Westlake Academy has a lone finalist for its new head of school.

The town of Westlake school board unanimously voted to name Kelly Ritchie as the lone finalist, a news release states. Ritchie formerly served as the associate head of school for the Middle School, Upper School and International Baccalaureate program at Alcuin School in Dallas.

The school board will schedule an official vote on the head of school’s contract in April, following a required 21-day waiting period as per Texas law, the release states. Carolyn Anderson is the current interim head of school. The last head of school for Westlake Academy was Sean Wilson.

The background

Ritchie earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Austin College, and her doctorate in educational curriculum and instruction from the University of North Texas. She earned her principal certification from Lamar University.

Ritchie said being named finalist was the “opportunity of a lifetime,” according to the release.

“I am honored and excited to be selected as the lone finalist to serve the Westlake community as the next head of school,” Ritchie said. “Westlake Academy has a reputation for excellence, not just across Texas, but nationally. I am very excited about working with the school board, the staff, teachers, families and the community going forward.”

The details

The decision to name Ritchie as finalist comes after an expansive search process conducted in partnership with Diversified Search Group, the release states.

Diversified Search began the process in November with listening sessions with community stakeholders, teachers, parents, the school board and a community survey that yielded over 50 responses to determine a candidate profile. The nationwide search drew 34 candidates from across Texas and seven other states, the release states.

Following an extensive vetting process and series of interviews and campus visits, the board met in a special meeting March 21 to select a finalist, the release states.

What they’re saying

Westlake Academy board President Sean Kilbride said in the release that Ritchie was the overwhelming choice to serve as the academy's next leader.

“Kelly is a proven leader. She is respected and admired by the educators she leads and has demonstrated an impressive ability to create consensus.” Kilbride said. “We are excited to begin this new journey and to introduce Kelly to the community.”