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Head of School Search

In April, Peter York announced his intention to retire as Head of School at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year. We are extremely grateful for his steadfast devotion to James River Day School and his many contributions to our school during his tenure.
 
The Board of Trustees has established a Head of School Search Committee and has retained The Education Group (TEG), a recruiter for independent schools, to assist with the process. A search is being conducted to find James River's next head of school, who will join our community in July 2023. We invite you to visit this page regularly for updates on the search process. 
Dear James River Parents,
 
In light of Mr. York’s retirement in June 2023, the Board of Trustees has begun the process of selecting our next Head of School. The Head of School Search Committee has enlisted the assistance of Dennis Campbell and Katherine Moncure Stuart of The Education Group. Dennis and Katherine will be in Lynchburg next Monday and Tuesday, May 23 and 24, to meet with members of the James River Day School community to develop a detailed position description, including the qualities and abilities we desire in our next leader.
 
We invite you to choose one of the following two meeting times to join Dennis and Katherine and share your input.
 
Tuesday, May 24
8:15 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Taylor Media Center
Or
Tuesday, May 24
2:20 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Taylor Media Center
 
As we engage our school in this initiative, we will provide opportunities for everyone in the James River Day School community to share ideas and suggestions with Dennis and Katherine. In addition to joining one of the above meetings, we encourage you to participate in the questionnaire that was emailed yesterday.
 
We appreciate your support in this critically important process.
 
Sincerely,
Ashleigh Lineberry
Chair, Head of School Search Committee
 
Dear James River Community,
 
Peter York recently shared that the 2022-2023 school year will be his last as Head of School at James River Day School. We are grateful for Pete’s steady presence over the last 15 years, the last four as Head of School. His tenure has been marked by excellent classroom instruction and the assembly of a dedicated team of faculty and staff galvanized by his leadership. Most notably, Pete’s commitment to consistently keeping our kids in school has had a lasting impact on hundreds of James River students and families.
 
Since the announcement, the Board of Trustees has appointed a Search Committee led by Board of Trustees Vice Chair, Ashleigh Lineberry. Guided by a search firm, this committee will conduct a comprehensive and inclusive process in the search for the next Head of School.
 
The Search Committee
 
  • Ashleigh Lineberry, Search Committee Chair
  • Kevin Gill
  • James “Skip” Kughn
  • Traci Ogbu
  • Kristen O’Neill
  • Swathi Prabhu
  • Elaine Passman
  • Kathryn Yarzebinski
 
After interviewing several nationally recognized educational search firms, our committee has selected The Education Group (TEG) for their experience, accessibility, and unparalleled knowledge of Central Virginia and the K-8 school model. Consultants  Dennis Campbell and Katherine Moncure Stuart will guide the Search Committee through the process of selecting our next Head of School.
 
The consultants will visit campus Monday and Tuesday, May 23 and 24, to meet with various constituents within our community, including faculty, staff, administrators, parents, current students, and alumni. We are asking all members of the JRDS community to complete a survey (emailed to the JRDS community on May 16) prior to midnight on Sunday, May 22. The survey is designed to gain community input regarding the professional and personal attributes to be sought in the next leader of JRDS. This survey, along with the campus visit, will help our consultants develop a position profile highlighting the personal and professional qualities our community seeks in its next Head of School.
 
Throughout this process, please visit this page for the most up-to-date information on the search. You may send information and candidate recommendations directly to Dennis and Katherine.
 
Thank you to the Search Committee members who have and will dedicate countless hours to the search process. We ask that you respect the committee’s dedication to confidentiality by thoughtfully engaging with Dennis and Katherine through the surveys, conversations, and forum opportunities they provide. This ensures that your voice is heard singularly and in aggregate as we develop the candidate pool for our next Head of School. 
 
We are confident The Education Group will facilitate a fair, transparent search for all constituents resulting in a dynamic community leader at the helm of James River Day School.
 
Ashleigh Lineberry
Chair, Head of School Search Committee
Dear James River Day School Community,
 
After 14 years of dedicated leadership, Mr. York has shared with the Board of Trustees his intent to retire at the conclusion of the 2022-2023 academic year. On behalf of the James River Day School Board of Trustees, I wish to convey the extraordinary gratitude we have for Peter York’s long-term service to the school. 
 
Mr. York’s tenure as Head of School has been marked by steady leadership, capable and flexible administration, and a steadfast respect for decision-making guided by what is best for the child. We are extraordinarily grateful for his tireless leadership during the challenging pandemic period, ensuring a stable haven and nurturing learning environment for our students. His leadership has resulted in a surge in visibility and interest in the community, driving record enrollment and financial results even while moving toward a flexible tuition assistance model to open our doors to more families. James River Day School is measurably stronger because of Mr. York’s tireless efforts.    
 
As we move forward, the Board of Trustees is committed to identifying a new Head of School who will provide the leadership necessary for James River Day School to continue growing while preserving our valued culture and mission. We look forward to engaging the entire James River Day School community in this important endeavor. Ashleigh Lineberry, our current Board of Trustees Vice Chair, has agreed to serve as Chair of the Search Committee. This important work will begin immediately, and we ask for your partnership and involvement as we solicit input from parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and our broader community. 
 
Please join me and the Board of Trustees in expressing our deep appreciation for Mr. York’s leadership and commitment to James River Day School, and sincere congratulations on his upcoming retirement. 
 
Respectfully,
EP sig with padding right
Elaine Passman
Chair, James River Day School Board of Trustees
Dear James River Day School Community,
 
Next year will see the completion of my fourth year as Head of School and my fifteenth year at James River Day School. When my current contract expires at the end June 2023, I plan to retire.
 
My time here, especially while serving as Head, has been wonderfully challenging and immensely gratifying. I am most proud of the strong and dedicated team of faculty and staff we have assembled that daily provides the best K-8 education in Lynchburg. We have weathered several crises in the last nearly three years and have come through each of them stronger as a result. Interest in the school is at an all-time high and our financial position is the best it’s ever been. I am also proud of the progress we have made regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I am confident that the school will continue to provide an exceptional education for its students and families during the transition to new school leadership.
 
I remain “all in” in terms of wanting what is best for the school, and I will support the Board of Trustees in the process of searching for a new Head of School, while continuing to keep the school on an even keel in its day-to-day operations. I am dedicated to ensuring that our strong school program continues without disruption during the coming months.
 
James River Day School is an exceptional institution and has been for over fifty years. It was founded by parents who cared deeply about their children’s education, and that caring, cherishing, connected culture remains to this day. The families who send their children to the school, and the teachers who teach those children, are all dedicated to the well-being of not only the students but also of the school, and that is a rare and wonderful thing. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the school. It is proving to be a very satisfying end to my years in school administration.
 
With my best regards,
Peter York's signature
Peter H. York
Head of School
 

Head Search Committee

Ashleigh Lineberry 
Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Head Search Committee, Chair of Development Committee, and member of the Committee on Trustees

Kevin Gill
Member of the Board of Trustees, the Finance Committee, and the Committee on Trustees

James “Skip” Kughn
Emeritus Member of the Board of Trustees, member of and former Chair of the Development Committee

Traci Ogbu
Member of the Board of Trustees, the Finance Committee, the DEI Task Force, and the Strategic Planning Committee

Kristen O’Neill 
Member of the Board of Trustees, the Strategic Planning Committee, the DEI Task Force, and the Committee on Trustees
 
Elaine Passman
Chair of the Board of Trustees and member of all Board committees

Swathi Prabhu
Member of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, member of the DEI Task Force, and the Committee on Trustees

Kathryn Yarzebinski 
Member of the Board of Trustees, the Development Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee
 
 
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