Stanley Announces Next Head of School

  • Sumant Bhat image October 4, 2019: We are thrilled to announce that Sumant Bhat will be the next head of school at Stanley British Primary School. Sumant is a proven leader who looks forward to nurturing the mission, values and culture of our school. Fully embracing Stanley’s mission of joyful, lifelong learners prepared to make a positive difference in the world, Sumant is excited to begin building, expanding and deepening his relationships at Stanley and understands the importance of cultivating community both within the school and beyond. His professionalism, humility and enthusiasm were felt by all constituents at Stanley during his two-day visit in September. On July 1, 2020, Sumant succeeds Tim Barrier, whose service to Stanley will conclude June 30, after skillfully leading the Stanley community as head of school for thirteen years. Tim and the rest of the school administration will work closely with Sumant in the months ahead to ensure a seamless transition of leadership.

Preparing for the Transition

  • In the spring of 2019, Tim Barrier announced that 2019-20 will be his last year as head of school for Stanley BPS. He looks forward to another engaging and exciting year of learning at Stanley, and to helping ensure the smooth transition to a new head of school. We are grateful for all he has done to steward Stanley, its teachers and staff and our unique British Primary philosophy. Stanley’s Board of Trustees, under the direction of Garth Jensen and with leadership from President Elect of the Stanley Board of Trustees Katie Varholak, conducted the search for Stanley's next head. Learn more about the search process and transition timeline on this page. 

Search Timeline

  • May 2019







    Mid May: Survey of Stanley BPS community.

    May 21-22: Educators’ Collaborative consultants, Joan and Doug, make a 2-day visit to our campus with multiple opportunities for everyone to participate in person.

    Late May: The head of school search committee (informed by discussions with the community and guided by our consultants) will produce a profile of our school and a position description that will be posted to generate a qualified pool of candidates.

    May to Mid-August 2019

    Consultants develop qualified pool of candidates from many sources.

    Mid to Late August 2019


    Consultants present to search committee a qualified pool of candidates tailored to Stanley’s identified needs. From this pool, search committee selects semifinalists.

    Late August 2019


    Search committee interviews semifinalists and selects small group of finalists.

    September 2019


    Finalists each make 2-day visits to campus with their families, if appropriate.

    Late September 2019





    After careful consideration of feedback provided by all stakeholders, search committee nominates candidate of choice to the trustees

    - Board of Trustees elects the new Head

    - Board of Trustees announces the appointment to the school community

    July 1, 2020



    New head of school begins term in office and transition begins. Consultants will work with the Board of Trustees and the new head of school throughout the first year of his or her term.

Search Committee

  • The head-search committee is made up of trustees, current and alumni parents and one staff member. Together, they offer an array of complementary experience from education to strategic planning, recruiting and non-profits:

    Katie Varholak
    Chair of the Search Committee
    Current Parent 
    President-elect of the Stanley Board of Trustees

    Chris Bock
    Alumni Parent 
    Trustee, Former Chair of Finance Committee

    Bruce DeBoskey
    Current and Alumni Parent

    Joanna Hambidge
    Alumni Parent 
    Director of K-1-2, Founder of Stanley Teacher Prep Program

    Craig Jones
    Alumni Parent

    Brooke O’Drobinak
    Current Parent
    Trustee, Chair of Head Evaluation & Support Committee

    Tom Thorpe
    Current Parent
    Trustee, Chair of Committee on Trustees

    Joanne Venable
    Current Parent
    Former President of Stanley Parent Association

    Please direct any head of school search questions to

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is leading the search process?

    Posted by:

    The selection of the head of school is the single most important duty of the Board of Trustees. To facilitate the search for a new head of school, the board charges the responsibility to the Head Search Committee. The Head Search Committee is organized and prepared to find an inspiring, extraordinary leader for Stanley. The Head Search Committee, comprised of a sub-group of Trustees, Joanna Hambidge (Division Head of K-1-2) and Joanne Venable (Stanley parent and former Parent Association President), is responsible for leading the search process.

    This committee will work with Joan Beauregard and Doug Jennings of Educators’ Collaborative LLC, the search firm retained by the Board of Trustees. Founded in 1971, Educators’ Collaborative has conducted more than 400 head searches across the country. Joan and Doug are both former heads at multiple independent schools and are known for their responsiveness and their ability to adapt the search process to fit the unique character of the school.

    Comments (-1)
  • What is the role of the search committee vs. the search firm?

    Posted by:

    Educators’ Collaborative will advise the Head Search Committee on best practices, timing and logistics during the process. On May 21 and May 22, Joan and Doug will visit Stanley to meet with various stakeholder groups and poll our community to gather information on the needs of the school while also realizing the school’s culture, values and mission. Educators’ Collaborative will also manage the structure of interviews, visits and reference checks to ensure the best pool of candidates.

    The Head Search Committee leads the process from beginning to end, starting with the creation of our school profile and head of school job description. While Educators’ Collaborative vets qualified candidates to present, the Head Search Committee performs all interviews, gathers community feedback for all candidates and keeps the community updated during the process. This committee will present one candidate to the Board of Trustees for confirmation. Once the new head of school is confirmed and announced, a transition committee will be formed and will be responsible for ensuring a smooth transition of leadership while assimilating our next head of school into our Stanley community.

    Comments (-1)
  • What is the board’s role in the process?

    Posted by:

    After finalists visit Stanley, the Head Search Committee, with careful consideration of feedback provided by all constituencies, will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The Trustees will then vote on this recommendation at a special meeting of the board. The board president will announce the appointment of the head of school to the school community shortly thereafter.

    Comments (-1)
  • What role does the community (families, faculty, staff, students) have during this process?

    Posted by:

    All members of the Stanley community will be engaged throughout the search process. Activities include meeting with the consultants, Joan and Doug, in May, meeting candidates during site visits in the fall and providing crucial feedback to the Head Search Committee. Your participation in this process will be very important to the success of our search.

    Comments (-1)
  • How will the search and the transition of leadership affect the Stanley experience?

    Posted by:

    While leadership may change, the mission and core values remain the same at Stanley. Our shared vision of joyful, lifelong learners prepared to make a positive difference in the world will continue to guide us through this exciting time. The Board of Trustees through the Head Search Committee will work closely with Tim Barrier, faculty and the senior management team and the incoming head of school to ensure a smooth transition.

    Comments (-1)
  • How will the search committee update the community during the search process?

    Posted by:

    As Chair of the Head Search Committee, Katie Varholak will keep the community updated through a series of emails dictated by the timeline of the search. These emails will come through the same system used for all school communications. In addition to posting information in the Weekly Bulldog newsletter, communications will be posted to this website at You can access them at any time.

    Comments (-1)
  • Who do I contact if I have thoughts or questions about the search process?

    Posted by:

    Katie Varholak is the chair of the Head Search Committee. Please do not hesitate to contact her by emailing The entire committee is open to hearing your feedback. Please do not hesitate to contact any of its members. Finally, the committee has identified four liaisons to connect with families and faculty and staff for ease of questions: Brooke O’Drobinak and Joanne Venable (family liaisons) and Bruce DeBoskey and Chris Bock (faculty and staff liaisons). Please reach out!

    Comments (-1)