Head of School Search

It is with great joy that we announce our next Head of School: Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson. Dr. Edmondson is currently the Chief Leadership and Program Officer at the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA); in that role, she oversees the development of a vision for Catholic school education in the United States.

“Barbara not only possesses the many skills required by this role, but also embodies the very traits that we seek to imbue in our students and our community. She is a woman of faith, vision, and purpose,” said Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan '48 & '50, President Emerita and Monastery Superior.

Dr. Edmondson has spent her entire career in Catholic education. She earned her BA in psychology and an MA in educational psychology from Montclair State University before attaining her EdD in human development at George Washington University.

We are deeply grateful to all the members of our community who took the time to complete a survey or join an in-person listening session last spring to help us discern the essential skills and qualities of a new Head of School. All facets of our community, from teachers and students to parents and alumnae, shared their wisdom and insights and we listened. You clearly articulated the need for a visionary leader who understands the unique challenges and opportunities facing young women in today’s morally complex world; a seasoned educator with both classroom and administrative experience; someone who embodies our Salesian values and respects Visitation’s unique heritage and traditions. Guided by the strong, sure hand of Board Vice Chair Beth Eck Olchowski ’89, our Search Committee and search firm reviewed a large and diverse group of candidates before meeting and selecting Dr. Edmondson.

Dr. Edmondson, who will be the eighth Head of Visitation since 1900, will begin on July 1, 2019. She follows the 33-year tenure of Dan Kerns, who joined Visitation as Assistant Head in 1986 and became Headmaster in 1989.

As a community, we are indebted to Dan for his leadership and dedication. In the coming months, we will celebrate his tenure here and his many accomplishments.

News & Updates

It is with great joy that we announce our next Head of School: Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson. Dr. Edmondson is currently the Chief Leadership and Program Officer at the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA); in that role, she oversees the development of a vision for Catholic school education in the United States.

“Barbara not only possesses the many skills required by this role, but also embodies the very traits that we seek to imbue in our students and our community. She is a woman of faith, vision, and purpose,” said Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan '48 & '50, President Emerita and Monastery Superior.

Dr. Edmondson has spent her entire career in Catholic education. She earned her BA in psychology and an MA in educational psychology from Montclair State University before attaining her EdD in human development at George Washington University.

To learn more about Dr. Edmondson, read the January 17 letter from Sister Mary Berchmans and Board Chair Marguerite Conley '86 (below).

Updates:

Search Committee

The Board of Directors has established a search committee to ensure a fair and thorough process. The committee represents a diversity of stakeholders, including past and present board members, faculty, alumnae, and past and current parents:

  • Beth Eck Olchowski '89, Chair
    • Assistant Dean at George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government
    • Board of Directors, Georgetown Visitation

  • Mary Kate Blaine
    • Principal, Georgetown Visitation

  • Elizabeth Burke
    • Library Director
    • Salesian Ministry Team

  • Carolyn Fay
    • Faculty, History Department

  • Tim Flynn
    • Owner, Impact Office Products
    • Past board member and parent

  • Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan '48 & '50
    • President Emerita, Georgetown Visitation
  • Rev. Matthew Hillyard, OSFS
    • Pastor, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Vienna
    • Board of Directors, Georgetown Visitation

  • Christina Betancourt Johnson '98
    • Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County
  • Jane McAuliffe '62
    • Director of National and International Outreach for the Library of Congress
    • President Emeritus, Bryn Mawr College
    • Past board member

  • Jim Neill
    • Headmaster, Landon School
    • Board of Directors, Georgetown Visitation
    • Current parent and former faculty member, Georgetown Visitation

  • Pam Oetgen
    • Chair, Board of Directors, Georgetown Visitation Monastery
    • Past chair, Board of Directors, Georgetown Visitation
    • Past parent

  • Beth Reaves
    • President, Washington School for Girls

We are grateful to these individuals for their commitment to serve Visitation during this important period of transition. We are confident in their ability to identify, thoroughly evaluate, and ultimately select the very best leader for Visitation’s future.

At anytime throughout the search, please visit www.visi.org/head-of-school-search for updates. You may also contact Katie McNerney directly about the search (kmcnerney@leaderfit.org or 202-997-8992) or Beth Eck Olchowski (search.committee@visi.org).

Search Firm

LeaderFit partners with executives and Boards of mission-driven organizations to discover, evaluate, and select extraordinary leadership talent. Founded by Katie McNerney '93, the firm has completed successful searches for leaders at: Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School, Georgetown University Berkley Center, Gonzaga College High School, Landon School, Martha's Table, St. Ann’s Center for Children, Youth and Families, and Washington School for Girls.

To learn more about LeaderFit, visit their website.

Position Description

Please find the position description here.