Dear Whitfield School Community:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that Chris Cunningham has accepted our invitation to serve as the next Head of Whitfield School, effective July 1, 2022. As you know, John Delautre will be retiring at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year after ten years of outstanding service to our School, and we will enjoy his leadership for the next fourteen months, thus ensuring a smooth transition.
Beginning in January 2021, the Search Committee, chaired by Karen Myers, worked with search consultants Nat Conard and Deirdre Ling of Educators’ Collaborative, and reviewed the credentials of candidates from throughout the U.S. and abroad. The Committee narrowed the pool of candidates to eight individuals who were invited for a confidential round of virtual interviews. Subsequently, four finalists and spouses/partners visited the campus for comprehensive two-day interviews. On May 20, the Search Committee selected Chris Cunningham as its nominee to the Board of Trustees to serve as the next Head of School. The Trustees unanimously ratified this recommendation at a Board meeting on May 25.
Chris has spent the past twenty-five years in independent school education. He currently is the Assistant Head of School and Dean of Faculty at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ.
During his time on Whitfield’s campus, those with whom Chris met described him as authentic, warm, and approachable, and as grounded, stable, and experienced. One faculty member described him as “an incredibly effective communicator who seems confident in his decision making,” and a parent commented that “he was warm, personable, and seemed willing to grow and learn beside and with our community.” Perhaps most telling, however, was a student’s observation that he “seemed super passionate about students but equally as passionate about faculty and alumni; he emphasized in his educational leadership letter that teachers should encourage students to think for themselves and create their own ideas, which is something Whitfield does well daily.”