Head of School Transition
Announcement - Head of School
Dear St. Luke’s Community,
It is with great excitement that I announce that Ms. Chelsea Collins has accepted our offer to be the next Head of School for St. Luke’s beginning in July of 2020.
Our national search process began in the spring of 2018 and the Search Committee has been diligent and disciplined in their pursuit of finding the best leader for St. Luke’s. We’ve reviewed countless resumes and interviewed dozens of highly qualified candidates. Chelsea received unanimous support from all survey respondents, the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees. Chelsea is the clear choice for St. Luke’s.
First and foremost, Chelsea understands and embraces the unique and inclusive nature of the Episcopal school identity. She is a proven leader with a reputation for building and sustaining strong academic programs while fostering a collaborative and supportive environment for faculty and staff. While this caught our attention, what set her apart was her energy, her sincere desire to connect and partner with our parents, and her love for children and uncompromising standards for a learning environment that allows them to flourish in mind, body, and spirit.
Chelsea has spent the last 20 years as an educator, administrator and leader starting her career as a high school Chemistry and Algebra teacher. For 17 of those years, she has been at The Kinkaid School in Houston and is entering her 7th year as Middle School Division Head with direct responsibility for more than 400 students and 50 faculty members. During her career, she has continually pursued a well-rounded path of professional development through formal education, involvement in a wide range of school committees and administrative positions, and involvement and leadership of national and regional independent school associations. Most recently Chelsea completed her course work for her Doctorate of Education and Administrative Leadership at Texas A&M University in College Station and will graduate next May. This builds upon her Masters of Arts degree from Columbia University in New York City. Don North, a longtime mentor and former Head of School for Kinkaid for 17 years, stated, “Chelsea's skills, experience, judgment, and considerable personal strengths will make her a wonderful success as Head of School at St. Luke's.”
Chelsea is also the proud mother of a 10-year old daughter, Langston, who is in the 5th grade at The Kinkaid School. Chelsea has visited St. Luke’s several times over the past few months and Langston joined her last Friday shadowing as a 5th grade student. As we would all expect, our students welcomed her warmly and were excited at the prospect of their new friend joining them next year.
Dr. James Hamner and the Board of Trustees will take full advantage of the time we have to prepare for the smoothest transition possible. Given Chelsea’s proximity, we are planning multiple visits back to St. Luke’s throughout the school year, including Kaleidoscope, and will announce opportunities for our community to meet and welcome Chelsea and Langston.
I am grateful for the determination, diligence and discipline from our Search Committee over these past 18 months; Almeda Hodge, Amanda Kimura, Angel Rossi, Dr. Catherine Spezia, Charlie Rentschler, Dana Hamilton, Michele Stevens and Peggy Pace. I’m especially grateful for the leadership from the Search Committee Co-Chairs; Kelly Weaver, Todd Chappell and Ben Hart. This committee has given countless hours meeting and listening to our community, discussing and crafting the defining characteristics and skill sets of our ideal candidate, reviewing and vetting numerous applications and resumes, calling references and numerous candidate interviews by phone and in-person. The success of this process would not be possible without this group.
We all appreciate the time and effort that faculty, staff, parents, alums, current and former trustees and other key community stakeholders took in participating in this process. We appreciate you hosting events, organizing meetings, participating in the position description, answering the surveys and especially for showing up, meeting our candidates, and being great ambassadors for St. Luke’s. The resounding feedback from all the candidates who visited St. Luke’s was that we have a very special school with dedicated faculty and staff and supportive parents.
I would be remiss not to thank our consultants at Diversified Search, especially Pete Gillin, who worked tirelessly to build an exceptional candidate pool and guided us through every step of the process.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to express our excitement and confidence about the future of St. Luke’s Episcopal School under the leadership of Chelsea Collins. We are thrilled to welcome her to our St. Luke’s Community.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Message from Chelsea Collins
Greetings SLES Community,
St. Luke’s Episcopal School is a child-centered, happy place filled with great potential and fervent optimism. Throughout this process, students, parents, employees, and friends of the School passionately spoke about the “St. Luke’s Way” affirming a strong sense of community poised for the next level of excellence. SLES’s mission is our promise, and collectively, we will live the “St. Luke’s Way.” The Episcopal identity is the foundation of what the School represents, and SLES’s commitment to inclusivity, love, and respect for all members of the community are both endearing and positively contagious. So much so that, I can hardly wait to come and be a member of the SLES Team!
The most important element and the heart of the School is YOU ~ its people! I am so blessed that you have entrusted me to partner with you along this journey. During my visits, it became glaringly evident that SLES is not only a place that fosters a zest for learning but where students are nurtured as they learn. Students at SLES receive a high-quality education, guided by a strong curriculum, and a solid faith-based foundation shared by some of the most dedicated teachers and staff in the profession. As parents within the community, we are fortunate to have a faculty and staff who provides daily experiences intentionally designed to spark curiosity and inspire a lifetime love of learning.
My daughter, Langston, and I are filled with gratitude and are excited to join the SLES Community. And, while we will relocate from our current home and family in Houston, we are eagerly looking forward to forging new strongholds and fostering relationships in San Antonio. To facilitate the transition into the next school year, I will visit periodically to work with Dr. Hammer and to engage with the community. With that being said, see you next month at Kaleidoscope!
Cheers, and here’s to a future of being the best “known” secret in San Antonio!