Lincoln Academy is almost at the end of the search for its next head of school, with just two candidates for the top position remaining.
The candidates are Christopher Hayes, assistant head of school for academic affairs at Cheshire Academy in Cheshire, Conn.; and former Thornton Academy Headmaster Carl Stasio Jr.
The school hosted a public meet-and-greet event for Hayes Jan. 29 and will welcome Stasio Friday.
Hayes mingled and fielded questions from about 20 people, including faculty, staff, trustees, parents and alumni, at the Jan. 29 event.
Hayes has been working in schools for 25 years, beginning in 1988, and has been at Cheshire Academy in various positions for the last six.
The veteran administrator said he first became familiar with Lincoln Academy while serving alongside Head of School Jay Pinkerton on a visiting committee at Woodstock Academy in Woodstock, Conn.
He said he has a long-standing interest in town academies.
The event was part of Hayes’ third visit to the area as part of the search process. He visited independently during winter break to look at the area.
“It’s a wonderful location,” he said.
He returned about two weeks ago and again Jan. 27, and has met with various stakeholder groups, including students.
Hayes fielded questions for about an hour at the event, tackling a wide range of issues, including Lincoln Academy’s growing international student program.
Cheshire Academy has 130 international students, more than one-third of its total student body, Hayes said. The majority of the students come from east Asia.
Hayes said he and his wife, Kate, who was also present, would like to be actively involved with the international program at Lincoln Academy, perhaps by serving as a home-stay family.
He talked about the “tremendous passion” faculty and staff display for the school, and about how to cultivate that passion; about how to provide a high-quality education and ensure the fiscal health of the school; and about capital improvements at the school, including plans for a $1.7 million applied technology and engineering center.
He said he would like to teach, too, partly in order to maintain a strong connection to students.
Hayes said he feels drawn to Lincoln Academy. “I want to be in a place where I feel like I’m making a difference,” he said. “That’s why I went into education.”
Hayes lives on the Cheshire Academy campus with his wife, Kate; their two daughters, a junior and senior in high school; and the family dog.
The other candidate, Stasio, retired in July 2012 after 25 years as headmaster of Thornton Academy, a private school in Saco, which serves grades 6-12. The meet-and-greet for Stasio will take place Friday, Feb. 1 at 3:15 p.m. in the dining commons.
Pinkerton, the current head of school, plans to step down at the end of the academic year after 17 years as an administrator at the Newcastle high school and almost seven years as head of school.