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Head of School Search

A Letter from Head of School Chris Cheney

Dear Kents Hill Community,
I am writing to share that I recently informed the Board of Trustees that the 2023-2024 academic year will be my last at Kents Hill School. It has been an honor and privilege to lead Kents Hill School for the past six years. I am grateful for the opportunities the school has given to me and to my entire family. Kents Hill will always be a part of our lives – the place we have called home both literally and figuratively for the past six years. Next year will be a special year for Kents Hill School as we celebrate its 200th year. Personally, I look forward to seeing Zoe ’24 graduate as part of the bicentennial class. We are all forever grateful to be a part of this special community.
You will receive a message from Board President Patricia Hatler shortly with information about the Board’s plans for identifying my successor.
I want to specifically thank Patricia Hatler, as well as the former Board President Edward Lane and the entire Kents Hill Board of Trustees. Their unwavering support has been instrumental in allowing us to position Kents Hill for its greatest success into the future. Together, we navigated COVID safely and successfully, and we emerged a stronger institution. During that time, we developed the Bicentennial Strategic Plan with four cornerstones: Prepared for Anything; Grounded in Maine, Connected to the World; Built on Belonging; and In Your Corner, All the Time. Not only will this vision guide us moving forward, its concepts and initial results have already helped Kents Hill increase its school population by 35 percent in two years. Kents Hill is one of the fastest growing schools in Maine – and with good reason.
As part of the Board’s support of the strategic vision, the school received a $1.5M gift to help fuel its initiatives and support the people implementing the plan. We have advanced our curriculum through our 4D curriculum framework; expanded our Technology and Engineering offerings such that we have more than ten times the number of students taking technology and engineering courses. Our Whole Student Learning model will purposefully and intentionally allow students not only to develop academically, but also socially and emotionally so they can become the students and leaders the world so desperately needs. We have also increased the diversity of our community and added more affinity groups to ensure everyone can be their full selves, has the support they need, and feels they belong in this special community – a community that is built, not joined. Additionally, we have added a number of new Board members who bring a wide range of experience and expertise and better reflect the student and alumni body.
There is still work to do, but Kents Hill is well positioned to become an even more sought-after and respected secondary school in Maine and well beyond. Leading an almost 200-year-old school is both exhilarating and humbling, and I am grateful to you for your commitment to this special place. I look forward to my final year and continuing to build on our strengths, advance the strategic initiatives, and grow the school so that it is best positioned to thrive in the future.

A Letter From Board of Trustees President Patricia Hatler

Dear Kents Hill School Community:

With Head of School Christopher Cheney’s  announcement that the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year will be his last at Kents Hill, I write on behalf of the Board of Trustees to thank him for his remarkable service and share some information about the Board’s next steps. 

We are grateful for all Chris has done to position Kents Hill for continued excellence and success. His leadership includes navigating the uncharted waters of the COVID pandemic, working with the Trustees to develop our Bicentennial Strategic Plan that will anchor our third century of education in Maine, recruiting and guiding a talented and dedicated leadership team, and strengthening both our academic programs and our community life. We wish Chris and his family the very best as they begin their next chapter.

Our Board of Trustees is launching a search for our next Head of School — the 21st Head in the 200 years since Kents Hill School opened in 1824. We will be looking for a new Head of School who can continue our tradition of strong academics amid uncommon community and who will shape the next chapter of a Kents Hill education pursuant to the Bicentennial Strategic Plan. This Head of School will be the person to lead Kents Hill School into our third century of education and our students into their 21st century adult lives and careers.

Trustee David Greene, a Kents Hill parent and the President of Colby College, has agreed to lead our search. The Board of Trustees is committed to a search process that includes input from trustees, parents, students, faculty and staff, alumni, and other members of the Kents Hill community.    

We will keep you informed of our progress.

With Warm Regards,  

Patricia R. Hatler, P ’08
President, Kents Hill School Board of Trustees 


Lara Cole
Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Communications