June 13, 2013
It is my great pleasure to welcome ICS’s new CEO--Mr. Tom Scheid. CEO Tom (as he will officially become on Sept 1, 2013) comes to ICS with more than twenty years of experience as an educator. He began his career as a music teacher in the Dayton, Ohio public schools and spent ten years in San Jose, California where he taught music for 5 years before becoming Assistant Principal and Principal of the San José High School, a magnet school with International Baccalaureate and Technology programs serving over 1000 students. Since 2011, CEO Tom has served as the Chief Academic Officer and Principal at La Academia Charter School in Lancaster, PA, a charter school that primarily serves children from Lancaster’s large Latino community. In his many years as a teacher and administrator, CEO Tom has developed many of the skills we were looking for in our next CEO: He has extensive experience overseeing every aspect of school operations; he has secured grants, overseen construction projects, fundraised and built relationships with local businesses and institutions that have strengthened the programs at his schools.
Perhaps most importantly, CEO Tom is a wonderful “fit” for ICS. Parents and teachers who met with him during the selection process commented on his integrity, his approachability, his commitment to educating students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, his willingness to work hard and his ability to think creatively. CEO Tom himself expressed this sense of fit beautifully. When he accepted the job, he told us:
I am honored and thrilled to join the Independence Charter School community. Throughout my career as an educator, I have held to the belief that all children have a right to learn. The School must work to provide a positive, safe and nurturing educational environment for each and every student. As educators and community members, we must find pathways to allow each student to become a successful learner.
From my first meetings with the ICS community, I sensed that the educational mission and commitment were shared by everyone - from parents to educators to students. I was especially impressed by the emphasis on preparing independent and thoughtful global citizens and on the value of world languages at ICS. I have valued these two dimensions of education throughout my career while working in diverse, urban schools and international programs. ICS's mission reflects a mindful commitment to developing an awareness of the interaction between values, culture and language; it is a mission I fully share and support.
While CEO Tom will not assume the position as CEO until September 1, he will spend a lot of time at the school this summer, working with CEO Rich to get to know our school so that he can “hit the ground running” in September. There will be many opportunities for the members of the ICS community to meet CEO Tom in the fall but if you would like to send him a note of welcome before then, feel free to e-mail it to Megan Steelman and she will pass it on to him.
Have a wonderful summer,
Chair, ICS Board of Trustees
April 10, 2013
Dear ICS families,
I am writing to update you on our CEO search. As you know, we brought four finalists to ICS in February. During their visits, the candidates met with families, staff, administration, students and the board of trustees and also had a chance to see many parts of ICS in action. We ended up offering the position to our two top candidates but, for reasons beyond our control, we were unable to fill the position.
Luckily, we have a second pool of strong candidates and the search committee is in the process of reviewing resumes in order to decide which candidates to interview. From this group, the committee will select 2-3 candidates to bring to ICS for finalist interviews later in the month. While it was disheartening not to finish the search, the members of the board all agree that we learned a lot in the first round that will help us make the second even more effective and efficient. After having seen several candidates, we now know that the most important qualities for our new CEO are:
- The ability to formulate, articulate and implement a vision for ICS’ continuing success and growth.
- The ability to forge partnerships and bring in resources that will allow ICS to fulfill its mission even more robustly than we do now.
- The ability to support our principals, who have primary responsibility for the day-to-day running of the school.
We are confident that there are candidates in the pool who have these skills and look forward to meeting them. However, we are also talking with CEO Rich about the possibility of his staying on for another year as interim CEO in case we are unable to find a worthy candidate to lead ICS.
As soon as we have the finalist dates set, we will send out an announcement to the whole ICS community. Please consider coming to the candidate presentations. The feedback we receive from our families is an important part of our decision making process. Also, if you have questions about the search process or the job description or you want to hear more about how we will use parent feedback, please come to the PTA meeting on Tuesday, April 16 where the parent reps and I will be available to answer questions.
In the meantime, on behalf of the entire ICS Board of Trustees, I want to thank all the people who made the finalist days run so smoothly. All of the candidates were very impressed by the professionalism and warmth of our staff, the energy, joy and intelligence of our kids, and the engagement of our families. I want to thank especially, Tr. Barb K and Tr. Ramzy who have spent many hours as the staff representatives to the search committee and Tr. Michelle who masterminded the logistics of the finalist days with efficiency and grace. It is professionals like these who make ICS the amazing school it is today!
Chair, ICS Board of Trustees
Dear ICS Community,
As co-chairs of the CEO Search Committee, we are happy to invite you to participate in the important process of selecting the next leader of Independence Charter School. ICS seeks a CEO who will bring expertise and leadership experience in primary education, a clear vision for our school's future, and an abiding commitment to developing young global citizens who are prepared to engage with their community in Philadelphia and around the world.
We invite you to join the process by participating in focus groups, sharing feedback with your representatives on the search committee (Parent Representative Nirva LaFortune and Staff Representative Barb Kay), recommending potential candidates to our search consultant Barry Rowland, and by meeting the finalists later this school year. Together we will find the best candidate to lead ICS in the coming years.
Naomi Wyatt and Susanna Greenberg
ICS Board of Trustees