Maple Street School seeking new leader

MANCHESTER — Maple Street School is looking for a new leader after its current head of school announced he will resign the end of this academic year.

Head of School Fanning Hearon will be leaving Maple Street School, an independent day school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, to head the Palm Beach Day Academy in Palm Beach, Florida starting next July, the school said in a release announcing the search.

The Maple Street Board of Trustees is undertaking a nationwide search for the Hearon's replacement. The school has retained Jean Lamont, from Educators' Collaborative, an educational search and consulting firm, to conduct the search.

"We are grateful for Fanning's contributions to Maple Street School," said Amy Panitz, chairwoman of the school's board of trustees, in the release. "From introducing Spanish, to his dedication to fostering a collaborative team approach to problem solving, Fanning has brought a sincere sense of joyful learning to learning at Maple Street. We certainly wish him the very best."

Hearon said he has loved his time at Maple Street.

"It's a tough decision," he said of his resignation. "It's a mixture of sadness and excitement. I'm going to very much miss Maple Street school. I've had an amazing tenure here."

But, he said, an "amazing opportunity," came his way, and it was hard to say no.

Hearon, a Middlebury College graduate, has been living in Vermont for eight years. This is his third academic year at the school.

"I will fulfill my contract happily until June 30," he said. "We still have a lot of work to do. I'm happily engaged in what I'm doing."

There's a lot of initiatives to work on, including developing the school's outdoor classroom, enrollment and fundraising, he said.

The school is stable, and doing well, but there's always work to do — strategic planning will be key for the next Head of School, he said.

A nine-member search committee will be involved in finding Hearon's replacement. The committee includes seven members of the school's board of trustees, along with Bettina Tuttle, the school's business manager and a Maple Street School parent, and Allison Putnam, a second grade teacher at the school.

The committee came together almost immediately after Hearon announced his resignation Oct. 19, said Meredith Morin, advancement and communications director for the school.

Educators' Collaborative will tap into its extensive network of potential candidates, vet them and send their selections to the search committee. The committee will further interview candidates and decide on finalists to send to the board of trustees, which makes the final hiring decision, Morin said.

Along the way, the committee will consider input from parents, students, alumni and donors about what they want in a Head of School, she said.

The goal is to have a number of finalists. But Morin said she doesn't think the committee will run into any problems there.

"We've been given every indication that this is a good place to work," she said. "[I] don't think we'll have a shortage."

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at, at @BAN_pleboeuf on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 118.


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