Head of School Search
Guided by the school’s mission, Kimball Union Academy prepares students for the challenges of tomorrow’s world by inspiring academic mastery, creativity, responsibility, and leadership. Set in the historic village of Meriden, New Hampshire, students at KUA are immersed in a breadth of educational opportunities that also allow for a deeper dive into areas of interest. Students here are confident, life-long learners who care about one another.

Kimball Union Announces Head of School

The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Tyler L. Lewis, currently the Head of Bishop’s College School in Sherbrooke, Quebec, has accepted the invitation of the Board of Trustees to be the next Head of Kimball Union Academy, effective July 1, 2019. Read the official announcement

Interim Head of School

KUA’s Board of Trustees has appointed Pam Clarke as KUA’s Interim Head of School. Pam is responsible for the day to day operation of Kimball Union until the appointment of a new Head of School.

Head of School Search Process

In keeping with best practices outlined by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the selection of the Head of School is the Board’s responsibility. A broad committee interviewed, advised and made a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The goal of this process was to find a new leader for the school who can build on our strong foundation and continue our tradition of academic excellence, respectful community and vibrant culture.

Search Committee

The search committee for a new Head of School worked in conjunction with the consulting firm Educators' Collaborative, and with input from the KUA community. Members were carefully selected to provide a diverse set of skills, backgrounds, and perspectives.


Please direct any questions to:

Chris Burns '83
Chair, Head of School Search Committee

Updates from the Board of Trustees

List of 7 items.

  • Head of School Selected

    I am pleased to announce that Tyler L. Lewis, currently the Head of Bishop’s College School in Sherbrooke, Quebec, has accepted the invitation of the Board of Trustees to be the next Head of Kimball Union Academy, effective July 1, 2019.
    This appointment is the result of a long and thoughtful search that commenced in August when the Search Committee launched a national and international effort to recruit the strongest and best-matched candidates to our school. From an initial pool of more than 70 educational leaders who expressed interest in the position, the Search Committee eventually reduced the pool to nine candidates who were invited to confidential interviews over the weekend of October 20-21. Following these interviews, three semi-finalists and their spouses were invited to visit the school where they met with students, faculty, staff members, parents, administrators, and trustees. On November 11, the Search Committee unanimously selected Tyler Lewis as its nominee to the Board of Trustees and on November 13, the trustees unanimously accepted the recommendation.
    In two days on campus, Tyler quickly impressed the search committee and full community with his personal and professional alignment with the engaging, student-centric culture of KUA. Tyler began his career in education twenty-five years ago as a teacher of mathematics, coach, and dorm parent at Blair Academy in New Jersey. After five years at Blair, he spent a year at Harvard University pursuing his MEd and on the coaching staff of the Harvard women’s varsity hockey team. He then spent five years as an educational consultant with Carney Sandoe and Associates before moving on to Holderness School where he spent nine years as Director of Enrollment Management.
    In 2015, Tyler and his family moved to Bishop’s College School, an international boarding school serving 265 students from more than forty countries. Tyler described his work over the past three and a half years at BCS as “helping a proud school return to form.” Under his leadership, a strategic plan and a comprehensive campus master plan have been developed and implemented, enrollment has reached maximum capacity, and the annual fund has nearly doubled. In addition, programs have thrived with the introduction of the IB curriculum, a revised advisor program, inclusion of the arts in after-school programming, and a thriving athletics program, including a Canadian national champion hockey team in 2017. Currently, a 24,000 square foot student residence and a new tennis facility are under construction, as components of the Bold Vision for BCS, a full campus plan developed to “maximize every square inch of the school’s 260-acre campus for teaching, learning, and the holistic health and development of our entire community.”
    Tyler’s roots are in northern New England, as he grew up and attended public school in Waterville, Maine. He holds a BA in Economics from Colby College and a MEd in Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Tyler and his wife, Renee, who was a teacher and coach at both Holderness and Concord Academy, have three children, Benjamin (9), Finnegan (7), and Hadley (5). They are an active family enjoying the outdoors, mountains, good books, and time at the heart of the communities where they live. 
    As Tyler and his family look to join our school community, he offers these thoughts:
    For many years, we have admired KUA from afar and known it as a school where both the students and adults are thriving and a commitment to excellence defines expectations. As I shared with the students on our visit to campus, the opportunity to work at KUA and join the high-functioning team of a thriving school community is tremendously appealing professionally. However, our connection runs much deeper and comes from a desire to live life on The Hilltop and steep in the relationships, as we collectively build the vision and implement the plan for the next great chapter of our school. As a family, we are honored by and grateful for this opportunity.
    On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I extend my deep gratitude to all members of the Kimball Union Academy community for your commitment to this search process and for your invaluable and thoughtful feedback. I am especially grateful to Search Committee Chair, Chris Burns '83, and fellow Committee members Jennifer Borislow '78, P'07, '10, Kris Graham P'09, '12, '15, Andrea Stern P'19, Bill Elliott '60, David Allyn '86, P'17, David Pond '64, David Weidman, Don Lowery '73, Erin Mellow, Polly Antol, Joshua Hunnewell, Kevin Ramos-Glew, Molly Bourne Steffey '92, P'20, '22, and Cristina Frias-Gil '19 for their countless hours of dedicated service to this search and our school. We are also grateful for the guidance and support of Marcus Hurlbut and Doug Cummings of Educators’ Collaborative.
    The selection of the Head of School is one of the greatest responsibilities of trusteeship, and all of us in the KUA family can be proud not only that Tyler, Renee and their family have accepted the appointment, but also that the scope of the search was so extensive and the qualities of the interested candidates so outstanding. We are delighted with the outcome and look forward to welcoming the Lewis Family to our school community. We also know that each of you will, in your own way, extend a warm welcome to Tyler and his family.
    Rob Snow '85
    Board Chair
  • Head of School Finalists Visit Campus

    The Trustees of the Academy and the Head of School Search Committee are excited to share with you the progress we have made in the new Head of School search process and to welcome your participation in the coming weeks.

    With input from many constituents, the leadership profile was widely disseminated as a means of promoting the position to potential candidates and now is being used as the rubric to narrow the pool to the finalist level. Educators’ Collaborative, our search consultants, were very pleased to receive over fifty dossiers in this competitive search. The large and broadly representative Search Committee, is comprised of trustees, administration, two faculty members, and a student. On Oct. 9, the Search Committee selected semi-finalist candidates from a recommended pool of 23 applicants. Since then, we have interviewed each semi-finalist and invited three finalists to visit KUA for two-days each, according to the schedule below.
    Candidate #1: November 1-2
    Candidate #2: November 5-6
    Candidate #3: November 7-8

    The Search Committee is thrilled with the breadth of leadership the finalists represent and we look forward to the continued success of our school under the new Head of School.

    Search Committee Chair
    David Weidman
    Assistant Head of School
  • Leadership Opportunity Statement

    There is no doubt that Kimball Union has come a long way from its beginnings in 1813. But one thing has not changed; KUA still offers the best in contemporary education. From a predominantly locally based student body to a school with no international constraints, from forty years as a single-sex institution to a return to coeducation in the mid-seventies, from seven students to three hundred and forty, KUA has grown and flourished over two hundred years of history. Grounded by its mission, Kimball Union Academy has the experience of centuries.

    Click here to view Kimball Union's Leadership Opportunity Statement.
  • Letter from Mike Schafer to the Community

    Dear Alumni, Students, Parents, and Friends of Kimball Union,

    Today I write to share the news that I have notified the Board of Trustees that the upcoming academic year, 2018-2019, will be my last year at Kimball Union. I have made this decision to complete my tenure as the 18th Head of School with my family and with the full support of our Board of Trustees. After fifteen years at Kimball Union’s helm, I believe now is the right time for a new Head of School with a fresh vision to advance Kimball Union to the highest heights among the leading independent schools of our kind.

    Kimball Union was a strong school when we arrived in 2003, thanks to so many who came before us, in particular our predecessors, Timothy and Elizabeth Knox. Today, by any measure, our school has never been better equipped to achieve our mission for every child under our care: academic mastery, creativity, responsibility, and leadership. We can be confident that KUA’s position is ever brighter now and will shine long into the future.

    Over the past fifteen years, the Academy has far exceeded the goals that were set forth in the long-range plan, two subsequent strategic plans, and in the historic bicentennial Impact Campaign. I am proud of the impressive accomplishments achieved by the extended KUA family. The Campaign, which was supported by nearly 5,000 alumni, parents, and friends raised nearly $50 million and has strengthened the Academy enormously.   

    We have made lasting investments in faculty and student support, modernized and preserved our beautiful historic village campus, and created broad and in-depth innovative academic initiatives and Scholar Programs in the humanities, STEM, and the arts. We have advanced academic support services to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse, multi-faceted student body. We have enhanced leadership and service programs, fostered lasting global and local partnerships, and redoubled our commitment to excellence in the arts, athletics, and character development.

    The hallmark of Kimball Union’s culture is a warm, vibrant, and loving learning community, wholly dedicated to continuous improvement while changing hearts and building relationships that endure. Relationships are at the core of the learning process for students and are what drive our Academy onward. To ensure a smooth leadership transition, I will spend the coming year focused on the external affairs of the school. Gayle and I will dedicate our time to solidifying relationships with alumni and friends of the school, celebrating the Academy’s many successes, and outlining future opportunities as directed by the Board of Trustees.

    Gayle and I, Hannah '12, Joanna '15, and Jonathan '19, each raised in Munro House and educated on the Hilltop, are eternally grateful to our alumni, parents, trustees, and four outstanding Board Chairs under whom I have proudly served. Whatever part we may have played in the storied history of this wonderful Academy, the people who walked before us, alongside us, and to all who call it home, have created an experience of a lifetime. In particular, we would like to thank the dedicated KUA faculty, staff, and the Academy’s life force, our students past and present, whose ongoing success is our most cherished legacy, and profoundly, our greatest personal reward. 
    Michael J. Schafer H'13, P'12, P'15, P'19
  • Letter from Board Chair Rob Snow '85

    Dear Alumni, Students, Parents, and Friends of Kimball Union,

    On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank Mike and Gayle Schafer for their fifteen years of dedicated service to Kimball Union. We know their decision to leave the Academy in June, 2019 was difficult. On behalf of our alumni; over fifteen-hundred most recent graduates who graduated during Mike’s tenure, including 108 of our newest alumni of the Class of 2018; and the dedicated faculty colleagues and staff who have served under his leadership, we express our sincere appreciation for all Mike has done for Kimball Union.

    In his last year at KUA, Mike will shift his focus to solidify the strong relationships he has forged that are central to KUA’s success. This summer, the Trustees and I will spend time appointing an interim, internally-focused acting Head of School to take over those very important day-to-day responsibilities Mike has so effectively shouldered. We are confident that the transition of the management of the Academy will be seamless and successful in every way, thanks to a strong leadership team already in place at the school.

    The Board of Trustees has begun preparations for a community-wide process to select Kimball Union’s nineteenth Head of School. The Trustees will select from an experienced list of educational consultants to collaborate with a Kimball Union Head of School search committee, which will be appointed in the days ahead.

    Our search for Kimball Union’s 19th Head of School represents an important moment for our school. The Academy’s continuity of leadership includes the legacy of seven headmasters stretching from our founding as one of the oldest boarding schools in the Nation in 1813 to the modern era from 1905 to today. The Trustees and I pledge to undergo a community-wide process to understand the professional qualifications and personal qualities the Kimball Union community seeks in our next Head of School. The details of the search process will be made clear to all and we will invite full participation from our entire community.

    We look forward to your involvement and continued interest in and support of Kimball Union. 
    In the meantime, once again, we proudly salute Mike and Gayle Schafer for all they have done to transform Kimball Union into the school we are today, and for the lasting legacy they leave.

    Rob Snow '85
  • Appointment of Interim Head of School

    Dear Alumni and Friends,

    On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I’m pleased to announce that Pam Clarke has been appointed as KUA’s Interim Head of School.

    After a national search led by Educators’ Collaborative with Interim Head of School Search Chair and Board of Trustee member, David Pond ’64, it was clear that Pam’s deep experiences in boarding schools equip her well to support Kimball Union as we enter the 2018-2019 school year, the Academy’s 206th year.

    Pam’s boarding school experience extends from her own schooling to that of a boarding school parent, faculty member (first female faculty member at Groton School), and into administration. In each of Pam’s four Head of School roles (with successful tenures at The Masters School, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, Trevor Day School, and most recently Doane Stuart), she has strengthened academic programs, increased enrollment, led strategic plans, and supported relationships between and among faculty, current families, and alumni.

    Pam recognizes that an Interim Head of School “wants both to preserve the best of the school’s culture and to improve those areas that need attention,” and is committed to supporting a school culture of respect, student safety, and that all members of the community feel accepted and welcomed. We look forward to Pam’s oversight of the day-to-day operations of Kimball Union, where the academic and social curricula merge to support the growth of every student. The Academy continues to advance its programming with the introduction of a STEM Scholar Program, adding to the robust Global and Art Scholar programs. Leadership training for all students and extensive extracurricular options in the arts and athletics round out a thorough 21st Century education.

    Please stay tuned for more directly from Pam, as we look forward to formally welcoming her to campus starting August 1!
    Rob Snow '85
    Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Kimball Union's Strategic Plan: "Ascent"


Kimball Union Academy

603-469-2000  · 603-469-2040 (fax)  · info@kua.org
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.