Head of School Search

Jennifer Bohnen, Green Hedges School’s Next Head of School

“My mission is to empower children to become enthusiastic learners and ethical citizens as they create their places in the world. My vision is to create a nurturing school environment that enables children to ask questions that expand their knowledge, deepen their critical thinking skills, and develop a life-long enthusiasm for learning. I work to develop individual and social responsibility by integrating dynamic learning experiences into students’ education. I help students achieve their full potential by encouraging them as individuals to think for themselves. It is that delicate balance between the needs of the individual and the larger society that we must learn to seek.”

– Jennifer P. Bohnen, Green Hedges School’s next Head of School

Dear Green Hedges School Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Green Hedges School, I am honored to announce that Jennifer Peterson Bohnen was unanimously selected on December 20, 2018 to be our next Head of School. Jennifer has prepared the video below to introduce herself to the community.

Jennifer P. Bohnen - GHS Next Head of School

Jennifer, who is currently Head of Lower School at Aspen Country Day in Colorado, will bring to Green Hedges a 20-year career of distinguished educational accomplishments as a teacher, scholar, administrator, and leader in pre-K/Montessori through Grade 8 independent schools. Jennifer describes her leadership philosophy in the following way:
“My leadership style is to be an ever present, positive, motivating force in all facets of school life. A Head of School must be among the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave in the evening; a conduit, and leader of meaningful school activities. The Head of School sets the tone and direction for the school yet must listen carefully to a trusted and respected team. This person utilizes the strategic direction of the organization and inspires the community to achieve its goals. This is a responsibility I hold in the highest regard. The Head of School must be a positive partner, accessible, flexible, and a constant fixture in the school.”

Jennifer is uniquely qualified to lead the children, professionals and families of Green Hedges School through the next years of the twenty-first century. Jennifer’s national experience in esteemed independent schools such as Aspen Country Day, Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, California, and the Lamplighter School in Dallas, Texas will benefit Green Hedges School tremendously through her expansive network and understanding of what works well for children, faculty and families.

The Bohnen family is thrilled to return to the Northern Virginia area. Jennifer was a teacher at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes Episcopal School while concurrently serving as a Trustee at Burgundy Farm Country Day in Alexandria. During her time in the area, she also completed research at George Washington University in teacher effectiveness and evaluations in independent schools. She also identified and evaluated best practices, successes and challenges in local preschool groups. She looks forward to contacting many of her professional colleagues in the area this spring to prepare for the 2019-2020 secondary school placement process.

Beyond her profoundly impressive professional qualifications, Jennifer is an inspiring leader. As you heard in her introductory video to the community above, she is warm, curious, patient, determined, smart, empathetic, action-oriented, strategic and strives for excellence. Josh Wolman, Aspen Country Day’s Head of School and former Assistant Head of School for Admissions and Financial Aid at Sidwell Friends School says the following about Jennifer:

“Jenn is an excellent choice for Green Hedges, you are lucky to get her. Having worked at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes and being on the Board of Trustees at Burgundy Farms, Jenn has a working knowledge of the independent school scene in Northern Virginia and understands the demographic well. At Aspen Country Day, she has proven to be an outstanding Lower School Head, and Jenn is ready for her next challenge. Jenn brings enthusiasm, warmth and a passion for children to school every day, and I am confident that she is going to make an immediate impact on Green Hedges. I am going to miss working with Jenn and wish her the best of luck.”

Of course, after speaking with Josh personally and getting to know Jennifer, I couldn’t agree more.

I know you will join me in welcoming Jennifer, her husband Dave and their son Colby, an unwavering Nats fan, to our beloved school. Green Hedges School has a special care for the cultivation of childhood and sense of community unlike many independent schools. Let’s leverage that intentionality, spirit and warmth to bring out the best in Jennifer as she brings out the best in us.

In closing, I want to thank our search consultant Rice Bryan from Carney, Sandoe & Associates, Search Committee Chair Craig Gavin, and the Search Committee,

Carolyn Blocher
Lisa Gibb
Julie Holmes
Blake Kohn
Tom Mast
Jennifer McLaughlin
Allison Nichols
Michael Shaw
Stacey Vagoun

for their tireless commitment to getting this important decision right – and they did – for Green Hedges. Additional appreciation is extended to Lisa Pence and Wanda Green for their support of the on-campus candidate visits; particularly making sure each candidate experienced the best of Green Hedges. I also want to personally thank you, the Green Hedges community, for your essential and thoughtful engagement, trust in the process and active participation. The current and future children, families and professionals of Green Hedges will be forever thankful for your commitment to our School.

Sincerely,

Heidi J. Everett
Chair, Board of Trustees
Green Hedges School


Past Updates


Update from Chair of Head of School Search Committee

Over the past few months the Head of School Search Committee in conjunction with our search consultants Carney Sandoe & Associates have been actively pursuing our next Head of School. Much progress has been made and we are proud to announce the selection of four finalist candidates for the position.

Over the next few weeks these candidates will be on the Green Hedges campus for interviews as well as position evaluations. All four of our candidates are well regarded and in established positions. This is an opportunity for the candidates and the Green Hedges community to show leadership and set forth our future direction.

Meet the Finalists

We will host each finalist and family members at the Green Hedges campus during the schedule listed below. Please note this schedule is subject to change pending confirmation on travel arrangements from the finalists.

Finalist #1:  Nov. 29 – 30
Finalist #2:  Dec. 2 – 3
Finalist #3:  Dec. 6 – 7
Finalist #4:  Dec. 9 – 10

During their visit, on day two, the finalists will meet with faculty, staff, parents, students, alumni and trustees. At these meetings, the finalists will present their background and educational philosophy and time will be allocated for a Q&A. The entire community is welcome and encouraged to attend a dinner reception hosted at the school starting at 6:30 p.m. If you are interested in attending the dinner reception, for any of these candidate sessions, please contact Wanda Green at wgreen@greenhedges.org. We will need to know the headcount for catering purposes.

For confidentiality purposes, a biography summary will be distributed to all those attending 48 hours prior to the candidates’ visit. This event is for the purpose of information exchange, therefore we appreciate adult participation only.

For those who participate in these activities, you will be asked to complete an online survey to share your thoughts on each candidate.

Search Consultant

The Board of Trustees has selected and hired Carney, Sandoe & Associates (CS&A) as search consultant to lead the Green Hedges School community in its search for the next permanent Head of School. Since its inception in 1977, CS&A has worked successfully with over 1,800 schools to provide exceptional faculty recruitment, head of school search, and strategic consulting services.

The Search Committee invites all interested and qualified professionals to learn more about our open Head of School position (contract begins July 1, 2019), the school, its mission, and community. Please download the Green Hedges School’s Head of School Position Description (PDF) to learn more about the opportunity.

Search Committee

To facilitate the search process, the Board created a Search Committee that will recommend a Head of School candidate to the Board. The Committee will draw on the experience and commitment of the following members of our community:

Craig Gavin
Search Committee Chair, Trustee and Parent
Carolyn Blocher
Trustee, Treasurer and Parent
Heidi Everett
Trustee, Chair and Parent
Lisa Gibb
Trustee and Parent
Julie Holmes
Trustee, Vice Chair and Parent
Blake Kohn
Trustee and Executive Director, National Network of Schools in Partnership
Jennifer McLaughlin
Parent Association President and Parent
Alison Nichols
Montessori Directress
Mike Shaw
Trustee, Secretary and Parent
Stacey Vagoun
Grade 5 Teacher

Contacts

If you have questions or comments about the search process, please contact the Search Committee Chair Craig Gavin or Carney Sandoe & Associates Consultant Rice Bryan.

Community Communication

September 19, 2018 – Update from Chair of Board of Trustees (PDF)
November 26, 2018 – Update from Chair of Head of School Search Committee (PDF)