Dear TVS Family,
It is with great excitement that we announce the search process for the next leader of Trinity Valley School has reached its conclusion. Ms. Blair Lowry, whom the Board of Trustees has unanimously appointed as Trinity Valley's next Head of School, following the unanimous recommendation of the Search Committee, will succeed Ian Craig as of July 1, 2020.
Ms. Lowry currently serves as Assistant Head of School and Provost at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. A preK-12 all-girls day and boarding school with nearly 1,100 students, Hockaday is a fellow member of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest and the Southwest Preparatory Conference.
Ms. Lowry, the first female Head of School in TVS history, notes, "I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve Trinity Valley as your new Head of School. I look forward to writing our next chapter together as we strive for academic success, celebrate curious minds, and foster a sense of belonging together."
Faculty, students, and current parents will have an initial opportunity to meet Ms. Lowry on Wednesday, October 16. There will be additional meet-and-greet opportunities throughout the year.
The schedule on the 16th is as follows:
Faculty/Staff 7:15 – 7:45 a.m., MS Assembly Hall
Parents and Alumni 8:30 – 9:00 a.m., MS Assembly Hall
Parents and Alumni 12:00 – 12:30 p.m., MS Assembly Hall
Parents and Alumni 5:30 – 6:00 p.m., MS Assembly Hall
Before further describing Ms. Lowry's background, let me share the details of the search process that led to her appointment.
The Head of School Search Process
As you know, the Head of School search process began in March 2019 when Mr. Craig informed the TVS family that he would resign from his role effective June 30, 2020. The appointment of Ms. Lowry now ensures ample time for an orderly transition.
Then-Board President Kelly Pumphrey appointed a Search Committee to handle all aspects of the search process for a new Head of School. The Committee comprised the following members:
Joe Gallagher '85, Co-Chair
Board President, parent ('23), and parent of alumni ('14, '19)
Amy Jacobs, Co-Chair
Board Vice President and parent of alumni ('14, '18)
Michael Appleman '86
Former Trustee and parent ('33)
Trustee, Campus Life Committee Chair, and parent ('24)
Meredith Watts Dorris '81
Trustee, Trustees Committee Chair, and parent of alumnus ('17)
Third-grade teacher (since 2000) and parent of alumni ('10, '12)
Trustee and parent ('24, '27)
Seventh-grade Earth Science teacher (since 2010)
Former Trustee, parent of alumni ('04, '08), and grandparent ('31, '33)
Past Board President and parent of alumni ('16, '18)
Trustee and parent ('23, '26)
Alex Seleny '92
Parent ('26, '28, '30)
Amar Tanna '99
Rachel Buchanan Thompson '00
Upper School Spanish teacher (since 2011)
Trustee, Finance Committee Chair, and parent ('23, '26)
In April 2019, the Search Committee retained Anne Coyle of Russell Reynolds and Associates, a leading consultant in executive searches for independent schools, colleges, and universities. Ms. Coyle conducted a survey of the TVS community as well as on-campus meetings with parents, faculty, administration, alumni, students, and the Board of Trustees. The results of these efforts were used to develop a Position Statement that informed Ms. Coyle's recruitment efforts.
As we expressed from the beginning of the process, the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee were focused on attracting outstanding candidates for TVS. We did not commit to a set process of bringing a certain number of finalists to campus, but instead decided to evaluate at every step of the process what would best facilitate attracting a robust pool of the finest candidates for the TVS position.
In summer 2019, Ms. Coyle engaged with more than 150 sources and potential candidates. The pool included candidates from Texas and across the country, representing independent schools, public schools, higher education, and the private sector. More than 50 candidates submitted resumes, 31 of which were presented to the Search Committee for consideration. Based on the Position Statement, the Committee selected nine candidates for in-person interviews in Fort Worth in early September. Of those nine, four were sitting heads of schools, two were assistant heads, two were division heads, and one was from higher education. Thirty percent were female, and twenty percent were educators of color.
As the process continued, the Committee unanimously concluded that attracting the best candidates would be most effectively accomplished by continuing to maintain confidentiality and not inviting finalists for campus-wide meetings. We learned that this has become increasingly more common in independent-school searches and allowed us to deftly interact with candidates who were finalists in other searches as well.
The Search Committee then invited two finalists to return to Fort Worth for a more extensive interview, campus tour, and a confidential meeting with additional Trustees. After these interviews, and with careful and thoughtful deliberation, the Committee concluded that Ms. Lowry fully meets TVS's needs as reflected in the extensive surveying and resulting Position Statement, and she also possesses the distinct operational skills and strategic perspective to guide TVS to greater excellence.
On September 22, the Search Committee unanimously voted to recommend Ms. Lowry as the next Head of School, and on September 25, the Board unanimously voted to appoint Ms. Lowry as Trinity Valley's next Head of School.
Blair R. Lowry
Blair Lowry has 23 years of leadership and teaching experience across multiple divisions of both single-sex and co-educational independent schools. The daughter of a retired Air Force officer and a former Head of School, she lived in the United States and abroad as a child, with family roots in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Latin American Studies from the University of Alabama, and an M.A. in Political Economics from the University of Hull, in Kingston upon Hull, England.
Ms. Lowry has served as the Assistant Head of School and Provost at Hockaday since 2015. In that role, she has had extensive operational experience, including responsibility for academic programming and faculty recruitment, hiring, and development in grades preK-12. Prior to Hockaday, Ms. Lowry served for eight years as Head of the Middle School at the Hammond School in South Carolina. She was History Department Chair and taught history and economics in the Middle and Upper schools at All Saints' Academy in Florida. She began her career as an Upper School Economics and History teacher at St. Andrew's Episcopal School and The Ransom School in South Florida.
Ms. Lowry has two children - Grace, a sophomore at The Theatre School of DePaul University in Chicago, and William, who attends Brookhaven College in Dallas.
Ms. Lowry is a warm, engaging, collaborative, and experienced leader. She will join the TVS community at an important point in the school's history. The school now has more than 1,000 students and more than 3,000 graduates. Ms. Lowry has the experience, integrity, and vision to move TVS forward to excel in its next chapter while honoring the values and traditions that we hold dear.
A Transition Committee will be appointed soon to coordinate the introduction of Ms. Lowry to the TVS family and the Fort Worth community. In addition to the October 16 sessions noted above, there will be events in the upcoming months during which you will be able to meet Ms. Lowry before she arrives on campus next summer.
For the remainder of this year, Mr. Craig will continue to lead the school. We will have opportunities to thank and recognize him for his significant contributions, including the creation and implementation of the Athletic Master Plan, a new Strategic Plan, and the successful launch of a pre-k program.
As we celebrate Trinity Valley School's 60th anniversary this year, this process has reaffirmed that we are exceedingly well positioned to continue our tradition of educating Trojans for years to come.
Thank you for your continued support of Trinity Valley School. We have much to celebrate over the coming months as we welcome Blair to the TVS community.
Joe Gallagher '85