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Head of School Transition


On April 24th I communicated that David Thompson will be taking his planned retirement at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year. We have been incredibly fortunate to have David as Head of School since 2011. He has led us through a very important time at Montcrest, facilitating investments in our students, our faculty, our staff and our community. Under his leadership, the Building Together project, which is already benefiting our Grade 7 and 8 students and faculty, will be completed by the end of 2018. One of David's many admirable qualities is the way he leads the school community with great empathy and heart, knowing each student, greeting families each morning in the driveway, and maintaining strong relationships with faculty and staff, as well as donors, alumni, neighbours, and others in the Montcrest community.  

To support us during this upcoming transition, the Montcrest Board of Governors has released the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan which lays out a clear roadmap for Montcrest over the next three years. David will lead us through the first year of that plan, and he will play an instrumental role in the successful transition of his successor. Montcrest’s next Head of School will be hired to fulfill the goals of this plan and achieve our vision of being recognized as the leading elementary school community in Canada in realizing the unique potential of each child.

We know many of you will want to join us in honouring David after 45 years as an educator and leader in the Canadian independent school community. We will begin plans in the fall and keep you apprised of opportunities to participate.

Don Durno
Chair, Montcrest Board of Governors

Odgers Berndston

The Board has appointed Colleen Keenan of Odgers Berndtson to advise and support us with the search for the new Head. Odgers Berndtson is one of Canada’s largest search firms, and part of a global firm that spans 26 countries. Colleen brings 18 years of experience working with over 35 schools across Canada, Bermuda, and the northeastern United States. Some of her recently completed assignments include the Head of School positions at Saltus School (Bermuda); Ashbury College; and Lakefield College School. She also worked with Montcrest on the search that led to David Thompson’s appointment.


All communications and updates regarding the transition process will be shared on this page. 

May 8, 2018 - Head of School Transition Survey
April 24, 2018 - Announcement from Don Durno
April 24, 2018 - Letter from David Thompson

Community Input

In May, our consultants met with many members of the Montcrest community including faculty, staff, parents, Board members, and students. We also conducted a survey where everyone in the Montcrest community was invited to submit their input into the search considerations for our next Head of School. Over 80 people responded to the survey. We appreciate all the efforts made by so many to participate in this process. Out of this process, a Candidate Brief was developed to provide the roadmap for the search.

Fall Update

We have been very pleased with the interest in this position. Both the number and quality of applicants is high, and the search committee is now in the process of interviewing candidates. We look forward to updating the community later this fall. We expect to be able to make an announcement before the holidays in December.

If you have any questions, please contact our Committee Chair, Cynthia Eldridge at

The Role

Click here for the job posting.

Click here for the Candidate Brief.


Transition Committee

Cynthia Eldridge, Committee Chair

Cynthia serves on Montcrest's Board of Governors, and is a consultant in international healthcare and development. She was previously Associate Director of Marie Stopes International's Health Markets team based in Nairobi, Kenya. Cynthia has two sons at Montcrest, in Junior Kindergarten and Grade 2. She is also a Montcrest alumna herself, and her mother, Betsy, has served on Montcrest’s Board as well.

Don Durno, Chair, Board of Governors

Don has one daughter attending Montcrest and has been a member of the board since 2015. He has been Chair of the Board since 2017. Don has been in global management consulting for over 20 years in Europe, Asia and North America. He is currently the Business Development Leader for Ernst & Young's Financial Services business. Don has a passion for volunteerism, philanthropy and athletics.

Molly Pocklington

Molly serves on Montcrest's Board of Governors and has two children who both started in JK at Montcrest. Her daughter is currently in grade 7 at the school. Molly is very excited to be joining the board this year after greatly enjoying her work last year on the Nominating and Governance committee. Professionally, Molly is a clinical social worker (MSW, RSW Psychotherapist) in private practice. Her area of expertise is eating disorders. Much of Molly’s work revolves around family support. 

Rod Davidge

Rod serves on Montcrest's Board of Governors and is a lawyer and partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP where his practice involves a variety of commercial real estate matters. Rod has two children attending Montcrest in Grades 2 & 6. He previously served on the Real Property Section Executive of the Ontario Bar Association, including a term as Chair. 

Ian Robinson

Ian taught in France and England before coming to a teaching position at the UCC Prep School in 1976. After 19 years at UCC, Ian was appointed Principal of The Sterling Hall School in 1995 and retired from this post in 2012. During his time at SHS, Ian was a member of the CAIS and IBSC Boards. After his retirement, he joined Montcrest's Board of Governors from which he resigned in 2014 in order to return to UCC for a one-year posting as Head of the Middle Division. Ian was pleased to return to our Board of Governors in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Michèle Andrews, Faculty & Staff Representative 

Michèle is currently the Director of Organizational Development & People Practices at Montcrest, and a member of the school's Senior Administration Team. Prior to joining Montcrest, Michèle spent 10 years as Head at a Pre-K - Grade 12 independent school north of Toronto. She also has a background in organizational development and human resources. Michèle is the faculty and staff liaison to the committee.

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