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Holy Nativity Episcopal School

Head Of School Search


Holy Nativity Episcopal School
Panama City, Florida
Position Starts: July 1, 2019
Application Deadline: Until filled

Holy Nativity Episcopal School has been the preeminent independent Pre-K – 8 grade school in Panama City, Florida for over 60 years. We are seeking only our 6th Head of School to begin the 2019 – 2020 school year.

Located in the historic Cove School building, Holy Nativity has a student population of 300 and is seeking candidates who will further our mission of promoting lifelong learning in a challenging and inclusive environment. Holy Nativity is a perfect mix of history and tradition with ever evolving technology. Special area teachers couple with 3K through 5th grade classes to provide Spanish, Technology, Physical Education, Music, Library and Art. Our middle school provides rigorous core courses including Pre-AP Language Arts, Honors Science and Social Studies, High School Algebra and Geometry, and Algebra II. We also offer an array of middle school electives providing students with everything needed for academic success while exploring areas of personal interest. HNES graduates achieve 100% acceptance into high school advanced academic programs.

A successful candidate for Head of School will:
Demonstrate visionary leadership skills to grow the school and support its mission
Possess leadership skills to continue a collaborative approach to education and school administration
Display a proactive approach in marketing, public relations and fundraising
Offer a solid background in financial management
Show superior interpersonal and communication skills
Maintain proficient understanding of current educational “best practices” as well as future needs for teaching and learning
Commit to spiritual and academic growth
Advance faculty and staff professional development, new technologies and research
Exhibit a strong history of exhibiting organizational and decision-making skills
Embrace our Episcopal identity

Interested applicants should submit in a single email a cover letter, resume or CV and a personal statement or education philosophy to:


To the Holy Nativity Episcopal School Families, Staff, Alumni, and Friends,


It is with great sadness, but also deep gratitude, that the Board of Trustees accepts Judy Hughes' decision to retire at the end of the 2018/19 academic year.  Judy has served our school for many years and in many ways, as an Elementary School Teacher, Middle School Principal, Head of School, parent, grandparent and most importantly, someone who fully supports our mission and loves our children.  The school has thrived under her leadership, and we have been so blessed to have her many years of experience to guide the board and school.  

Taking the position of Head of School at a time when the country was recovering from a recession and our community was struggling with the impact of the BP Oil Spill, Judy faced many challenges.  She worked tirelessly to plan and assess programs, provide instructional leadership, manage resources, and communicate with the school community.  Her many accomplishments are too numerous to list here, but here are some of the major highlights:


Increasing enrollment and professional development significantly during her tenure


Embracing technology advancements to enhance curriculum school-wide;


Transforming the school's budget from a deficit to accumulating solid contingency reserves;


Overseeing the renovation of the portable building now used for 5th grade, the purchase and renovation              of another Hamilton Avenue home, and the construction of a new pavilion and a new modular;


Implementing a new school management system, RenWeb, for more efficient operations and improved                communication with parents;


Redesigning the school's website, including a new school-wide electronic calendar, and creating a presence for the school on social media;


Working with Bay District Schools to provide additional resources for professional development and students' educational needs; and 


Directing the school's Five-Year Evaluation by the Florida Council of Independent School and Florida Kindergarten Council to maintain the school's accreditations, including extensive support of a new Strategic Planning process.


Judy has strengthened the school and positioned it well, and we are grateful that she has offered to assist us over the next year-and-a-half to insure a smooth and seamless transition to a new Head of School.

The Board of Trustees is committed to leading a search for an excellent next Head of School.  On the back cover, you will find a Q&A section that we hope will answer some of the more common questions you may have about the upcoming search process.  Please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the board with any questions or concerns about the Head of School search process.

The future is bright for Holy Nativity Episcopal School, and we are indebted to Judy Hughes for her commitment to our school.  We wish Judy many blessings in her retirement!

Warmest Regards,

Clayton Syfrett

President, Board of Trustees

Board of Directors

Clayton Syfrett, President      Craig Dye      Jerry Shores

Ben Lee, Vice-President      Brent Faison      Jason Smith

Maggie Shuler, Secretary      Jennifer Goodwiller      Chris Stamps

Mary Kathryn San Juan, Treasurer      Dick Hebert      Fr. Steve Bates, Chaplain/Rector HNEC

Matt Cole      Chris Moser      Carolyn Cramer, Foundation Rep

Charlie Commander      Jack Ringelberg      


Q & A


Q:  Who will be the new Head of School?

A:  We do not know yet.  The principle responsibility of the Board of Trustees is to hire and support the Head of School, who is given the sole responsibility for the school's management and operation.  The members of the board take this responsibility seriously and will dedicate the time and effort required to select the most qualified candidate for our school.

Q:  How will the new Head of School be selected?

A:  A Search Committee comprised of representatives from all school constituencies is being assembled to lead the search.  The Search Committee will be responsible for screening, vetting and interviewing the candidates.  The Search Committee will then make a recommendation to the full Board of Trustees, whose responsibility it is to make the final hiring decision.

Q: What is the timeline for the search, and what is the expected timeframe for the final selection?

A:  The timeline is being developed by the Search Committee and will be communicated in the coming weeks.  It is expected that a selection will be made in the spring of 2019.  The new Head of School will begin his/her tenure no later than July 1, 2019, the beginning of academic year 2019/20.

Q:  How can we be assured that the traditions, culture, and commitment to academic excellence will continue with the new Head of School?

A:  By having representatives from the Board of Trustees, parents, alumni, faculty and friends of the school, the committee will collectively have the knowledge needed to select the best candidate for our school.  The job description will be very clear and specific, and the board will communicate the importance of the school's traditions, culture and commitment to academic excellence to the Search Committee.  The Search Committee will also actively seek input to establish the most desired qualities in a new Head of School.

Q:  How will the board and Search Committee communicate to potential applicants and provide information regarding the timeline and status to any interested parties?

A:  The school's website,, will be modified to include a special section for the Head of School search.  

Holy Nativity Episcopal School

205 Hamilton Avenue

Panama City, FL  32401



Holy Nativity Episcopal School is committed to providing equal opportunity in all of our employment practices, including selection, hiring, promotion, transfer, and compensation, to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to age, race, religion. color, sex, national origin, marital status, citizenship status, disability or any other protected status in accordance with the requirements of all federal, state, and local laws.


Contact Holy Nativity

School Address

205 Hamilton Avenue

Panama City, FL 32401

View on Google Maps


Contact Info

(850) 747-0060 phone

(850) 747-7447 fax


Florida Council of Independent Schools Florida Kindergarten Council Duke TIP National Association of Episcopal Schools

Holy Nativity Episcopal School admits students of any religion, race, creed, national or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Holy Nativity Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, financial aid programs, or athletic and other school-administered programs.

Holy Nativity Episcopal School of Panama City Florida

205 Hamilton Avenue • Panama City, Florida 32401

Phone (850) 747-0060 • Fax (850) 747-7447

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Holy Nativity Episcopal School