Whitefield Academy looking to replace top administrators
by Lindsay Field
January 19, 2013 12:00 AM | 4182 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SMYRNA – Whitefield Academy families will see a shifting of top administrators over the next several months.

The school’s Board of Trustees announced this week they have selected the school’s current academic dean, Dr. Kevin Bracher, to replace Dr. John Lindsell as interim headmaster until they hire a permanent head.

Dr. Susan Banke, Whitefield’s upper school principal, is retiring at the end of the school year. Trustees are also searching for her replacement.

Lindsell turned in his resignation to the board Tuesday.

“For five wonderful years it has been my privilege to lead the school,” Lindsell said Friday, which was his last day. “Even in tough times, the school has advanced and much has been accomplished and the glory goes to God alone.”

He said he will leave behind “many sweet memories” of Whitefield school plays, concerts, football games, the Blue Crew, learning the intricacies of lacrosse, three state championships in basketball and tennis, commencement and Christmas breakfasts.

“Whitefield Academy has enriched my life, and for that I will be forever grateful,” he said.

Marsha Burke, the board’s chair, said Lindsell and his wife Stephanie welcomed a grandchild last month, and the couple decided to move to be closer to family.

She said Lindsell has helped lead a successful capital campaign in a difficult financial environment; construction and occupation of Morris Hall, Whitefield’s new upper school; academic success, which has led to Whitefield students having the highest SAT scores in Cobb; and a recent dual reaccreditation by SAIS/SACS.

“The Whitefield Academy community is particularly indebted to Dr. Lindsell for shepherding us through a difficult economic time and recruiting and promoting several outstanding staff members who are tremendous assets to Whitefield Academy,” Burke said. “We pray God’s blessings on him and Stephanie as they begin their next chapter.”

The board has formed a search committee to find Lindsell’s permanent replacement, but Bracher will take the reins in the meantime.

“I came to Whitefield Academy nearly six years ago because I was energized by the mission of the school and its people,” Bracher said. “I remain sold out to Whitefield’s mission and have enjoyed serving in positions of increasing responsibility for the community that has captured my heart. Leadership is serving others, and I can’t wait to continue serving alongside an incredibly experienced and talented leadership team.”

The board is also narrowing down its search for Banke’s replacement and hopes to name a new upper school principal in the next 30 days.

The longtime educator has been at Whitefield since 2006.

“We have an incredible slate of candidates for the upper school principal position,” said Whitefield spokesperson Elyse Hammett. “With that in the near future and looking throughout the region to see who the next headmaster will be, the future just looks really bright here at Whitefield.”
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