Head of School Selection Announced

February 7, 2022

Dear EDS Community,

On behalf of the Episcopal Day School Board of Trustees, it is my great pleasure to announce the selection of Dr. David Perkinson as the next Head of Episcopal Day School, effective June 6, 2022. This appointment is the result of a long and thoughtful search that began last March when the Search Committee began a national and international effort to recruit the strongest and best matched candidate for our school. From a pool of over 40 candidates who expressed interest in the position, the Search Committee eventually reduced the search to four candidates who were invited to visit the school, where they met with students, faculty, staff members, parents, administrators and trustees. Dr. Perkinson stood out as the leading candidate during this comprehensive search. Shortly after those visits, the Head of School Search Committee unanimously and enthusiastically recommended Dr. Perkinson to the Board of Trustees, who accepted the recommendation on January 30th.

Dr. David Perkinson began his career in education thirty-three years ago at McCallie School, his alma mater, where he taught high school math. Over the next three decades, David would also serve as both a math and physics teacher at Charlotte Country Day School, as Head of Middle School at Spartanburg Day School, as Head of Upper School at Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, and finally in his last position as Head of School at Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

David earned his B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in 1988. He went on to study Mathematics Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he was awarded an M.A. degree in 2000. David was also awarded a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State University in 2015.

David has been happily married to his wife, Angela for 27 years. They love spending time with their extended family and they both enjoy great food. David loves to play golf, and both he and Angela are known to take in a variety of sporting events in their downtime.

This is an exciting time for EDS.  The Search Committee has found David to possess a skill set that is a perfect match for our school. Based on his past successes and his interviews, it is evident that David’s strengths lie in student engagement, faculty development, curriculum and program design, strategic and long-range planning and leadership development. These are all areas that the EDS community ranked in last spring’s surveys as important traits for a new head of school. David’s references speak of his strong leadership skills and describe him as detail oriented and strategic, yet at the same time highly approachable and a good listener. The Committee is confident that David is the visionary and gifted leader who will build upon Dr. Murray’s legacy. The Search Committee is grateful for all the valuable feedback our school community has provided us along the way, from initial surveys to personal interactions with the candidates. Our search consultant, The Education Group, was instrumental in providing us top tier candidates that fit the mission of EDS as well as structuring a very inclusive process with our school community.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I extend my deep gratitude to all members of the EDS community for your commitment to this search process and for your invaluable and thoughtful feedback. I am especially grateful to Search Committee Co-Chairs Dennis Trotter and Kirby Yawn, as well as fellow Committee members James Heffner, Sabrina Pendergrass, the Rev. Ted Clarkson, Joe Norman, Catherine Boardman, and John Cates.

The selection of the Head of School is one of the greatest responsibilities of trusteeship, and all of us in the EDS family can be proud not only that David and Angela 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 David and Angela to our school community. We also know that each of you will, in your own way, extend a warm welcome to both of them.

Sincerely,

Kristi Connell '86
Chair, Board of Trustees

What EDS Faculty, Administrators, Parents, and Trustees have to say about their meetings with David:

“He had an excellent balance of technical knowledge and passion for educating our children. He was extremely professional but approachable. I was impressed by his ideas on fundraising and the importance of community impact.”   Current Board Member

“I felt that he has wonderful experiences and would bring a wealth of knowledge with him. He was very open and transparent with all questions that were asked of him….The excitement he showed when discussing the middle school action plan that he had implemented in several schools gave me chills and that is something I want for my children…He was open, excited, looking for a challenge and ready to help! Exactly what we need!!”    Current EDS Parent

“This candidate sees the big picture for the school, students and staff. He also has the experience and tools to train the staff. Also I liked that he wants triangulation between student, teacher and parent.”   Current EDS Parent

“…I was overjoyed a candidate of this caliber would be interested in EDS. Also, I think the fact that he attended McCallie, and has subsequently made a career at independent Christian Schools speaks volumes. The culture of these schools is a part of his DNA. I value the identity and sense of family EDS has nurtured over the years, and I feel like Dr. Perkinson would come to the job with a keen understanding of that culture on day 1.”   Current EDS Parent

“He was well spoken and spoke from the heart, exuding passion about education. He had a strong background in education. He appeared to be able to work well with diverse individuals. He answered all questions and topics thoroughly.”   Current EDS Faculty

“-has a warm, approachable personality-has a passion for education-has ideas for increasing enrollment-has ideas for recruiting and retaining faculty and staff-knows how to promote the school in the community”   Current EDS Faculty

“This candidate seems capable of building on Dr. Murray’s success, as well as injecting some much-needed fresh energy and thought into leadership, curriculum, etc.”  Current EDS Faculty

“David is highly intelligent and highly experienced. I think he would be an excellent Head of School”   Current EDS Faculty

“A highly qualified candidate and a great fit for the school”   Current EDS Faculty

“David is intelligent, thoughtful, reflective, and focused on the student experience and student learning as a lens for decision-making. He’s an organized thinker and communicator and gets to the heart of our priorities as educators.”  Current EDS Administrator

“Incredibly knowledgeable and experienced with all aspects of independent schools. The amount of research he was willing to do to get to know and understand us on every level is astonishing. He listens well and answers questions exceptionally well as a result. He is forward thinking and wants to motivate and energize but also comes across as calm and relaxed….All around wonderful fit tor our school, I believe.”   Current EDS Administrator

 

What Former Colleagues and Parents have to say about David:

“Your leadership in our school over the years has been outstanding! You have led with integrity and so much love for our students and our faculty. Our school community has been lifted up, held together, and moved forward in amazing ways because of you.”   Former Parent

“Thank you for being an approachable leader. I always felt you cared about both the teachers and the students and that if we ever had an issue, that you would listen and work to resolve it. I appreciate your vulnerability in all your chapel talks and your leadership….You lead by example.”   Former Faculty Member

“I admire your leadership, appreciate the way you pushed us all to be better teachers, and will miss your enthusiasm for the school. You’ve left a lasting impression on me—and certainly on the school.”   Former Faculty Member and Parent

“You give. You trust. You challenge. You move us forward while ensuring psychological safety and encouraging intellectual pluralism. We are a happy, productive, innovative place because of the example you have set.”   Former Faculty Member and Parent

“You have been able to balance deftly many competing and complex priorities and interests while still keeping the heart of the school’s mission---recruiting and retaining the best teachers, giving our students the best education, and building a warm and cohesive and welcoming community---firmly as your goal”   Former Parent

Search Committee Updates

Head of School Search Committee

  • Dennis Trotter '92, Co-Chair
  • Kirby Yawn, Co-Chair
  • Catherine Boardman
  • John Cates
  • The Rev. Ted Clarkson '70
  • James Heffner
  • Joe Norman
  • Sabrina Pendergrass

Ex Officio:

  • Kristi Connell '86, Chair, Board of Trustees