New Head of School Appointment for July 2021
The Board of Governors of Meadowridge School has appointed a new Head of School to begin in July, 2021, when the current Headmaster retires.
The Board of Governors first prepared for several years, considering best practices in searches, and comparing search firms. We chose the search firm of Laverne Smith and Associates, a group known for their success in placing outstanding institutional executives and leaders, and notably Heads, especially in schools where highly successful Heads were retiring or leaving. Laverne’s experience and work were instrumental in guiding and supporting the entire process.
Working with Laverne to structure the search, the Board ensured that there was a shared understanding of the needs of Meadowridge over the next 25 years, and then developed an accurate profile of the position, and created a vision of the outstanding candidate being sought.
In considering the position profile, we sought an educator who was experienced in International Baccalaureate Continuum schools, who had international and domestic experience, who embraced accreditation processes, who had led in workshops and organized many forms of Professional Development, who had taught successfully at multiple levels and in several subjects, and who had a strong background in Educational Administration, including budgeting, admissions, and Board relations. We sought an exceptional candidate with global background and deep, successful Canadian experience. Importantly, we sought demonstrated success, vision, and a Head committed to the idea of the school as a community that shares values, engages with compassion and care, and continually insists upon excellent outcomes for students and families.
The search was advertised locally, nationally, and internationally, and drew applications from four continents, multiple countries, and a variety of provinces. We received applications from a number of people who are currently Heads of School, many from excellent schools, both internationally and domestically.
After much time reviewing applications, days of careful investigation of background, many reference checks, multiple interviews, and hours of consideration following each interview, the Board of Governors of Meadowridge School is pleased and proud to announce that the new Head of School, commencing in July, 2021, will be Mr. Scott Banack.
We sought an exceptional candidate with global background and deep, successful Canadian experience. Importantly, we sought demonstrated success, vision, and a Head committed to the idea of the school as a community that shares values, engages with compassion and care, and continually insists upon excellent outcomes for students and families.
We have become accustomed, in our school, to everyday excellence in every aspect of the school. As we considered the many strong and highly qualified candidates for the Head position, and explored their backgrounds, it became clear to us that candidates from far away were not better; they were just far away. Our outstanding candidate was actually in the place we started from.
Mr. Banack is our current Deputy Head of School. In the past, he has taught multiple grades and held leadership positions in Alberta, Turkey, Philippines, Venezuela, and Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and School Improvement from the University of Alberta, and has completed the Prospective Head’s Development Program from the Independent Schools Association of B.C., as well as Compassionate Systems training from MIT. Mr. Banack has led workshops for the International Baccalaureate Organization, has provided professional development for school staffs, has facilitated Board planning and reflection sessions, and holds a Board position with a local sports organization.
Mr. Banack has also held a number of leadership positions, both here and internationally, including Athletic Director, Physical and Health Education Department Head, MYP Coordinator, Director of the MYP, Middle School Principal, and Deputy Head of School. He has organized multiple Parent Education programs, chaired multiple committees, conducted Evaluation and Accreditation visits to various schools, supported the joint Continuum Accreditation of Meadowridge by the IBO, the Council of International Schools, and the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools.
Mr. Banack has been at Meadowridge for ten years. His wife is a highly regarded teacher in our school, and both of his children attend the school. His family made a real commitment to our community when they moved close to the school, and as they became more and more involved with the Maple Ridge community. Mr. Banack brought all of the background that we sought, and also something more: a passion for our school, a commitment to our families, and a sense of belonging to our community. Sometimes, exploring all the options makes us appreciate what we already have; and that is what we found with Mr. Banack: the best was already here.
We would also like to thank Mr. Burke for his 21-year tenure and work at the school. As his retirement draws near, our community will take the opportunity to thank and recognize him for his significant contributions and leadership. He leaves our school in excellent condition as we welcome a new Head. Please join us in thanking Mr. Burke, and in welcoming Mr. Banack to his new position starting on July 1, 2021.
Mr. Lance Leger
Board Chair, Meadowridge School Board of Governors