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MCI Head of School Search

On September 10, 2018, the MCI Board of Trustees announced that Headmaster Christopher J. Hopkins will be leaving Maine Central Institute at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, following the completion of his 11th year of service to the school.

Mr. Hopkins has been a respected leader during his time at MCI and a friend to many members of our school community. During Mr. Hopkins' tenure, MCI has achieved numerous successes and milestones, including:
• The refurbishment of the exterior of Founders Hall, correcting years of deferred maintenance, including restoration of the roof and bell tower, and the soon-to-be-complete replacement of all historical windows in this beloved building.
• The first comprehensive capital campaign and largest single fundraising effort in MCI history, now 90% complete, the $6.5 million Founders Campaign, supporting academics, arts and athletics.
• As part of the Founders Campaign, the transformation of JR Cianchette Hall into the Visual and Performing Arts Education Center, creating new instructional and practice space for music and drama programs, and additional practice space for ballet.
• Completion of new athletic fields, also as part of the capital campaign, bringing all fall sports onto campus for the first time.
• The successful integration of Bossov Ballet Theatre into the MCI campus and significant growth of the pre-professional ballet school.

The Board looks forward to continuing to work with Mr. Hopkins throughout the 2018-19 school year. The Board and Mr. Hopkins are committed to having both a successful year for MCI students and faculty during this coming year, and are dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition next summer.

The Board is seeking input from highly regarded search firms and from members of the MCI community as we begin the process of conducting a national search for Mr. Hopkins' replacement.

On behalf of the MCI community, the Board wishes Mr. Hopkins much success and we thank him for his many years of dedication and contributions to Maine Central Institute.

Search Update

Michael A. Hodgins '86, Board President, announced that a Search Committee has been formed to conduct a comprehensive, national, and international search for MCI's next leader. Hodgins is serving as the Chair of the Committee, and the other members are Tania Carnrick '73, Arielle Costello '06, Jason Cummings '98, Peg Olson '84, Linda Shorey '69, and Norbert Young '66.

We have engaged Educators' Collaborative, a national consulting firm specializing in working with independent schools, to assist us with the search. Deirdre Ling and John Mackenzie will be the partners from the firm working directly with MCI. Both consultants have themselves headed independent schools, and together they bring over 75 years of experience working in and with independent education. Both have been and remain active in regional and national independent school boards and organizations. While the primary responsibility for managing the process of nominating the next Head lies with the Search Committee, the Board of Trustees is committed to making this an inclusive process and will provide opportunities for community input through in-person and electronic means. The first opportunities in this regard occurred when our search consultants visited the School on October 3-4 and through an online constituent survey that was circulated shortly thereafter seeking thoughts about MCI and its future leadership.

Using the information gathered from the online survey, school documents, and interviews during their visit in early October, the Educators' Collaborative team will develop a comprehensive position profile for the next Head of MCI. They will begin to build the pool of candidates by listing the position with appropriate agencies and associations, contacting selected educational leaders to solicit recommendations for the position, and reaching out to potential candidates with whom they and their colleagues are familiar. After the candidate pool has been developed, the Search Committee will meet to review the credentials of the most promising candidates identified by our consultants. Through this process we will seek to find an appropriate balance between involving community input and respecting the privacy of the candidates. This latter consideration regarding candidates is important to help ensure the strongest possible candidate pool. The MCI community will be kept apprised of the progress of the search process via updates by email and other communications. It is our goal to conclude the search and announce the new Head of School prior to the end of this calendar year. We want to emphasize however, that Chris Hopkins will continue to serve in his current role through the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year. If you have suggestions or questions, we encourage you to talk with members of the Search Committee. In the meantime, the Search Committee and Board of Trustees are grateful for your support and assistance.

The Head of School Search Survey

On behalf of the Head of School Search Committee, you are invited to share your thoughts about MCI and the next Head of School via an electronic survey that can be accessed by this link. Please complete the survey at your earliest convenience and by Monday, October 15, 2018.

Completion of the survey should only take a few minutes.  All responses are anonymous and will be compiled and submitted to the Search Committee by the search consultants.  

Thank you for your assistance with this important process for our school.


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