About the Center for Executive Search

The Center for Executive Search is a school administrator search service dedicated to identifying and attracting executive talent for school districts and educational collaboratives in Southern New England and beyond.

Our Services

We customize every search process to address a district’s particular leadership needs and engagement requirements, focusing upon the selection of superintendents, central office administrators and school principals. We work with the school committee/board to gather input from within the district and the community to establish hiring criteria that will best identify qualified candidates who match the district’s needs by functional competence, leadership style and personal characteristics.

  • Functional Competence: educational background, certification, relevant professional experience, and track record, which align with the established criteria.
  • Leadership Style: the characteristics and individual qualities necessary to quickly earn respect and integrate successfully and smoothly into the organization as its new leader.
  • Personal Characteristics: the work ethic, values and interpersonal skills required to fit and blend into the organization and community.

Using this format and thoughtfully addressing the requirements of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Laws, the Center will develop a unique and thoughtful process tailored for the school committee to identify and select its next superintendent or principal.


Julie DeBenedictis | 508-420-6950 x 1145 | j.debenedictis@capecodcollaborative.org 

Center for Executive Search


Organizational Meeting with the School Committee

At an initial meeting with the School Committee, the organizational framework for the search will be formalized. This will include designating a point person and/or a Search Subcommittee of the School Committee, a timetable of activities that reflect the Committee’s preferences for the breadth and scope of the search, as well as who to include in the search activities and the order of steps to be followed.

Working with the members of the Search Subcommittee, the consultant(s) will seek input from stakeholder constituencies on the criteria to be utilized in the hiring process. This input, summarized by the consultant(s) and presented to the Search Committee will serve as a foundation for candidate selection.

 Seeking Community and District Input

 A plan for providing community and district input through forums and/or surveys will be developed with the Search Subcommittee. The Search Consultant(s) will assist the Search Subcommittee in creating surveys and/or conducting meetings with members of the community, parents, staff and administrators to gather information to be utilized in the selection process for the new Superintendent. The process may include:

  • Training will be provided for the Semi-finalist Interview Committee. This will focus on the general organization of the interview sessions, preparation of interview questions, the avoidance of inappropriate interview interaction and the development of an interview evaluation/answer rating scale.
  • Organizing and facilitating school/community focus groups;
  • Providing a written report consisting of a summary of the results of the focus groups..
  • Assisting in the design and distribution of a community survey
  • Meeting with the School Committee/Search Subcommittee to share the results of the stakeholder forums and/or surveys.
  • Developing a candidate profile to be utilized in a brochure and in the applicant screening process.

 Publicizing and Advertising for the Position

 The Center will develop a brochure that will include a full description of the position with an outline of identified qualifications and qualities for the appointed candidate. The community and School District will also be described. Final approval of the brochure including form, style and content will rest with the School Committee/Search Subcommittee. The Center will have responsibility for producing the brochure.

The Center Consultants will discuss with the School/Search Committee the breadth of advertising desired, reflecting the scope of the search and the allocated budget. The Center will assist in the preparation of the copy for use in advertisements. All advertisements will be approved and paid for directly by the School Committee. The Center will activate its extensive recruiting network, which will include sending the announcement of the vacancy and brochures to selected individuals and professional organizations, as follows:

  • Administrators in New England currently holding equivalent positions;
  • Executive Directors of State Associations of School Administrators;
  • Placement offices of colleges and universities conducting school administrator preparation programs;
  • Current educational leaders;
  • Search sites such as School Spring and Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and Massachusetts Association of School Committees; and if desired
  • National professional publications, i.e. Education Week

 Applicant Recruitment

 The Center, through its recruitment efforts, will generate a pool of qualified applicants. The Center will go beyond traditional recruitment avenues and will be aggressive in its pursuit of nominations from educational leaders and experts. In addition, utilizing its database of executive level personnel information and its consultants’ knowledge of currently high performing school executives, the Center will directly contact selected individuals with regard to their interest in the position.

 Application Screening

 A process for screening of applications will be developed with input from the School Committee/Search Subcommittee. An application form, if requested, will be developed by the Center for use by the School Committee/Search Subcommittee. The form may include a required written statement on an education related topic. The Search Subcommittee will approve the topic for the written statement

The Center’s consultants will assist in the review of all applications utilizing the criteria developed for selection by the School Committee/Search Subcommittee. Center staff will conduct in-depth background and reference checks, before recommending candidates for a potential interview.

The Center’s consultants will interview those applicants, determined to be highly qualified. A pre-determined number of applicants, approved by the School Committee/Search Subcommittee, will be declared semi-finalist candidates and will be notified of their status. The names of these individuals will be forwarded to the Search Subcommittee..

 Candidate Interviews

 A workshop will be provided for the Semi-finalist Interview Committee. This will focus on the general organization of the interview sessions, preparation of interview questions, the avoidance of inappropriate interview interaction and the development of an interview evaluation/answer rating scale.

The Center will arrange for candidate interviews and will provide each interviewer with a portfolio of application materials, gathered on each candidate, prior to the interviews. The consultant(s) will meet with the School Committee/Search Subcommittee to discuss the results of the semi-finalist interviews and to determine the interviews of finalists.

The Center will assist with arrangements for finalists’ interviews and will assist with the development of a schedule of candidates’ visitations to the Hingham School District.

The Center may also assist in the arrangement for visitations by the School Committee to the current school/work location of the finalist candidates, if desired.

 General Administrative Oversight

 All questions from applicants during the application process will be directed to the Center’s consultant(s) for a timely response and shared with the Search Subcommittee at scheduled meetings. Applicants will be directed to send their credentials and supporting application documents to the Center.

The Center’s staff will create an individual confidential file for each applicant. A continuous monitoring of the receipt of all required documents will be maintained. Although the responsibility for sending in a complete set of documents rests with the applicant, search consultants will communicate with applicants in the case of misunderstandings or oversights in the application submission process.

Once the School Committee has selected its new administrator and the selected candidate has accepted and signed a contract, letters will be sent to all other applicants and candidates informing them that the search has been concluded and thanking them for their interest.

 Follow Up Activities

 If requested, the Consultant(s) will assist with initial contract arrangements between the new administrator and the Search/School Committee. A Search Consultant will be available to attend one contract meeting.


The Cape Cod Collaborative has been providing Educational and Consulting Services to its member communities for over 30 years. The Center for Executive Search is staffed with consultants representing a broad range of school administration experiences and successful search services.

Dr. Patricia Grenier, Lead Search Consultant

Patricia, a successful superintendent for eleven years, is currently Co-facilitating the New Superintendent Induction Program for the past seven years. This program, a partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Education and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents is designed to support Transformational Leadership in districts across Massachusetts.

Patricia possesses insight into the essential knowledge and skills necessary for candidates to succeed and has a broad reach to candidates across Massachusetts. She prides herself in being an effective communicator, facilitator and colleague. Her commitment to excellence leads her to thoroughly complete all searches with distinction and laudable results for communities and candidates.

Dr. Christopher Bogden, Lead Search Consultant

Chris was recently appointed the Director of Special Projects for the Cape Cod Collaborative. Prior to joining the Collaborative, he served as the CEO of INSPIRITAS, an educational organization dedicated to creating unique educational pathways through international school partnerships. Before founding INSPIRITAS, Chris worked, as the Principal Consultant and founder of LeadershipK-12. In this role he consulted with schools, nonprofits and private companies focusing on the specific mission-driven agendas of these organizations and the people who lead them. He expanded his work internationally in 2009 to assume the role of Project Manager and Special Advisor for the Jeju Global Education City in the Republic of Korea. In this role, he employed his extensive knowledge of all facets of school operations, governance, curriculum, instruction, and the recruitment of faculty and administrators to develop international schools, through thoughtfully crafted public/private partnerships.

Prior to starting his consulting practice, Dr. Bogden pursued a career dedicated to school improvement and educational leadership. For more than 25 years, he directed public schools and school districts across the United States in urban, suburban and rural settings. As a Vice President for Edison Schools, he developed and supervised the operations of charter schools across the Northeast. Dr. Bogden has successful fulltime experience in academia, teaching at the graduate level in teacher preparation and school administration programs, in both traditional and online formats. He received his B.S and M.S. degrees from Cornell University in Biology and Curriculum and Instruction and an Ed.D. from Harvard University in Administration, Planning and Social Policy.

Mr. Paul Hilton, Search Consultant

Paul is the Executive Director of the Cape Cod Collaborative. He has served on a variety of statewide and regional committees throughout his tenure with the Collaborative. Mr. Hilton has worked with the Center for Executive Search over the past six years. He recently established a cooperative search process with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) to meet particular needs for a recent (successful) superintendent search.

Mr. Hilton has worked in several public service positions including Assistant Superintendent for the Milton Public Schools, Assistant Director of Charms Collaborative and a variety of direct service and central office executive roles with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. Mr. Hilton served as a member of the Middleborough School Committee from 2002-2011, serving several years as the Vice-Chair. Mr. Hilton graduated from the Middleborough Public Schools and earned a BA at Stonehill College. He is also an alumnus of the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work Program having received an MSW from the college.


The full fee for a Superintendent Search ranges from $12,000–$20,000 which will include costs related to all consultant facilitation and professional services, as well as clerical services, printing, copying, telephone, postage and consultant’s travel expenses. Expenses related to advertising and candidate travel, as approved by the School Committee, will be billed directly to the district.

The payment schedule for all fees will be as follows: One-third of the fee will be due and payable 20 days from the signing of the Agreement. One-third will be due and payable 20 days from the scheduling of semi-finalist candidates for interviews with the Search Committee. The unpaid balance of the fee will be due and payable 20 days from the conclusion of finalists’ interviews with the School Committee.

 The Center for Executive Search guarantees its continuation of search services until the successful candidate signs a contract.



Falmouth Superintendent Search

Kelly Welch, School Committee, Chair

Lori Duerr, Superintendent Elect


Barnstable Superintendent Search

Meg Mayo-Brown, Superintendent (incoming July 2016)

Bill Butler, Interim Superintendent (508.862.4952)


Nauset Superintendent Search

Thomas Conrad, Superintendent (508.255.8800)


Truro Superintendent Search

Michael Gradone, Superintendent (508.487.1558)


Nauset Director of Finance and Operations Search

Superintendent (508.255.8800)


Chatham Interim Superintendent Search
Jeffrey Dykens, Chairperson


Bourne Superintendent Search 

Richard Lavoie, Chairman, School Committee (508.759.0600)


Taunton Superintendent Search

Dr. Julie Hackett, Superintendent


Bridgewater/Raynham Superintendent Search 

Ms. Patricia Riley, School Committee Member (508.822.5717)


Old Rochester Regional High School, Principal Search

William R. Cooper, Ed.D. Superintendent (508.758.2772)


Dennis/Yarmouth Superintendent Search 

Mrs. Maryellen McDonough-Angelone, School Committee Chair (508.304.7312)

Mr. Phillip Morris, School Committee Member (508.362.5010)


Harwich Superintendent Search 

Mr. Thomas Blute, Chairman, Harwich School Committee,

(H) 508.432.0308   (W) 508.432.0007


Sandwich Community School, Executive Director’s Search

Ms. Nancy Crossman, former Vice Chair, Community School Executive Council

(H) 508.833.1433


Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, Principal Search

Mr. William Fisher, former Superintendent – Director (508.432.4500)


Nauset Regional School District, Business Manager 
Marie Enochty, School Committee Member (508.280.3170)


Wareham Public Schools, Director of Student Services

Dr. James Collins, Superintendent of Schools (508.291.3500)