Head of School Search


April 9

As we wrote to you in March, our search consultants, Risa and Mathew Heersche, have been working diligently to recruit candidates for the interim Head of School position. They report that effort is going very well; currently, there are as many as seven strong prospects.

The Search Committee will meet on April 10 to review the candidates and select the semi-finalists for further review. The semi-finalists will be interviewed by the Search Committee during the week of April 16. The names of the candidates remain confidential at this stage.

Once the Search Committee has selected finalists, they will be invited to visit the school during the week of April 23. The names of the finalists and details regarding their school visits will be announced in advance. We will schedule opportunities for the ASH community (faculty/staff, current parents, alumnae/i and board members) to meet and provide feedback to the Search Committee.

The Search Committee will meet shortly after the last finalist's visit. Community feedback will be an important component of that process. The Search Committee will then make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for their review and final decision.

The Board will announce the new interim Head of School after their meeting. We hope to complete this process by early May.

Please know how much we appreciate your patience and support throughout the Head of School search. While the departure of Sister Bearss is still very difficult to digest, we are excited about the opportunities new leadership can bring us.

Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions regarding the search process.


March 7

The search committee has been well advised over these past eight weeks. We want to share some new information and let you know about two strategic changes.

One particular institution in our network, Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton (CA), has come forward to offer their help in expanding our search efforts. They have recommended a highly regarded firm, Educational Directions, Inc. of Portsmouth, RI, who they have used for their own searches.

Over the last several weeks, we have been in communication with Educational Directions, specifically consultants Matthew and Risa Oganesoff Heersche. We have come to know them as a highly qualified independent school consultants who have worked with other Sacred Heart schools and as well as many Catholic schools across the country.

After careful consideration, the Search Committee and Board have agreed that our school community will be best served by focusing the search on finding and hiring an interim Head of School. The reasons for the hiring of the interim are as follows:

  • A tight time-table for the transition
  • The significance of the transition from religious to lay person
  • Interim heads are a best-practice strategy
  • Interims can serve from 1 to 2 years

Our team has already begun a search for interim candidates. Matt and Risa Heersche will be reaching out to individual Catholic educational leaders, executive directors of educational organizations, a variety of Catholic educational leadership programs and regional school associations to notify them of our opening.

We will continue to provide updates on a regular basis. Thank you for your ongoing support of the Academy of the Sacred Heart.

January 16, 2018

We are pleased to announce that the search for a new Head of School has commenced. We anticipate that a new Head of School will join us within the next 6 to 12 months.

The Search Committee is excited to identify a candidate for appointment by our Board of Trustees. We are committed to providing you with ongoing communication. Updates will be posted to this page.

We are honored to have the privilege of ensuring that the next Head of School understands the philosophy of the Goals and Criteria and embodies those characteristics that are important to our community. 

Mary Jo Dawson
Chair, Head of School Search Committee

Head of School Job Description


The Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan is seeking qualified candidates for the Head of School position. The Academy of the Sacred Heart is Michigan’s oldest independent school, offering a Catholic, college-preparatory education to girls (infant-Grade 12) and boys (infant-Grade 8) of many cultures and faiths. The Academy of the Sacred Heart is sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart and a member of the global Network of Sacred Heart Schools. 

The Head of School is responsible for establishing and maintaining an educational environment in which the resources of the School are coordinated and directed in accordance with the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Schools, the philosophy of Sacred Heart education and the policies of the Board of Trustees. The Head of School is accountable to the Board of Trustees for the overall operation and direction of the School.

The Head of School oversees all aspects of the School, as more fully described in the detailed job description.  However, the most critical roles and responsibilities are detailed below:

  • Carry On the Mission. The Goals and Criteria provide the educational framework, national standards and inspiration for all that happens at the Academy. The Head of School represents and advocates for the Goals and Criteria in the ongoing education of its students.
  • Drive a Leading Educational Experience. The Head of School implements forward-looking curricula, programs, and educational experiences to ensure Sacred Heart provides a leading education to its students. 
  • Market the School & Attract/Retain Students. The Head of School articulates the unique differentiators of a Sacred Heart education and effectively oversees marketing and admissions initiatives in a highly competitive educational environment.
  • Manage a Fiscally Disciplined Administration. The Head of School manages the financial performance of the School to support its sustainability and its ability to reinvest in academic programs, faculty, and facilities.  
  • Solicit Charitable Donations / Fundraising. As an independent, non-parochial School, an important source of the School’s funding comes from charitable contributions. The Head of School maintains and cultivates relationships with existing and prospective donors in order to sustain the School’s annual and longer-term fundraising capabilities.
  • Effectively Communicate with All Constituents. With a history of over 160 years in Southeast Michigan, the School has a deep connection with the community, evidenced most by its strong alumni and parent networks.  The Head of School is an active and effective communicator in his/her capacity as the face of the School to the Sacred Heart constituency.
  • Serve as the School’s Spiritual Leader. Inspired by the Academy’s foundress, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, the School is committed to providing a faith-based learning environment grounded in Catholicism. The Head of School carries on the tradition of acting as the spiritual inspiration for the School community.
  • Recruit, Develop, & Manage a Team. The Head of School attracts, develops, and retains the best and brightest faculty and front office administrative staff to handle the day-to-day operations of the School.
  • Interface Effectively with the Board. The School has an active and engaged Board of Trustees, committed to its long-term success. The Head of School works collaboratively in developing long-term strategies with the Board and reports to the Board on the School’s performance relative to its short- and long-term strategies.

In order to successfully execute on the critical roles and responsibilities, the School is seeking candidates that have the following demonstrated qualifications and experiences:

  • Master’s degree in education, business management, or humanities from an accredited university
  • At least 10-15 years of professional experience, including 5+ years of senior leadership experience at an educational institution
  • Knowledge of and enthusiasm for 21st century learning and teaching methods
  • Demonstrated experience in the skills necessary to effectively market the strengths of a school and its academic offerings
  • Demonstrated experience in the business management skills necessary to develop strategic and annual plans and manage a financial budget
  • Exceptional written and verbal skills for effective communication with various key audiences
  • Demonstrated experience in building, coaching, and empowering effective teams and holding team members accountable for performance
  • Demonstrated experience at a not-for-profit institution involved in building community relationships and driving fundraising activities
  • Practicing Catholic

 Read more (PDF) >>

The Academy of the Sacred Heart is a an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Search Committee Members

Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
Head of Conference of Sacred Heart Education, Former Head of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Miami

Mary Jo Dawson
Committee Chair, Advisory Committee Chair, Alumna, Former Staff Member, Parent of Graduates

Michelle Jonna
Trustee, Parent

Peter Kelly
Director of Kensington Hall, Parent

Honorable Alexis G. Krot
Trustee, Alumna

Ryan Marsh
Board of Trustee Chair, Parent

Kevin Nowlan
Trustee, Parent

Rob Rivenburgh
Trustee, Parent

Janet Sofy-Seaman
Parent of Graduates

For ASH community questions:

Browse the Academy of the Sacred Heart's viewbook here >>