06/13/2017 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Welcoming Bill Christ to CS&A

Bill Christ

We are proud to announce that William (Bill) Christ has joined Carney, Sandoe & Associates’ Search Group as a Search Consultant. As a teacher and top administrator for his entire professional career, Bill’s extensive leadership and independent school experience will lend strength and expertise to our Search Group. Known for his transformative tenure at Hathaway Brown School where he served as Head of School for 29 years, Bill has a record of building effective teams, leading ambitious fundraising campaigns, and spearheading innovative change. Based in Cleveland, his deep roots and extremely strong connections in the Midwest will broaden CS&A’s reach in that region.

Read on to learn some interesting facts about Bill, and view his full background on our website.

What spurred your interest in schools, and ultimately in being a Head of School yourself?

My mother was a teacher, and my earliest memory is actually of being taught to read via the comic strips in the Sunday papers, especially Prince Valiant. Unbridled curiosity was something my parents indulged and fed, so I suppose a life in education was my happy destiny by both nature and nurture.

We hear all the time nowadays about how complex and arduous the work of school leadership is, and there’s certainly truth in that view. But to me the real core of the job is joy and transformation. I was head of Hathaway Brown for 29 years and was as excited about what we were doing on the last minute of my last day as I was on the very instant I started. We created the conditions which enabled people to bring forth their very best ideas, and to accomplish more than they ever thought possible. Every school deserves to live that way!

What has been your favorite part of working in schools, and what are you looking forward to as a new Search Consultant with CS&A?

I love what happens when you planfully and imaginatively create a school culture of unlimited possibility, focused on bringing out the best in everyone. When you get this right, and it takes some time, the trajectories for growth – for students, faculty, the entire institution – can be downright exhilarating, and of course contagious. Everyone gets a daily dose of goosebumps, levels of optimism and aspiration just soars, and you feel you’re part of something very special and important. And that culture builds on itself, very powerfully, into the future.

Many schools harbor untapped potential, and that’s why I’m so excited to begin my work as a consultant for CS&A. Nothing is more important in the school improvement process than finding the right leader at the right time to shape the path forward. As a school Head, I worked closely with Carney Sandoe for three decades to identify the best possible administrative and faculty talent, and attract them to our school. CS&A always delivered, and I have always thought of the firm as the very definition of the gold standard. So now I’m tremendously honored to be part of a team absolutely devoted to enabling schools to find the leadership they need to become their own best versions of themselves.

How does it feel to know that the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools established an award in your name to recognize young educators who exemplify innovative spirit and visionary leadership?

My gosh, it’s totally humbling and of course I’m very grateful. It also makes me think of all the great mentors I’ve had along the way who saw something brewing in me that I might not have been aware of myself. Mentoring rising stars has been one of my favorite things to do, and I’m thrilled that this award could give an exceptional young leader an extra boost of recognition and encouragement.

Throughout my career I have been very privileged to be part of the noble cause of girls’ education, and dedicated to opening up groundbreaking new ways to liberate the potential of girls. Those innovative strategies are great for girls – but also can be game-changers for every young learner!

What’s a unique fact about you?

Here’s a handful of identifiers:

  • I am Shakespeare-besotted, and taught a seminar on his plays and poems for many years, even though the Bard himself had little good to say on schooling and pedagogues!
  • Being a Cleveland sports fan has had its own Shakespearean aspects (as in “a sound and fury signifying nothing”) but these days things have been looking up and I am passionately devoted to the Cavs, Indians – and even the Browns.
  • My wife (of 43 years) Diane and I have been an item since our high school days, and are proud parents of two grown sons. Now we spend as much time as possible shamelessly spoiling our twin one-year-old grandsons, and I can’t think of anything more fun than that!

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