Head of School Search

Recently, the Head of School at Augusta Prep, Derrick Willard, announced that he would be moving to Raleigh, NC at the end of the 2023-24 school year to care for aging family members and to serve as Head of School at Ravenscroft.

While we are sad to see Derrick leave, we greatly appreciate his hard work and dedication to the school the past four years and the fact that he leaves Augusta Prep in great shape, with increasing enrollment, a new $10 million dollar science center coming online, and a world-class faculty. The Board of Trustees is committed to building on this positive momentum and finding the right Head of School to lead Augusta Prep into the future.

The Search Committee is proud to announce that the recruiting firm of CarterBaldwin has been retained to help recruit the next Head of School and that Jack Hall, former Head of School at Augusta Prep (1999-2011), will lead the effort for CarterBaldwin team. We are fortunate to retain such a talented consulting Firm and to be able to leverage Jack’s unique connection and knowledge of Augusta Prep in locating our next leader. You can read more information about CarterBaldwin below.  

Augusta Preparatory Day School develops the intellect, talents, and character of each student in a diverse, college-preparatory, non-sectarian, and welcoming community of life-long learners.

We are committed to educating well-rounded, engaged students who embrace personal responsibility, global perspective, and service to others.

The Board of Trustees and Search Committee are excited to partner with the recruiting firm of Carter Baldwin and lead partner Jack Hall, former Head of School at Augusta Prep (1999-2011), who will lead the effort to locate our next Head of School at Augusta Prep.

Thomas R. Burnside III ’84 (P’11, '13, '16)
Co-Chair of the Search Committee, Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Christina Holmes '98 (P '27, '29, '32)
Co-Chair of the Search Committee, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees.


  • Sam G. Nicholson '02 (former Chair of the Board of Trustees)
  • Francois Leger (P '30, '33)
  • Scott Monnig (P '19, '22, '22, '24)
  • Mukti Patel (P '23, '25, '28)
  • James (Jim) B. Trotter (P '24, '25)          
  • Robert Alan Wilson (P '30, '32)

List of 5 items.

  • NOV. 15: Head of School Job Posting

    CarterBaldwin is proud to announce it has been selected to partner with Augusta Preparatory Day School in the identification of its new Head of School. Located in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta Prep is an independent, non-sectarian college preparatory day school whose motto, “To be, rather than to seem,” is best captured in the school’s focus on teaching students “how to think, not just what to think.”

    The next head of Augusta Preparatory Day School will have a terrific opportunity to build on the substantial momentum that has been established over the last five years. With the opening of the new W. Rodger Giles Institute of Inquiry and four years of enrollment growth, Augusta Prep is an exciting opportunity for a head who wants to set a clear, mission-aligned vision based on the new strategic plan, empower administrators and faculty to pursue best practice and inspire the next generation of leaders who embrace personal responsibility, global perspective, and service to others.

    All nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest will be handled with complete confidentiality and should be directed to APDSHOS@carterbaldwin.com.

    For more information about the opportunity, please click here to access the full position profile.
  • NOV. 1: Head of Search Timeline

    Timeline for Head of School Search
    November 1-2, 2023: CarterBaldwin (Consultant) on campus for listening sessions and site audit.

    November/December 2023: Consultant prepares position profile and connects with candidates.

    January: Search Committee considers the universe of candidates and creates a list of semi-finalists.

    January-February: Interviews of semi-finalists are conducted.  

    February: Semifinalists interviews are completed, and a list of finalists is created.

    March: Finalists visit campus and meet with the Search Committee.

    March: Search Committee recommends a final candidate to Board of Trustees.

    March: Board of Trustees vote to extend an offer to the next Head of School.

    April 2024: The new Head of School is announced to the public.
  • OCT. 30: Augusta Prep selects CarterBaldwin as Search Partner

    Atlanta-based CarterBaldwin Executive Search has been selected to conduct a national search to identify the next Head of School at Augusta Preparatory Day School. CarterBaldwin’s search team will be led by Jack Hall, former head of The Walker School in Atlanta (2011-2022) and Augusta Preparatory Day School (2000-2011).

    Thomas Burnside, co-chair of the APDS Board of Trustees, said, “Thanks to our world-class faculty and ever-improving facilities, exciting things are happening at Augusta Prep, and the school is well-positioned to build on the progress made under Derrick’s leadership. I am confident that Jack Hall and the professional team at CarterBaldwin will help APDS find the right Head of School to lead Augusta Prep forward.”

    “While we work across every sector, we are extremely proud of our work on behalf of independent K-12 institutions,” says Jack Hall, CarterBaldwin partner. “Each CarterBaldwin search is customized to meet the individual expectations and needs of the client.

    "We are excited about partnering with the search committee to find the right leader to build on the great work of current Head of School Derrick Willard in advancing the mission of APDS. It’s an honor for us to help Prep find its next leader."

    Hall, who will lead the five-member CarterBaldwin search team, served 23 years as head of two SAIS schools. Hall's understanding of and affinity for independent K-12 schools are grounded in a lifetime of experience in the space – first as a boarding school student, then as a teacher, coach, administrator, head of school, and trustee. He joined CarterBaldwin from The Walker School, where he was Head of School from 2011-2022, overseeing the school’s largest capital campaign and spearheading the New Avenues Immersive Dyslexia Program. Hall previously spent twelve years as Head of School for Augusta Preparatory Day School and eleven years as a teacher, coach, and administrator at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta. In addition to his experience teaching, coaching, and leading, Hall served as chair of the Head of School Search Committee and Board Chair at The Stony Brook School, giving him yet another valuable perspective on school leadership and governance.

    CarterBaldwin is an executive search firm that partners with corporate, nonprofit, and academic clients to build exceptional leadership teams. They pride themselves on having a highly experienced staff, an unrivaled search process, and an exceptional client and candidate experience. The firm is listed among a variety of rankings published by Hunt Scanlon Media, including its Top 50, Private Equity Power 100, and Top 50 Higher Education Search Firms.
  • OCT 30: Board Chair Thomas Burnside, III - Message to the Community

    Dear Augusta Prep Community,

    Augusta Prep certainly has flourished over the past four (4) years due to the hard work of our talented faculty, staff, students, parents, and our Head of School, Derrick Willard, who recently announced he would be leaving at the end of the school year to assume the role of Head of School at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC. While we hate to see Derrick leave, we are very thankful for his hard work and dedication to the school these past 4+ years, and for the fact that he is leaving Augusta Prep in great shape as we begin the search for the next Head of School.
    Poised for Great Things!
    I have been affiliated with Augusta Prep in some form or fashion (student, parent, alum, or board member) for over 40 years, and I have never seen the school in a better position than it is today. Consider this: Prep has enjoyed four years of increasing enrollment, we are in sound financial condition, our faculty is very strong and experienced, the recent ten-million-dollar capital campaign is nearing completion, our local and national school rankings are impressive, and we are fixing to open a new state of the art science facility that will set a new standard for STEM education in this area and beyond! Suffice it to say that Augusta Prep is in outstanding shape and well-positioned to secure a new leader who can build on this positive momentum.
    Finding the Next Head of School
    Fortunately, our Board of Trustees had a Succession Plan policy in place specifically for this event and began executing on that policy immediately upon learning that Derrick would be leaving at the end of the 2023-24 school year. Now, I am excited to share with you the progress made thus far in our search process.
    Head of School Search Page
    We have established this Head of School Search Page to provide information and updates concerning the search process. As you can see, it includes a “Contact” button so you can submit questions or information you think would be helpful to the search committee and consultants, including the names of any potential candidates that come to your attention. Please feel free to share with us your thoughts and ideas and visit this page often for future updates on our progress. Note: all information received regarding potential candidates will be kept confidential.
    Search Committee
    We have established a Search Committee that is already hard at work. This group will coordinate with our consultants in reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and narrowing the list of candidates to a group of finalists for the Board to consider. It is comprised of current and former Board members and two parent representatives, including: 

    Co-Chair Thomas Burnside ‘84 (P ‘11, ‘13, ’16, Board Chair) 
    Co-Chair Christina Layman Holmes ‘98 (P ’27, ‘29, ’32, Board Vice Chair)    
    Sam G. Nicholson ‘02 (Previous Board Chair and Search Co-Chair)  
    Francois Leger (P ‘30, ’33) 
    Scott Monnig (P ‘19, ‘22, ‘22, ’24, Board Secretary)  
    Mukti Patel (P ‘23, ‘25, ’28, Board Member)  
    Jim Trotter ‘93 (P ‘24, ’25)  
    Robert Alan Wilson (P ‘30, ’32, Board Member)  

    Search and Recruiting Firm
    We have engaged the executive search and recruiting firm of Carter Baldwin to lead our search. They have assigned a partner, Jack Hall, to spearhead the effort. Information about Carter Baldwin and links to their website and Jack Hall’s bio is contained on this Head of School Search webpage. For those not familiar with Jack Hall, he previously served as Head of School at Prep in the early 2000s and maintains deep-rooted ties to our community. I am confident that no consultant loves this school more or knows it better than Jack Hall, and we are delighted to have a person with his skill and expertise leading our search. 

    Search Process and Timeline
    Carter Baldwin is in the process of publishing a community survey to gather information from you about what you would like to see in our next Head of School. They also have plans to spend time on campus talking with groups of parents, faculty, students, and alumni. Information gathered during these sessions will be instrumental in developing a list of key attributes that you would like to see in our next Head of School.
    Once the listening session and site audit are completed, they will put together a position profile and begin engaging and recruiting potential candidates. A proposed timeline of the search process has been prepared to guide our work and is available on this page.
    Thank You
    In order to be successful, the search for the next Head of School will require a team effort and meaningful input from many constituents and stakeholders. On behalf of the Board, the Search Committee, and myself, thank you in advance for your willingness to partner with us in this process. This is a critical decision in the life of Augusta Prep, and I am confident that together we can find the right person to lead the school forward.
    On behalf of myself and the entire Board of Trustees, I also want to thank all the current (and former) students, faculty, and staff who have worked so hard to make Augusta Prep the school it is today. The success that we currently enjoy at Prep is a direct result of your dedication and effort each day and it is greatly appreciated.
    And, finally, I want to express my gratitude to Derrick Willard for his tremendous leadership over the past 4+ years, and for making sure that when he leaves Augusta Prep in June 2024, he will leave it far better than when he found it. I encourage you to read his heartfelt message to the community that is contained on this webpage and to thank him for his dedication and service when you get the opportunity. In the meantime, Derrick remains hard at work, and I know that you will join me in supporting him and making sure he finishes the year strong.

    I look forward to working together to find a great new Head of School. Go Cavs!       

    Thomas R. Burnside III
    Chair, APDS Board of Trustees   
  • OCT. 30: Head of School Derrick Willard - Message to the Community

    Dear Cavalier Community,

    After much contemplation, I have accepted an offer to be the next Head of School at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina for the 2024-2025 school year. This is a bittersweet time for me. I have treasured my five years at Augusta Prep, yet this opportunity is the best decision I can make for my extended family at this point in my life.

    I want to reassure you that during this time of transition the institution is in great hands on many levels. First, we have amazing teachers and coaches working with your child(ren) and they have the greatest impact on the quality of your child(ren)’s daily experience at Augusta Prep. Second, we have amazing leaders in our three Division Heads, and they remain focused on supporting our educators. Third, Augusta Prep is governed by a steadfast Board of Trustees who have a clear succession policy that is guiding them in this natural transition moment in the life of any school. 

    As my tenure at Augusta Prep ends, I am pleased to report that the school has never been better! I am so proud of our students, faculty, and staff, and I have full confidence that the momentum the school currently enjoys — a healthy, growing enrollment, a talented faculty and staff, a laudable college matriculation list, many distinguished alumni impacting the world, an improved physical plant, and a sound financial position — will continue into the future. Augusta Prep has a respected reputation across Georgia and remains the number one rated private school in town.
    Over the last two years this community has generously donated $10 million for the new W. Rodger Giles Institute for Inquiry, as well as generously contributed to our annual fund and GOAL scholarships year over year. We have added half a million dollars to our Malone Scholarship Endowment and raised one million dollars to establish the impactful W. Rodger Giles Heritage Academy Scholarship Endowment – both of which help attract high-merit, high-need students to Prep.
    Over the last five years we have added new campus signage, two new buses to our fleet, seven new golf carts for campus maintenance, Columbia County deputies for security, an outdoor classroom for the Lower School, and renovated our track and field complex. In January 2024, we will open the W. Rodger Giles Institute for Inquiry, which will set a new standard for STEM education in the CSRA.

    We have expanded our global education programming for our upper school students, opening up travel opportunities in Europe and exchange opportunities in Australia, Denmark, France, and Spain. We are now members of the Global Education Benchmark Group and the Network for Complementary Schools which will create further opportunities for our students to graduate with a global perspective. We have also established our first Diverse and Welcoming Community statement that will support our mission and multicultural student population for years to come. 

    It was my great honor to lead this respected institution as it celebrated sixty years of academic excellence and laid the groundwork for an even greater next sixty years. Without a doubt, I would not have been able to achieve this level of success as Head of School without the alignment of our hard working faculty and staff, gracious parent volunteers, generous donors, amazing alumni and supportive Board. Thank you.

    I will miss this place, but more so the wonderful relationships I formed across our campus and community. At this moment I think of the quote by Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” But let us save the goodbyes for June 2024.

    In these times of transition, look to the Board of Trustees to lead the school through a thoughtful head search process and the creation of a bold new strategic plan. As they work through the search process in the coming months, they will look for a leader who, guided by our inspiring mission, is equipped to execute the new strategic plan and lead Augusta Prep into its next chapter.

    With great gratitude,
    Derrick Willard
    Head of School
Augusta Preparatory Day School is an independent, college preparatory school serving children ages 2 through Grade 12 from the greater Augusta-Aiken area. Augusta Prep seeks to enroll a group of diverse students. We follow an open admission policy, whereby qualified candidates are admitted without regard to religion, race, nationality, economic background, or ethnic origin.