, Derry, New Hampshire


February 21, 2013


The hiring of a new headmaster at Pinkerton Academy isn’t something that happens every day. Long tenure is a hallmark of the post.

So it is commendable that Pinkerton is seeking input from the communities that send students to the private academy on what people would like to see in the school’s next leader.

Headmaster Mary Anderson plans to retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. The fact that her contract requires her to give two years notice demonstrates the seriousness in which the Pinkerton trustees hold the headmaster search process.

The school has formed a Headmaster Search Advisory Committee that includes superintendents and residents of Pinkerton’s contracted towns of Derry, Hampstead, Chester and Auburn, along with faculty, staff, students and administration members. The committee, along with the trustees, has asked for input from school officials, parents, students and teachers in its sending towns.

It is clear that Pinkerton is proceeding carefully with the search. The nearly 200-year-old school has only had three official headmasters dating back to the 1940s — Ivah Hackler, Bradford Ek and Anderson.

Trustee and search committee member William Nevious said everyone’s contribution was welcome as part of the process.

“We have not had a lot of experience in a hunt for a headmaster,” Nevious told reporter Julie Huss. “And everyone we interview will have a unique personality.”

At a public forum, community members were eager to tell the search committee what they are looking for in a new headmaster. Leadership and approachability were among the notable qualities.

Pinkerton Alumni Association member George Tsetsilas said a new headmaster should have leadership skills to be able to run a big business — and Pinkerton, he said, is like a business.

Teachers John Breda and Lanie Buskey are part of the search committee. They said a headmaster has to communicate well to keep the staff morale up and help foster passion for what they do, Huss reported.

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