Head of School Search

On October 28, The Country School Board of Trustees announced its unanimous decision to appoint William F. Ennist, Jr. as the sixth Head of School, effective July 1, 2020.  
From a field of approximately 100 candidates vetted by highly regarded independent school search firm Carney, Sandoe & Associates and The Country School's Search Committee, Bill quickly emerged as the clear front-runner. Bill will relocate to Easton from Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he has been Head of The Canterbury School since 2016. Bill has also served as Assistant Head of School for Academics at Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia, and has held various positions at several other independent schools. 
Through his twenty-six year journey in education, Bill has acquired a wide-ranging background as a teacher, coach, administrator, marketing director, advancement professional, and Head of School. His knowledge of and experience with child and adolescent growth, curriculum and educational program development, financial planning, fundraising, and enrollment management make him extraordinarily qualified to take over the reins from Neil Mufson, The Country School’s beloved Head who will retire at the end of his thirtieth year.
Bill’s educational philosophy is in great alignment with The Country School mission to foster excellence, develop strong character, value diversity, and instill a lifelong love of learning. Bill says, “This high level of focus on the potential of each individual resonates strongly with me, as it is consistent with my own philosophy and reflective of the spirit of the work that I have accomplished on behalf of students during my career.”
Bill grew up in a small town in New York state and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Union College, majoring in Economics and Spanish. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Yale University in 1993 and a second Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2000 from Fairfield University. Bill and his wife Robin have three children: son Connor is in the architectural program at Virginia Tech; daughter Paige is at Indiana University; and son Tyler is currently a senior at Canterbury School and is in the process of deciding where he will attend college next fall. Bill and Robin have spent some time in the Easton/St. Michaels area in past years and came to love the Eastern Shore. They are both looking forward to moving here and becoming a part of The Country School and Talbot County.
As The Country School community looks forward to Bill and Robin’s arrival, Neil Mufson’s visionary leadership will continue to position The Country School with great positive momentum for the future. The School’s constituencies are confident that Bill’s vision, leadership style, and extensive experience with independent schools qualify him as the ideal person to lead The Country School into its next chapter and beyond.

List of 10 items.

  • Who is leading the search?

    Our Search Committee is leading the search process in partnership with our consultants from Carney, Sandoe & Associates. Rrecruitment and vetting will be managed by CS&A and input will be gathered from faculty, staff, parents, students, and community stakeholders.
  • What is the role of the Search Committee?

    The Search Committee is responsible for steering the search process with guidance and support from our consultants from Carney, Sandoe & Associates. The Search Committee will keep the TCS community informed and engaged throughout the process while respecting the confidentiality of the candidate recruitment process.
  • Who are the consultants leading the search?

    Charlie Britton is a Senior Consultant at Carney, Sandoe & Associates for the Head of School Practice. Charlie served as Head of McDonogh School from 2007-2018, and as head of Casady School (OK) for 5 years. He has had many roles in education at several reputable schools, including as a teacher, coach, English department chair, and more. While at McDonogh, he was instrumental in creating Folio, a professional development program used by more than 160 independent schools. He has served as board chair of Folio Collaborative and currently is a trustee of the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS).

    Charlie holds a B.A. from Lake Forest and an M.A. in English from Middlebury. He enjoys golf and fishing and is a voracious reader. He is a native of Southport, Maine.

    Rice Bryan graduated from Holderness School in 1991 and from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, with a B.A. in English/Creative Writing and a minor in Social Work. He completed additional studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Rice taught English, coached soccer and tennis, and was Ninth Grade Dean at Chestnut Hill Academy in Chestnut Hill, PA. He taught English, coached soccer, ski racing, and baseball, and served as Dorm Parent at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, MA. Rice also served as a Childcare Worker at Charlton School for Girls (as part of a social work minor at Skidmore) and as tennis professional at The Bridges Resort in Waitsfield, VT, Windridge Tennis Camps (Roxbury, VT), and Quail Ridge Inn (Taos, NM). He is a published poet (Blind Man's Rainbow, Erie, PA).
    Rice joined Carney, Sandoe & Associates in 1999, and has been the Director of Internal Hiring since 2001.
  • What is the role of the consulting search firm?

    Carney, Sandoe & Associates will identify and vet qualified candidates based on the parameters provided by the Search Committee and Board of Trustees.
  • What is the role of the Board of Trustees?

    The Board of Trustees helps define the job description of the next Head of School, interviews the final pool of candidates, and ultimately makes the hiring decision.
  • How will the school community be involved in the selection process?

    The Search Committee is committed to an inclusive and thorough process that will engage all of the school's constituencies. There will be small and large group opportunities in which faculty, staff, parents, and students may participate. The Committee will keep everyone advised as to how you can participate and offer input.
  • How will the TCS community be kept informed on this search process?

    In addition to direct email communications to The Country School community, regular updates will be posted on this page. CS&A consultants will spend the summer identifying potential candidates and make their recommendations to our Search Committee in late summer.
  • May I recommend a candidate?

    You may share the name of a recommended candidate with our consultants Rice Bryan and Charlie Britton.
  • What happens after a new Head of School is hired?

    Once a new Head of School is confirmed and announced, a Transition Committee will be formed. This committee will help manage the transition between the current head of school and the new head of school. Should the chosen candidate not be familiar with our community, the Transition Committee will introduce them to the many wonderful aspects of Eastern Shore life.
  • Whom do I contact if I have questions or comments?

Meet Our Search Committee

John Hockmeyer, Co-Chair

Richard Ward, Co-Chair

Justin Nonemaker, Board President

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan, Trustee

Chad Hill '94, Trustee

Jean Brune, Trustee

Dorothy Johnson, CSPA President

News & Announcements

List of 5 news stories.

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