The Park City Day School Board of Trustees announced this week that Head of School Charlie Sachs will be resigning at the end of the school year. After six years with the Park City Day School, Sachs accepted a new post at the Chadwick International School in Songdo in South Korea, which he will begin in July 2013.
Sachs has seen the Park City Day School through two major transitions and is also responsible for hiring nearly half of the current staff and teachers at the school, Sachs said. When he moved from a post in Kansas City to help run the school, Sachs helped the Park City Academy change its mission from a Christian, mission-based school to a secular private school, even leading more recent efforts to merge the academy with the Colby School.
"There were unique challenges in running this school," Sachs said. "People told me you can't bring a negative and a positive together. As it turns out, one school's strengths were the other's weaknesses. To bring it full circle, to South Korea, one was Ying and the other was Yang."
The Board of Trustees has created a committee assigned to search for a Head of School replacement in the coming months. The search will canvas the entire country, and possibly internationally, with efforts focused on finding a candidate with previous experience running an independent school.
"We have had discussion on this, on a succession plan, since the Park City Day School was formed," said David Anderson, the Chairman of the Search Committee and trustee. "We knew it would happen at some point and we needed to be prepared."
"It would have been nice to have a full year to search for a replacement," he added, "but we've begun the process, publicizing the position, the school and our mission the independent school world, it's small."
The committee is composed of trustees, current faculty members and parents. Sachs will be drawing on his own experience and contacts in the independent school network as he works with the search committee throughout the winter. Since the job listing was posted on Wednesday, the school has already received phone calls of interest from qualified applicants.
Candidates will be brought in to the community to meet faculty and parents before the final selection process. The Board of Trustees hopes to find a candidate no later than March, allowing the incoming administrator to train with Sachs in his final months at the school.
The Park City Day School is an independent elementary and middle school with 150 students enrolled. As an independent school, Park City Day School accepts no state or federal financial assistance and as a result has created its own liberal arts curriculum.
"Identifying who will be a good teacher, there's something intangible you have to identify and Charlie can do that, which is unique," Anderson said. "He can identify, attract and bring in really good teachers who fit in the culture here and thrive."
"He has perspective," he added, "knowing what to look for and what needs attention. He will be a difficult person to replace."
Prospective candidates or individuals interested in learning more about Park City Day School may visit www.parkcitydayschool.org for more information on the school curriculum and the Head of School search process.