Chadwick School names John E. Creeden, Ph.D., as its tenth Head of School

Dear Chadwick Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Roessler-Chadwick (RCF) Foundation, it is with great pleasure that I announce that the Board has unanimously selected John E. "Jack" Creeden, Ph.D., to become the tenth Head of School at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, effective July 1, 2016.

The Board of Trustees is delighted to appoint a new Head of School of Jack's caliber. Jack is a globally minded educator, an accomplished independent school leader and a natural ambassador for Chadwick's mission and core values. Jack succeeds Ted Hill, who will become President of the Roessler-Chadwick Foundation, also effective July 1, 2016.

Jack's selection by the RCF Board follows a thoughtful and thorough search process led by our Head of School Search Committee with the assistance of search consultants Wickenden Associates of Princeton, New Jersey. The 12-member Search Committee was chaired by trustee and current parent Allison Hill Quinlan and included myself and Ken Baronsky as Vice Chairs, as well as current trustees, former trustees (including two former Board Chairs), alumni and Chadwick faculty members.

Between September 2015 and February 2016, the Search Committee reviewed the credentials of candidates from all over the country and the world, representing the rich diversity of people leading highly successful independent schools. There were more applications for this position than any other Head of School search conducted by Wickenden Associates this year. In February, four finalists were invited for two-day, on-campus visits with Chadwick community members, including school administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, parents and students.

The Board's selection was based on three key criteria: Jack's thirty-plus years of successful experience in K-12 and higher education, his strategic vision and his execution/leadership. Jack's passionate commitment to character development, global citizenship, experiential learning and to a diverse and inclusive community makes him an excellent fit as a leader for Chadwick.

In accepting the Chadwick Head of School position, Jack stated, "I am excited about leading Chadwick School's innovative curriculum and global initiatives to ensure it remains one of the top independent schools in the country and in the world." He added, "In this important mission, I am thrilled to be working with Ted Hill, President of the Roessler-Chadwick Foundation and Shelly Wille, Head of School at Chadwick International."

Jack's educational career includes 20 years as a Headmaster or President. Currently, Jack serves as President of School Year Abroad, a position he has held since 2011, in which he is responsible for the overall leadership and administration of four schools — in China, France, Italy and Spain. School Year Abroad offers a one-year, language-intensive immersion experience to students from more than 125 independent and public high schools.

Prior to his leadership of School Year Abroad, Jack served as Headmaster from 1995 to 2007 of Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs, a boarding/day school of 235 students. During his tenure at that school, Jack implemented two strategic plans, completed a $24 million capital campaign and built three new residence halls. He went on to become the Headmaster of Providence Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina, a TK-12 school of 1,528 students, where he served from 2007 to 2010. Before embarking upon his career in independent schools, Jack held a variety of administrative positions at the University of Wisconsin and at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Jack also has been a leader in the independent school community, mentoring aspiring Heads of School, conducting governance workshops for trustees and serving from 2012 to 2015 as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the National Association of Independent Schools.

He holds a bachelor's degree in English from College of the Holy Cross, graduating cum laude. He also earned a master's degree in English Literature and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

"Jack is the ideal leader to continue to strengthen Chadwick School, to champion our mission and values and to build on the distinctive elements that have been the hallmarks of a Chadwick education for 80 years — academic excellence, exemplary character and self-discovery through experience," said Headmaster Ted Hill. "I am looking forward to working with Jack as we seek to realize Margaret Chadwick's dream for our school, our children and our future."

As President of the Roessler-Chadwick Foundation, Ted Hill will focus on long-term RCF strategic priorities and opportunities, including fulfilling the Chadwick School Master Plan, building our endowment and enhancing our growing national and international relationships and reputation. We are very fortunate to have Ted's leadership, expertise and deep commitment to our school as we plan for the future success of Chadwick School, Chadwick International and the Roessler-Chadwick Foundation.

It is with tremendous excitement and confidence in Chadwick's future that I congratulate both Ted and Jack on their new positions. Our leadership team is world-class, and I trust that you share my enthusiasm for the possibilities ahead.

I would like to thank all the members of the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee for their hard work in identifying our next Head of School, and I would like to thank the parents, students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of our community for their invaluable assistance with this process. I would especially like to recognize Allison Hill Quinlan for her tireless work in this effort and for bringing this process to such a successful conclusion.

In the coming months, I will share more information on the transition process, but for now, please join me in welcoming Jack and his wife, Carole, to the Chadwick community.


Mark Woodruff
Chair, Board of Trustees
Roessler-Chadwick Foundation