Search Announcement: Next Head of School

In November, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Andy Surber to be our next Head of School, starting July 1, 2022. Dr. Surber will succeed current Head of School Mr. Thor Kvande, who will continue in his role through the end of June 2022. Mr. Kvande and our entire leadership team will work closely with Dr. Surber in the months ahead to ensure a seamless transition of leadership.

Dr. Surber will be coming to us from Laguna Blanca School in Montecito, Calif., where he currently serves as the Assistant Head of School and Head of Lower School. Prior to his move to Laguna Blanca in 2013, he was the Head of Lower School here at GSL. Dr. Surber earned his Ed.D. in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California. He also holds a B.S. in Child Development from Rockford University and an M.Ed. in Organizational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

During his time at Laguna Blanca School, Dr. Surber gained experience leading a stand-alone campus of Early Kindergarten through Fourth Grade and served in many areas of the school, including admissions, fundraising, and overall school development and direction. Dr. Surber has proven experience implementing successful academic programs, attracting and retaining talented teachers, increasing admission demand, and raising funds for important school projects. 

A heartfelt thank you to each board member, administrator, staff member, teacher, parent, and student who participated in the process and provided input along the way. Your feedback was critical throughout the search process. And our collective support of Dr. Surber will be essential to his success. Under the Search Communications box below, you can see the full text of the selection announcement and also read the letter to our community from Dr. Surber.

To help you get to know Dr. Surber, and for those who didn't meet him during his interview visit in the fall, I recorded a recent conversation with him (see video below). As I think you’ll see, we are both pretty enthusiastic and excited about the future of GSL.

Paul Morris
President, GSL Board of Trustees

Search Communications

Press Release on Andy Surber, January 24, 2022

Letter from Andy Surber to GSL Community, Nov. 30, 2021

Head of School Selection Announcement re Dr. Andy Surber, Nov. 30, 2021

Video Message from Board President Paul Morris, Sept. 1, 2021

Update from Board President Paul Morris, Sept. 1, 2021

Head of School Position Profile, August 24, 2021

Head of School Position Listing with Contact Info, July 14, 2021

Letter from Board President Paul Morris with Survey Link, July 6, 2021

Video Message from Board President Paul Morris, June 22, 2021

Letter from Board President Paul Morris, June 22, 2021

A Message from GSL's Board Presidents, May 28, 2021

Search Firm & Committee

The governing documents of GSL charge the Board of Trustees with the responsibility of choosing the next Head of School, and we understand that this is our most important charge for the coming school year. This is not a responsibility that can be delegated – the entire Board will be engaged in the process. The Board includes GSL parents and members of GSL Church, among others; please click here to see the full 2021-22 Board of Trustees.

The Board has selected the professional consultant firm The Education Group (TEG) to assist with the search process. TEG has extensive experience with school head searches and specifically with searches for Episcopal schools across the nation, with a focus on the Southeast. Their consultants have national experience and contacts but also know and appreciate the Memphis market.

The following members of GSL's Board of Trustees comprise the Board’s search committee, which will help facilitate the administrative tasks required to run a successful search process. The committee will be acting on the input from the full Board and the entire GSL community. 

Liz Keough, Chair
Associate General Counsel and Senior Vice President, MAA
Past President, GSL Board of Trustees
Member, Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church
Parent of GSL 5th grader

Scott Crosby
Attorney, Burch, Porter & Johnson
Parent of two GSL alumni and GSL 8th grader

Margaret McLean
Parent of three GSL alumni and GSL 6th grader 

Linda Khumalo
Attorney, Khumalo Law Firm
Member, Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church

The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher
Rector, Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church

Paul Morris, ex-officio 
President, Jack Morris Auto Glass
President, GSL Board of Trustees
Parent of GSL 6th grader and 2nd grader

Head of School Position Profile