By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — The search continues for a new leader for Pinkerton Academy.
The process is now entering its next phase, bringing in the firm Carney, Sandoe and Associates to help recruit a new headmaster for the Derry high school to replace current headmaster Mary Anderson.
Anderson announced in June 2012 that she would step down at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
She was required by her contract to give two years notice to trustees.
The Pinkerton Board of Trustees and the school’s Headmaster Search Advisory Committee began the initial stage of the search to find Anderson’s replacement.
The group asked for input from school officials from Pinkerton sending towns, as well as students and staff.
The next phase of the search has a Headmaster Search Screening Committee now in place to take the process further, led by trustee and former headmaster Bradford Ek, along with trustee Kimberly Smith. Other committee members are trustees Harry Burnham, Virginia Clark and Mark Wright.
With Carney and Sandoe on board, the process includes meeting with groups and individuals from the community to seek input about what would make the best leader for Pinkerton. An online survey will also be taken to gather information.
Pinkerton has only had three official headmasters in its history, Ivah Hackler, Bradford Ek and Anderson. Most had long careers.
Anderson has been affiliated with Pinkerton for 38 years, first serving as a teacher, then leading the school’s business department, then rising to take the assistant headmaster for finance role before landing the top job.
Pinkerton spokesman Chip Underhill said the applicant pool and number of applicants remains confidential, but did say the search group would like to expand the pool.
“After a broad-based approach to the search, it became evident that there is an unusually high level of competition for leadership candidates in education, nationally and especially regionally,” Underhill said. “In New Hamsphire alone, there is a large turnover of superintendents and principals, but this is also the situation across the country.”
This newest stage of the search with Carney, Sandoe and Associates on board will help streamline the process.
Burnham said the screening committee hopes to bring a recommendation to the Board of Trustees in January 2014, with an official announcement to come shortly after.
“Of course, the timing of a final decision and announcement depends on finding precisely the right candidate,” Burnham said, “a process that may take longer than our ideal timeline.”
The committee will continue to provide any updates on the headmaster search at pinkertonacademy.net.