Head of School search

Coreen R. Hester has announced her retirement as Head of School at ASL at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Both her announcement to the ASL community and the letter from Board of Trustees Chair Dave Novak are reprinted below.

Letter from Coreen R. Hester, Head of School

To the Board of Trustees and the ASL Community,

It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime for me to serve as Head of School at the American School in London. We’ve accomplished so much, and we’ve done it with purpose, energy, and wonderful esprit de corps. So it is with great pride and more than a little sadness that I write to tell you that the 2016-17 school year, the 10th year of my tenure, will be my final one at ASL.

The past decade is replete with great moments: revitalizing our mission statement; tackling strategic initiatives in curriculum, service learning, and diversity; growing our commitment to increased financial aid; planning and delivering new facilities; and improving our financial stability through increased endowment funds.  

But above all, the focus of our work has been the all-important relationship between teachers and students: to recruit and retain an outstanding faculty and to make student learning our top priority. Our remarkable students continue to go from strength to strength. And the development of the intellect and character of our students—the critical benchmark of our success—has been fabulous to watch and appreciate over this last decade.

I am deeply thankful. Our Board of Trustees is committed to excellent stewardship of ASL, our senior leadership team is committed to orchestrating an inspiring program, our faculty and staff are committed to delivering the best in teaching and learning, and our parent community is committed to supporting our work. What an incredible team! And we are all so fortunate—to be here in London, one of the greatest capital cities in the world—and to have the resources and the support to make ASL the best it can be.

It’s been a dream come true to stand at the helm of ASL and the time feels right for me to pass the opportunity of leading ASL to another. It’s been a great partnership in all respects, and I have the fullest confidence that the Board will pursue the search for my successor with professionalism, integrity, and care. The future is bright for ASL.

But I must also emphasize that I am eager to pursue and accomplish the work ahead of us during the next eighteen months: strengthening our writing and research programs, expanding our understanding of cultural competency, finishing our building projects, among other initiatives. Much good work ahead before the final whistle.

Again, my deepest thanks for everything. It’s been a terrific journey together.

Warmest regards, 
Coreen R. Hester
Head of School

Letter from Dave Novak, Chair of the ASL Board of Trustees

To the ASL Community,

I am writing to you in light of the news that Coreen Hester, after a distinguished tenure, has decided to retire from ASL at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Coreen has been an outstanding leader bringing vision and dedication to her role as Head of School. She has also been a great friend of the ASL community.

Coreen has led a meaningful transformation of ASL during what will be a decade-long tenure as Head of School. She has put ASL in a position of strength unmatched in its history. Upon her arrival in 2007, she led a process of community self-reflection in order to create a new Mission Statement. This Mission Statement in turn informed the creation of the 2010 Strategic Plan. Coreen and her team have successfully overseen the implementation and delivery of those ambitious goals. Coreen also led the community discussion that synthesized the ASL Core Values living up to our Mission that an outstanding education must develop both intellect and character. In short, Coreen will leave ASL with a legacy which reflects strengths across the following areas: curricular, service learning, diversity and character, in addition to making strides in increasing financial aid, expanding our campus with new facilities to match our academic standards and ensuring continued financial stability through increased endowment.

A sign of any strong leader is their ability to attract and retain the best people. This will be Coreen’s greatest legacy at ASL. She has formed a world-class team of senior leaders, faculty and staff who will be the foundation of the next decade of growth at ASL. I am confident that with this robust platform ASL will continue to excel under its next Head of School.

We appreciate that Coreen has announced her plans in a timely way as this allows us to plan the search for her successor in a thoughtful and prudent manner. The Board will form a search committee comprised of trustees and members of our community including faculty, staff and administrators and we will pursue a worldwide search for the position. There will also be opportunities for broader community involvement in the search over the coming months.

We are grateful for Coreen’s extraordinary contributions during her tenure and I look forward to the many upcoming opportunities to thank her and celebrate her leadership. In the meantime, it is business as usual at ASL as Coreen continues to lead our school with her usual high energy and devotion.

Dave Novak
Chair of the ASL Board of Trustees

One Waverley Place
London NW8 0NP
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7449 1200
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