The Next Chapter

Updated 2.20.2024

Click here to review the official Position Statement for the Head of School at WCDS


If you were able to hear from our second finalist, Jim Hoye, please consider completing this follow-up survey with your thoughts. The survey will be available from now until Wednesday, February 21 at 5:00 pm. This is the best way for our community to have a voice in the process as your answers will be shared directly with the Search Committee. 

There will be other follow-up surveys for each additional candidate in the subsequent weeks. 

You can find the survey here.

All past communications regarding the search, as well as candidate bios and a visual timeline of progress, can be found at

Thank you, 

WCDS Search Committee


As a reminder, here is the original position statement (also listed in the FAQ section below) developed by RG 175 and the WCDS Search Committee, with additional context and guidance provided by the WCDS Community Survey in September. This statement outlines the school and position in general as well as the detailed characteristics desired for the next Head of School.


Finalist #2 – Jim Hoye

It is with great enthusiasm that the Search Committee of the Board of Trustees and I introduce James (Jim) Hoye to the Wheeling Country Day Community. Jim has 28 years of experience serving in multiple roles as an educator, coach, and administrator. He is experienced in fundraising and financial management.

Jim is a student-focused leader committed to providing an engaging, safe, and motivating learning environment. He is a team player with a track record of collaboration with the school community to deliver a learning experience that fosters the development of the whole child.

Jim believes students need to develop a global perspective that appreciates multiple points of view. He understands that hands-on outdoor education creates a more meaningful experience reinforced by a student’s natural curiosity. He successfully implemented Orton-Gillingham at a previous school, and believes, “There aren’t ceilings to learning.”

Jim has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, post bachelor’s in Education, and a degree in Social Science and Physical Education. For the past five years, he has served as the Head of School at Hancock Day School in Savannah, Georgia. Previously, Jim served as Head of School at Good Shepherd Episcopal School in Tequesta, Florida, and Assistant Head of the lower school at Saint Andrew’s in Boca Raton, Florida. Jim looks forward to meeting many of you during his visit from Sunday, February 18th, through Tuesday, February 20th.

There will be a parent coffee for you to meet Jim on Tuesday, February 20th, at 8:30 in the Community Room at 8 Park Road. If you cannot join us in person, please click here to join via Zoom. If you have questions you would like to submit for Jim to answer, please do so via the Google form by clicking here

After Jim’s visit, you can submit your feedback to the search committee. This survey will remain open until 5 pm on Wednesday, February 21st. 

Candidate Feedback Survey

Respectfully submitted,
WCDS HOS Search Committee

Scott Harden, Chair
Natalie Bartner
Dr. Amy Jean Chao
Joyce Jefferson
Brian Joseph
Lisa Allen


Good morning, everyone,

If you were able to hear from our first finalist, Jessica Broski-Birch, please consider completing this follow-up survey with your thoughts. The survey will be available from now until Thursday, February 15 at 5:00 pm. This is the best way for our community to have a voice in the process as your answers will be shared directly with the Search Committee. 

There will be other follow-up surveys for each additional candidate in the subsequent weeks. 

You can find the survey here.

All past communications regarding the search, as well as candidate bios and a visual timeline of progress, can be found at

Thank you, 

WCDS Search Committee


Finalist #1 – Jessica Broski-Birch

It is with great enthusiasm that the Search Committee of the Board of Trustees and I introduce Jessica Broski-Birch to the Wheeling Country Day Community.

Jessica has 17 years of experience as an elementary and middle school educator. She has worked as an administrator for the past five years as Principal at Bridge Street Middle School. She has also served as a curriculum coordinator for Ohio County Schools.

Throughout her career, she has consistently sought opportunities to challenge the status quo and drive positive change. Jessica embraces an unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence. She has a proven track record of trailblazing in education that includes the creation of a “fab lab,” a winning robotics team, and a competitive archery program. She believes that a caring attitude and a love for what you do are cornerstones for nurturing our youth. She is committed to the idea that a school is not merely a workplace but a family where collaboration is a shared journey.

Jessica has a master’s degree in Education from West Virginia University; and she obtained an Administrative Certificate from Marshall University and a Superintendent Certificate from Wheeling University. Jessica looks forward to meeting many of you during her visit Monday, February 12th through Wednesday, February 14th.

Respectfully submitted,

WCDS HOS Search Committee
Scott Harden, Chair
Natalie Bartner
Dr. Amy Jean Chao
Joyce Jefferson
Brian Joseph

Meet Jessica at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 14th in the community room or over zoom.
If prompted, the password is wcds

Remember you can submit questions for the candidate on this form,


(a note from Rebecca Upham, our partner from the search firm, RG 175)

To the Country Day School Community,

This is an exciting time for Wheeling Country Day School. As you know, the search for your next head of school has been underway since September. During this time the search committee under the leadership of Scott Harden, has been thoroughly engaged in guiding the process and reviewing candidates. From the outset of my work with WCDS, members of the committee made clear the board of trustees’ commitment to the spirit and ethos of the school community. There is a wonderfully warm “family feel” to Wheeling Country Day School. There is also a powerful, innovative professionalism. I heard repeatedly during my time on campus the phrase, “fail forward.” Nurturing a sense of community and preserving those attributes that make Wheeling Country Day School special have been at the top of the list of qualifications for the candidates.

You’ve heard from Scott about the process of reviewing dossiers and interviewing semi-finalists. Now we’re down to the finalist stage. Over the course of the next three weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to meet three very talented educators, each quite different from the other. While their backgrounds and experiences are varied, each has a lot to offer WCDS. I encourage you to enter this time with an open mind. Be aware of your own personal biases. Do not prejudge a candidate based on their educational background, the locations or types of schools in which they have worked, the positions they have held, their gender, or their ethnicity.

Please remember these visits are two-sided. Not only are members of the WCDS community getting to know and evaluate the candidates, but the candidates are also getting to know and evaluate our community and Wheeling Country Day School. You will be representing WCDS and I know you will make the candidates feel welcome. Your thoughtful questions are a great way to engage the candidates and demonstrate your commitment.

You have an important role to play in this next step. Please take the opportunity to meet the candidates and complete the survey which will be provided in a link prior to each candidate’s visit. Your comments will be valuable elements in the committee’s deliberations.

I know the next few weeks will be very busy and pass quickly. On behalf of the search committee and the candidates, I extend thanks and appreciation for your upcoming involvement in this important process.


Rebecca Upham

RG175 Partner and Consultant


Happy New Year!  

In late December, our search consultant, Rebecca Upham of RG175, delivered a package of 20 applicants to the WCDS Search Committee. We received applications from around the country, from several international candidates and a few from the Ohio Valley.  All were attracted to WCDS based on our family culture, our classroom innovation, and our fearless learning environment. 

The Search Committee narrowed the group down to seven semi-finalists this week.

By the end of January, we will have contacted and interviewed the seven semi-finalists. Once complete, we will select three or four finalists, who will individually visit WCDS in February.  They will meet with the Search Committee but also extensively interview with a Faculty Advisory Committee. The entire WCDS Staff, as well as parents and other WCDS Community members, will also have an opportunity to meet each candidate. In turn, you will be asked to fill out a survey on each candidate with results compiled by RG175 to help the Search Committee select our next Head of School.

As always, check back to this page for updated timelines, past and future communications, and answers to questions you might have. 

Thank you,

Scott Harden, Chair

WCDS Head of School Search Committee


Dear WCDS Community,

We are excited to share with you that our search firm, RG175, has now reached the end of the application window for our Head of School search. This part of the process seemed lengthy and quiet, yet our consultant, Rebecca Upham, was busy engaging with over 60 possible candidates in the last few months. She conducted multiple interviews with many of them. Before the end of the month, our trustee search committee will be given the dossiers of 15 applicants to consider for the next phase of the search process to determine who will be semi-finalists.

We are committed to keeping you informed about the process and next steps now that we have reached this point. We are developing a timeline graphic to live on the school’s webpage, so you can tell where we are in the process. We also have FAQs on that page and welcome you to ask additional questions to further our thinking and better understand any concerns that we can address.

We are encouraged by the process thus far and look forward to a great future for our entire WCDS community.

Scott Harden, Chair 

WCDS Head of School Search Committee


Dear WCDS Community,

On September 7th and 8th, Rebecca Upham from RG175, the search firm helping to find our next great Head of School (HOS), spent two days on campus. Over those two days she met and spoke with all faculty and staff, many parents and grandparents, most Board Members and quite a few other Community members. Thank you to everyone who spent part of their day here at school to make your voices heard.

We made quite the impression on Rebecca during her visit! She was blown away by the enthusiasm and appreciation that all stakeholders have for WCDS. Not only did we gain a new fan, we gained a cheerleader who thinks she can attract a multitude of exceptional candidates to our “highly desirable” HOS position!

During the week of September 11th 101 of you participated in an online survey to further shine a light on what we think is important to find in our next great HOS. Not surprisingly, but still worth remarking, the results of the survey mirrored Rebecca’s impressions from her campus visit. A summary of the survey results is attached. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey!

Next, the Search Committee and Rebecca will put together the WCDS HOS Position Statement using all of the data that came through during the visit and the survey results. The Position Statement will then go out to the ends of the earth to find the next great HOS for WCDS! This process will continue until the end of the calendar year or so.

We will update you all again once all the applications have been received.

Thank you for your patience and trust,

WCDS HOS Search Committee

WCDS Head of School Survey Results

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is RG175?

RG175 is an industry-leading search firm specializing in all aspects of school leadership transition.

Who will choose the next Head of School?

Initial candidate identification and contact, as well as first interviews and applications, will be the responsibility of RG175 and Rebecca Upham, whom many WCDS stakeholders met back in September. Once semi-finalists have been chosen and dossiers have been delivered, the Search Committee, led by Scott Harden and comprised of members of the WCDS Board of Trustees, will narrow the field to 3-5 finalists and will ultimately decide on our new Head of School.

What kind of criteria are we looking for when choosing the new Head of School?

Click here for the official Position Statement from RG175. It provides background information on WCDS as well as the city of Wheeling and lays out the qualifications and characteristics we are looking for in our new leader.

How long has Liz been with Wheeling Country Day School?

She’s been educating for 35 years…having been here at WCDS for 15 years and she’s ready to learn something new.

Is that a long time?

The average independent school headship is 5-7 years. Liz has given us 15, which makes her the second longest-tenured head at Wheeling Country Day School and the longest since 1960. 

What is Edge?

Edge is an intensive intervention in literacy and math – tutoring students with dyslexia and developing an open learning management solution for dyscalculia.

Why was Edge created?

1. To evolve for greater student impact – leveraging technology beyond Wheeling to increase academic support and promote equity. 

2. To secure WCDS financial future – sustaining the financial future for WCDS secures a platform for innovation.

How does Edge support Wheeling Country Day School?

Edge will support WCDS in two primary ways. 

1) Edge will help secure the financial future of WCDS by developing additional revenue streams for the school.  

2) Edge will impact more kids than ever before which will expand our mission and raise the school’s standing in the independent school world. Edge, or something like Edge, is how independent schools will keep going. It’s a different model and schools around the country are already asking us how we did it.

Why does Edge need a full-time leader?

Edge’s growth has led to more layers and complexity than are optimal for the business structure of a small independent school like WCDS.

Edge has almost 100 employees and will serve more than 550 students this year.

With an understanding of the need for change in dynamic organizations, and with the courage to learn something new, Elizabeth Hofreuter has made the decision that the 2023-2024 academic year will be her last as Head of Wheeling Country Day School.

During her tenure, WCDS has seen remarkable growth, not only physically with new buildings, higher enrollment, and unique Branch Campuses around the city but also in prestige with our school now recognized as a standard bearer of innovative independent education, not least for the development of Edge Fearless Learning, which Liz will now lead. In true Liz Hofreuter fashion, she has found, even amidst a new opportunity, a creative way to benefit Wheeling Country Day School, as Edge Fearless Learning will help WCDS evolve for greater student impact while also sustaining the fiscal health of this school for future generations. While her departure comes with inevitable emotions, finding an opportunity where others see a challenge has been a mainstay of Liz’s leadership and the staff and administrative team are more than prepared for this change, thanks to the culture she has developed.

The WCDS Board of Trustees has enlisted the services of RG175, an industry-leading firm, to assist with this important transition throughout the coming months and will update our community on the progress regularly. For more information and to hear from Board Chair Lisa Allen and Liz herself, please read the full announcement and watch the video below. You can also download a copy of the announcement here.

Congratulations to Liz Hofreuter on her new adventure and on a legacy of success to be enjoyed for years to come. Now, let’s enjoy one more ride together.

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