Head of School Search

Dear All Saints Families, 
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of All Saints Episcopal School we are honored and excited to welcome the next Head of School, Mark D. Desjardins, PhD to our All Saints Family.  Dr. Desjardins will begin his career with All Saints effective July 1, 2023. 
Dr. Desjardins is a career long educator, serving schools, students, and families for more than 30 years, 23 of those as a sitting Head of School at TMI in San Antonio, Holland Hall in Tulsa, St. John’s School in Houston, and Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California. Quality education continues to be the centerpiece of Dr. Mark D. Desjardins’ professional life. 
As a seasoned educator, Mark was attracted to All Saints because of the strong and resolute values alignment between the school’s mission and his own educational and leadership philosophy. He says, “ I find a deep need to be a part of a place where I can add tremendous value and make a discernible difference.”
Dr. Desjardins holds a ME, B.A in East Asian Civilizations from Bates College, a M.Ed in Secondary School Administration from University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and a PhD in History of American Education from University of Virginia, Charlottesville. 

In 2008, he was a Klingenstein visiting Heads Fellow, Teachers College, Columbia University; one of 20 school heads around the world invited to participate in the intensive 14 day program focused on researching and writing about best practices in educational leadership for Independent Schools.  In addition, Dr Desjardins has served on numerous professional boards, as well as, serving as President of Southwest Association of Episcopal School (SWAES), Southwest Preparatory Athletic Conference (SPC), and Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS).
Dr. Desjardins believes that to “serve is to lead” and says, “As Heads we are called to be good stewards of the institutions under our care and guidance. There is no higher calling than using the gifts to make those around us better. There is no act more noble or worthy than to simply be in service to others.”
Dr. Desjardins and his wife, Maro, have four children, Daphne 29, Chloe 26, Elias 23, and Lucas 20. They were also blessed with a granddaughter, Georgia, earlier this year. Maro is a former teacher specializing in French and also enjoys writing a cooking blog. They are excited about the new opportunities that await in Tyler and are ready to get involved in the community.  There will be a number of opportunities in the coming months to meet the Desjardins family. We hope you will take the opportunity to get to know this great couple. 
We would like to express our immeasurable gratitude to the Search Committee members for their wise and committed service over the past several months. We are also deeply appreciative of the entire All Saints community for its support and involvement throughout this extensive process. We are thankful for All Saints many blessings and know that our future is bright. 
Please join us in extending a warm All Saints welcome to Maro and Mark Desjardins. 

Laura Waits 
All Saints Board of Trustees
J.P. Davis 
Head of School Search Committee

Head Search Committee

List of 6 items.


    Search Committee Chair; Current Parent and Board Trustee
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    Current Parent and Board Trustee
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    Alumni Parent and Board Trustee
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    Parent Representative; All Saints Alum and Current Parent
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    Rector of Christ Episcopal Church; Current Parent and Board Trustee
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    Faculty Representative; Current Parent and All Saints Administrator
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Frequently Asked Questions

List of 17 frequently asked questions.

  • Who is leading the search process?

    The Board of Trustees is responsible for selecting and hiring All Saints' next Head of School. To facilitate the search process, the Board, in accordance with its Bylaws, has approved a search committee to direct the search process and, at its conclusion, recommend a Head of School candidate to the Board for review and approval.
  • What is the role of the Search Committee?

    The Search Committee directs the search process from start to finish. They will coordinate input from various constituencies, work with the search firm to develop the position description, sort through the initial round of candidates vetted by the search firm, and organize and conduct interviews with the semifinalists and finalists. At the end of the process, the Search Committee will present one candidate to be confirmed by the Board of Trustees. A major responsibility of the search committee is to keep the community informed and engaged throughout the search process while respecting the confidentiality of candidates during the recruitment process.
  • Who is on the search committee?

    The ByLaws of All Saints specify that a Head of School Search Committee shall consist of member of the Board of Trustees, one faculty representative, one parent representative, and the Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler.  Those approved by the Board for the current head of school search are: 
    JP Davis, Chairman–Board of Trustees, Current Parent
    Greg Adcock – Board of Trustees, Current Parent
    Stacy Bengtson – Board of Trustees, Past Parent
    Frances Jackson – Parent Representative, Current Parent, Alum
    David Luckenbach – Board of Trustees, Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Current Parent
    Sarah White – Faculty Representative, Current Parent

    To learn more about the Search Committee, click on the committee bios on the right of the Head of School Search page.
  • Has All Saints retained a search consulting firm?

    Working with a search firm brings professionalism and structure to the search process. More importantly, the search firm brings a depth of candidates that the school would otherwise not attract.  As approved by the Board of Trustees, the Search Committee has retained the services of The Education Group (TEG), an independent school head search, executive coaching, and consulting firm, to assist us in finding our new Head of School. TEG is a leader in Episcopal School head of school searches, with close to 40 years of service to schools across the southwest. We are confident that All Saints will benefit by partnering with TEG as we search for our new Head of School.
  • What is The Education Group's role?

    The Education Group provides advice to the search committee concerning process, procedure and best practices in the search process. Initially, the consultant will gather data from the school community to better understand the school culture. Then, working with the Search Committee, they will create a position description based on the school’s mission, vision, values, objectives and needs. The consultant will ensure that the position description reflects our school’s culture and values. They will then begin to build a candidate pool and conduct in-depth candidate interviews and reference checks. The consultant will guide the search committee through the interviewing and vetting of candidates, as well as the selection of semi-finalists and finalists. Once a finalist has been approved by the Board of Trustees, the search firm will assist in the leadership transition.
  • Who are our TEG search consultants?

    We will be working with Susan Lair, PHD and Jay Philpott. 

    With a background spanning 46 years in education, the last 28 in independent schools, Susan brings a wealth of experience in education and knowledge of independent school management. Dr Lair earned her stripes as a middle school math teacher, math specialist and district administrator in the Ft. Worth and Bryan Independent School Districts and later as an Upper School Dean of Students and curriculum coordinator at Ft. Worth Country Day School. She served as Head of Upper School at St Mary’s Hall in San Antonio before serving St. Francis Episcopal in Houston as the Head of School for 17 years. Susan holds a doctorate in Education administration and finance from the University of Texas and has served in various educational organizations including SAES, ISAS and as a board member of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas Education Commission. 
    Jay has spent decades in independent schools and knows the market well. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Jay began his education at The Lexington School before attending high school at the Trinity Pawling boarding school in New York. He received his Bachelor of Arts  in history from Presbyterian College and his Master of Science in Leadership with higher education concentration from the University of Memphis. He has experience across key areas of school leadership including advancement, admission, alumni, marketing, and communication. Jay is passionate about helping schools achieve their goals, recognizing and cultivating proven and emerging independent school leadership talent.
  • Will the Head of School search impact my child’s experience at school?

    No. All Saints Episcopal School, our faculty, staff, and administrative team are committed to our primary goal: to provide the highest academic standards for the development of moral character and the enrichment of our students' spiritual lives.
  • Will the community have opportunities for communication and input?

    Communications will flow both ways, providing school community members with opportunities to share their views with the consultants (TEG) and the Search Committee. Faculty, staff, parents, alumni, former trustees, donors, and school friends will receive regular updates throughout the process through community-wide emails and updates to the Head Search webpage. In addition, early in the process, TEG will interview the Board, school leadership, faculty, parents, and students and provide an online survey for their input. Towards the end of the search, the Board, school leadership, faculty, parents, and students will have opportunities to interview each finalist and share their thoughts on each through an online finalist evaluation survey containing areas for comments.
  • What is the expected timeline for the search process?

    The strength of the candidate pool will dictate the pace of the search. Since the starting date for the new Head is July 1, 2023, there is plenty of time to do a thorough search. Once the position profile is published in September, TEG will build the candidate pool, reaching out to a broad audience of prospective candidates. Then, in late fall, the Search Committee will evaluate candidates, select semifinalists, and interview candidates. The goal is to have finalists visit campus in November. After finalist visits, the Search Committee will meet, consider feedback from the community and determine its selection to present to the Board.
  • When will we know the candidates?

    To ensure the most robust candidate pool, we guarantee the confidentiality of all candidates through the semifinalist stage.  When finalists are chosen, the community will be made aware of times and locations for meetings, the identities of the finalists, and the link to complete a feedback survey.
  • What is the role of faculty, staff, and administrators?

    Faculty, staff, and administrators will remain in close contact with the Search Committee throughout the process. Faculty will be actively engaged throughout the search, from giving feedback and commentary to the consultants during the information-gathering stage to meeting finalist candidates.
  • What is the role of current parents?

    Throughout the search process, parents are encouraged to share their thoughts with the search committee via email at headsearch@all-saints.org. Parents are encouraged to express their thoughts through a community survey, initial focus groups with TEG consultants, as well as through the email headsearch@all-saints.org.  As the search continues, parent representatives will meet with finalists during their school visits and be asked to evaluate each candidate. 
  • What is the role of the students?

    Students will be asked to participate in different ways, depending upon what is the most age-appropriate method. Meeting with some of our students will be an important component of any finalist’s time on campus.
  • How can I participate in the search process?

    The Search Committee is committed to a thorough, transparent, and inclusive process for the All Saints community. Our consultants, TEG, will be sharing a survey with the All Saints community and will be on campus Tuesday, August 23, and Wednesday, August 24, to lead focus group meetings. The survey will be open from Friday, August 12, 2022, through Sunday, August 21, 2022, and provides essential information that will allow the Board to set goals and priorities for the next Head of School. 

    In addition to the survey and conversations with our consultants, the Search Committee will be actively engaged throughout the search. When finalists are identified and visit the campus, members of the school community will be invited to meet the candidates and provide feedback on their impressions of each finalist.  

    All members of the All Saints community are encouraged to share their thoughts with the search committee via email at headsearch@all-saints.org or through one of the advertised search meetings conducted by TEG.
  • How will the search be advertised?

    TEG will post the short ad and, later, a thorough position profile on the NAIS, ISAS, NAES, SAES, CESA, additional professional job postings and career sites, Christian University contacts, and the EDI Blue Sheet. In addition, TEG will personally share the opening with professional connections and known or targeted candidates.   
  • How can an interested person apply for the Head of School position?

    Interested candidates should contact our consultants at The Education Group:

    Jay Philott jay@educationgroup.com
    Susan Lair slair@educationgroup.com
  • What if I have a question or comment?

    Questions about the search process can be directed to the Search Committee at headserach@all-saints.org