• We advertise broadly and network extensively to generate a compelling array of candidates, and then not only interview and check references on them, we also deploy the most sophisticated corporate personality-assessment tools available to confirm perceptions and assumptions about each candidate.

• We structure the entire search process into an integrated, efficient whole using a method honed over 70 searches.  Simultaneously, our extensive personal experience helps us recognize when your unique search requires a different path to achieve success.

With a retained searches, you take advantage of our full array of talents, and we are committed to the task until you are satisfied with the results.

Commissioned Search

For some schools, a retained search is simply too expensive.  Therefore, we have crafted a “commissioned” option for search committees that want to run the search process themselves, but desire our help in attracting and screening a much larger pool of candidates.

• A Southern Teachers consultant visits to get a sense of the school culture and the search committee’s hiring goals and expectations.

• We provide you with a search template—carefully crafted over many years—to help you control the complex search process.

• Southern Teachers then refers vetted candidates for your consideration and we remain available to offer guidance about candidates, answer questions, and provide information as needed.

• The school pays a small upfront fee to cover advertising and consultant travel. A placement fee becomes due only if the school hires a Southern Teachers candidate.

This approach—a commissioned search—is only available through Southern Teachers; no other recruitment firm offers it.  We built this model because we recognize that one search model does not fit all independent schools in the South, and we want to serve where others cannot.

Which Search is Right for Your School?

The differences in levels of service and expense are significant.  Typically, the determining factors in a board’s decision are the search committee members’ experience level, precedent in prior searches at the school, and cost.  We are happy to help weigh the options that will work best for each school.

Why Hire ST?

Any head of school search firm can build a candidate pool—often the same candidates for numerous searches.  We advertise and recruit nationally and use active sourcing techniques.  What sets us above our competitors is our carefully developed, robust assessment process.  We help committees find candidates who match their schools’ core values and whose competencies are best suited for specific expectations.  In the end, we help search committees do everything possible to make the best choices for their schools.

How to Get Started

We would be pleased to speak with the leader(s) of your school’s head search—typically the board chair or a search committee leader—about our services.  Please contact Dr. Carey Goodman, Director, at or at 434-295-9122.  After a conversation about your school and how we can help, we will be happy to offer a proposal for our services in a retained or commissioned search.  Often, we visit the school to meet with the search committee and answer questions in person about our process and experience.

Latest News

  • Welcoming Warren Gould

    Warren's 35-year career in education has included service as a teacher, dean, college advisor, academic affairs director, and division director at independent schools in several Southern states. Most recently he was the founding Upper School Director at Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill. We are honored that he now brings his knowledge and proven understanding of schools' needs as our North & South Carolina Consultant.


  • Welcome to Dr. Tim Green

    A Certified Master Athletic Administrator, Tim joins our team after nearly two decades at Kentucky Country Day School and prior stints at Porter-Gaud and Darlington School. With his well-known success in developing athletics programs at independent schools, Tim brings a unique skill set to his work as Athletics Consultant. He conducts our new Athletic Director mentoring program and advises in Athletics Administration searches.


  • Welcome to Kirk McClintock

    Throughout her nearly 15 years at St. Mary's Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee, Kirk invested deeply in her school community, first as a teacher and then as a key staff member in admissions, advancement, and communications. Her priorities are family and education, and her positive energy is contagious. She brings a wealth of experience and joy to her new role as ST's Consultant to schools in Georgia and the MidSouth States.


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    Saturday, February 5

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