An Announcement from the
St. James Academy Board of Trustees

Update: March 28, 2018

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Head Selection Committee, St. James Academy is pleased to announce the appointment of Charlotte Riggs as the new Head of School effective July 1, 2018. The Head Selection Committee’s unanimous decision to select Ms. Riggs follows a comprehensive and thoughtful national search process. With the able assistance of the Finney Search Group, the search committee vetted more than a dozen qualified candidates and conducted preliminary, semifinalist, and finalist interviews. From the early stages of the process, Ms. Riggs impressed the committee as a compelling leader committed to team building and community engagement.

Ms. Riggs currently serves as the Director of Middle School at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School, a junior kindergarten through twelfth grade Episcopal School in Alexandria, Virginia. In addition to planning and leading all activities for the 305 children and 45 faculty members in the middle school, Ms. Riggs serves as the Art Department Chair for the entire school and is the Co-Chair of the Campus Master Plan Committee. She assists her school community in a variety of ways, including serving on the admissions committee, multi-cultural committee, environmental stewardship committee, and service learning committee. Ms. Riggs has extensive experience with faculty recruitment and mentoring, budget management, enrollment management, strategic planning, and team building. Furthermore, her strong presence and ability to engage with others will serve our community well as she shares her vision for the future of St. James Academy.

“I was impressed by the sincere devotion to SJA exhibited by the students, faculty, and search committee. This supportive community of committed individuals creates a strong foundation for a successful learning environment, and I look forward to being a part of this wonderful school,” said Ms. Riggs.

Ms. Riggs is familiar with the Baltimore independent school community having attended Calvert School and Garrison Forest School. She received a B.S. in Art History from Skidmore College. Ms. Riggs received a MAT in Teaching Visual Arts from the University of the Arts and also earned the distinction of receiving the University of the Arts Student Teaching Award in 2003. She was inducted into the Skidmore College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016 for her accomplishments on the collegiate lacrosse field and was the Northern California Lacrosse League Coach of the Year in 2001.

“I have enjoyed getting to know Ms. Riggs through this process and am convinced that she will be an effective communicator, a strong supporter of faculty and children, and a visionary leader,” said Denise Shaffer, Head Selection Committee Co-Chair.

Ms. Riggs’ experience and dedication as an educator and mentor will provide our community with a leader that embodies our mission and philosophy. With the best interest of the entire community in mind, the Board of Trustees and the Head Selection Committee selected Ms. Riggs to lead the Academy through the next phase of advancement and strategic planning.

There will be opportunities to meet Ms. Riggs later this spring, and we will schedule gatherings for members of the SJA community in the fall to help welcome her to our school community.

We are happy to welcome Ms. Charlotte Riggs to St. James Academy!

Head of School Search

UPDATE 01/26/2018

The deadline for applications for the Head of School position was January 15, 2018.  The Head Search  Committee is pleased to report that it received numerous applications from dozens of qualified individuals.  The committee is actively engaged in the process of vetting these candidates.  An expanded position description has been added to the Head Search page of the website. Please check back on that page for updates as the search progresses.

October 16, 2017

Dear Members of the St. James Academy community,

Your trustees have continued the important work to identify and appoint a permanent Head of School for St. James Academy, and we wanted to provide you with an update on the Head Selection Committee, our search consultants, and how you can participate in the early stage of this process.

The Committee has engaged The Finney Search Group to spearhead this important effort. Trustees will make the final selection based upon the recommendation of the search committee, after ample opportunity for input from faculty, staff, alumni, students, and parents. The Finney Search Group’s principles: Bo Dixon, Sherm Bristow and Chris Hutchins have visited campus and met with the Head Selection Committee, and we expect the process to extend through the winter months.

Parents and other members of our SJA community will be invited to participate in creating the full position description, a “wish list” of experiences, characteristics and traits that you feel are important to keep in mind while reviewing possible candidates. You will receive information about participating in these surveys soon. In addition, there will be opportunities for parents to meet with our consultants on campus.

The Head Selection Committee has created an initial draft of a position description which is posted on the SJA website. This position description will be posted on several local and national sites as we begin the process.

We will continue to provide updates regarding the search process here on the St. James Academy website. Thank you for participating in the exciting search for a new leader for our school.


Robert Glushakow
Board of Trustees

Denise Shaffer 
Head Selection Committee

Thomas Moore ‘79
Head Selection Committee

Head of School Survey

Dear Members of the St. James Academy Community,

As our Head Selection Committee gets off to a great start in our efforts to identify and appoint the next permanent Head of School for St. James Academy, we wanted to provide you with an opportunity to participate in the next stage of this process. This email contains a link to a brief online survey where you can share your thoughts with us and our consultants on what our school should look for in its next leader.

We hope you can respond with your answers by Wednesday, November 22nd. This will help us keep our positive momentum as a Selection Committee and as a school community.

Working closely with The Head Selection Committee, Staff, Trustees, The Finney Search Group developed this tool to elicit input from faculty, staff, alumni, students, and parents, following several meetings and visits to St. James Academy over the last few weeks. It represents your first chance to share with us your “wish list” of experiences, characteristics and traits that you feel are important for us to keep in mind while reviewing possible candidates.

Please take a few minutes and complete the survey so we can benefit from your knowledge and ideas. As the search goes forward there will also be opportunities for you and all stakeholders to meet with our consultants on campus.

CLICK HERE to Complete the Head of School Survey

Although it is still early in the process, a number of strong potential candidates have made their interest in the Academy known. Our consultants are pleased with this progress as are we. It validates our long history and success in offering the area a learning community dedicated to providing an Episcopal, coeducational experience for students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grades, equipping them to become citizens of a global community.

We are fully confident we can find a strong leader who can preserve our focus on small classes, individual attention, and personal concern for the individual while charting a future course for the Academy that will enable us to thrive. Thank you for participating in the search for a new leader for our school. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Maureen E. Walsh
Interim Head of School
On Behalf of the Head Selection Committee

Head of School

Head of School
Position Description

Interim Head of School

The Head Selection Committee is chaired by Denise Shaffer and Tom Moore, and is comprised of the following trustees:

  • Rob Glushakow
  • Martin Porter
  • Adam Snaveley
  • Gunner Beattie
  • Charlie Noell
  • Diana Weglein
  • Chris Wooten
  • Don Greenawalt