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Pinkerton headmaster search is down to two

Union Leader Correspondent

January 14. 2014 9:30PM

DERRY — Following a global search, the field of candidates to become Pinkerton Academy’s next headmaster has been narrowed to two finalists, administrators said Tuesday.

The two candidates are Christine Heine, head of Upper School at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, and Griffin Morse, head of School Year Abroad in Spain, said Chip Underhill, executive director of public relations and external affairs.

The two finalists are each scheduled to visit the school for two days this week, Underhill said.

The search began after Headmaster Mary Anderson said in the spring that she would be retiring at the end of the 2014 school year, marking nearly four decades at the academy.

Executive search firm Carney, Sandoe & Associates met earlier this year with the superintendents of the four sending towns as the search continued.

From the outset, trustee Kimberly Smith said the search firm promised trustees two things: We promise you an international search, and we promise a tough decision, Smith said trustees were told by the firm.

After reviewing the two finalists’ qualifications, Smith said, “I think we are going to have a very tough decision.”

During the search, many educators with broad international and national public, private and independent school experience have taken a look at Pinkerton and been amazed by the school and its facilities, Smith said.

“We know what we have here, but for them to have the ability to compare us to schools around the world and think we have a top facility amongst other schools in the world has just been a really exciting thing to see throughout this process,” Smith said.

Among her accomplishments, Heine successfully merged the upper school grades, 9-12, of two top independent day schools in the Philadelphia area. Then she instituted the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. She holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Columbia University.

Morse is a global educator who speaks three languages. He also started a privately held software company with clients in 38 countries.

Smith said trustees plan to have their selection in place before Anderson retires.

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