HEAD OF SCHOOL ANNOUNCEMENT
On behalf of The Episcopal School of Dallas Board of Directors and Head of School Search Committee, we are delighted to announce the unanimous appointment of David L. Baad as ESD's third Head of School, effective July 1, 2018. Dave comes to ESD from the St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., one of the oldest and most respected Episcopal schools in the country.
"I am deeply honored to be entrusted as the next leader of this great school," Dave said. "I am grateful for the foundation that has been laid by my predecessors. Father Swann’s vision to build an Episcopal school from scratch, starting with just a handful of students and a clear mission of faith-based education, was extraordinary. Under Meredyth Cole’s leadership, ESD solidified its strong reputation in the national independent school landscape. It is upon this remarkable foundation we will build. I resolutely believe that Episcopal schools like ours must wrap all that we do in the classroom and on the fields in the moral framework that a faith-based school provides. My goals are to help shape students' lives and to sustain an atmosphere in which teachers can create and excel."
In his 28-year tenure at St. Albans, Dave has served as a teacher, coach, Director of Athletics and Auxiliary Programs, and Associate Head of School. He is a self-professed life-long learner who values student interaction and camaraderie with faculty. In addition to his responsibilities as Associate Head of School, Dave currently teaches a ninth-grade history class, Cities and Civilizations, an exploration of ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, and Persia, and is an assistant varsity football and baseball coach. On two separate occasions, Dave has been appointed by the Board of Governors to serve as Acting Head of School and understands the complexities of the position. He has held active leadership roles in strategic planning, admissions, budget management, technology, curriculum development, faculty recruitment, and professional development, as well as board governance support for development and finance. Additionally, he has enhanced coeducational opportunities in academics, arts, and athletics via a strong Coordinate Program with the National Cathedral School.
The Search Committee immediately recognized that Dave not only respects the best of an Episcopal school education but also models those traits. The Faculty and Staff Advisory Council concurred, offering statements in their anonymous feedback survey including, "He understands and believes in the mission of the school. He recognizes that growth, not change, is the goal. He believes that growth is a result of consensus work from the ground up and that as a head of school, he can and should remain connected to the students in the classroom and on the field. His belief in an education that reflects the values of the Episcopal identity is in line with our tenets and strikes the right balance."
Vance Wilson, Headmaster of St. Albans since 1999, affirmed the Search Committee's and Faculty and Staff Advisory Council's findings, saying, "David has had an impact on every aspect of this school for over two decades. He knows every student, coaches and teaches many of them, and serves as a moral and compassionate leader to the entire community--parents, alumni, colleagues, and trustees. He helps all of us solve problems, discuss issues civilly, find clarity as best we can, and support each other through triumphs and failures. Most of all, he has given us leadership with vision and yet a rootedness in tradition. He never rests easy on what he has experienced or learned, and ESD will be blessed by that natural proclivity to keep growing."
Building a new Lower School and transitioning 373 students and 70 faculty members on to the Merrell Road Campus will be one of Dave's immediate priorities as Head of School. His experience leading the effort to establish a second St. Albans campus from the ground up in South Korea will be invaluable during this transition. Dave also understands the importance of building upon our long-standing relationship with Saint Michael and All Angels as ESD unites its campus on Merrell Road. The Reverend Dr. Chris Girata, Rector of Saint Michael and ESD parent, met with Dave and shared, "As a man of deep, personal faith, Dave will bring that faithfulness, as well as his leadership experience and success at one of the top Episcopal schools in the country, to lead ESD into the future. I look forward to the continued partnership between ESD and Saint Michael and All Angels, raising up students for lives of faithful purpose."
After graduating from St. Albans in 1983, Dave earned a Bachelor of Arts in History, was a member of the prestigious Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, and played varsity baseball for Rollins College in Florida. He received a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.
We are equally pleased to welcome Dave's wife, Hafida, and daughter, Kinza. Hafida is an accountant with a D.C.-based residential developer and plans to continue her career in Dallas. Raised in Morocco and fluent in both Arabic and French, Hafida also enjoys entertaining and is a passionate cook. Kinza is a National Cathedral School alumna and recent graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was a Cavalier softball player and recognized on the ACC Academic Honor Roll. She works in professional scouting for the Pittsburgh Pirates, one of few women to hold such a position. If you can't find Dave in the halls of ESD, you might see him running in the neighborhood, practicing his golf swing, reading quietly, or volunteering for his church. There will be many opportunities to meet the Baads in the coming months.
We extend our sincere thanks to the Search Committee, comprised of both active and emeriti Board Directors, who represented the many constituencies and faces of ESD's community. We are grateful for their wisdom and commitment to this extensive, thorough, and most important search. Thank you to the Faculty and Staff Advisory Council that provided the Committee with honest feedback and always put ESD's Mission first. Our gratitude also extends to the entire ESD community. We have undoubtedly found a leader who embodies the important qualities and characteristics conveyed to us through the survey and thoughtful conversations.
In closing, we are truly grateful for Meredyth Cole. During her five years as Head of School, The Episcopal School of Dallas has achieved national recognition, reinforced our Episcopal Identity, raised our bar for excellence in education, fostered a culture of diversity and inclusion, and launched a comprehensive campaign to ensure Father Swann's dream of uniting both campuses will become a reality and the ESD experience will be sustained for generations to come. The culmination of these efforts drew Dave Baad to our great school. Meredyth, we wish you every success at Lovett and beyond.
The best is yet to come.
Laura Boeckman, Search Committee Co-Chair and Board Chair Emeritus
Don Carty, Search Committee Co-Chair and Board Chair
David L. Baad
ESD Head of School Designate
P '14, '16, '19 and Chair Emeritus
P '12, '17 and Board Chair
P '22, '24 and former board member
P '89, GP '07, '10, and board member
P '21, '23 and board member
P '16 and board member
P '08, '19 and board member
Margaret Ryder '87
P '23 and board member
Gregg Whiteman '81
P '21 and former board member
FACULTY AND STAFF ADVISORY COUNCIL
Upper School Science
Lower School Fourth Grade
Upper School English
Outdoor Education and P '02, '03
Lower School First Grade
Meg Farenbrook '01
Middle School History
Middle School Science and P '32
Human Resources and P '08
Reverend Amy Heller
Middle School Science and P '13, '15
Upper School Religion