Leo P. Dressel Announces His Retirement

After ten years of leadership, Leo Dressel announced his retirement as of June 30, 2019. The Board of Trustees is deeply grateful to Leo for his leadership and commitment to educating our children from head to soul. Leo joined All Saints’ Episcopal Day School in 2009 and has been instrumental in driving academic excellence, expanding the campus’ footprint, and cultivating the Challenge Scholars Program. He has accomplished this while boosting the School’s financial and enrollment health and bolstering the church-school partnership. Fortunately, Leo will leave the School well-positioned to find our next leader. The Board plans to announce our next Head of School this fall after a comprehensive search.


List of 7 items.

  • A Message from Dr. Emma Whitman—October 2, 2018

    Tuesday, October 2, 2018
    Dear All Saints’ Community,
    I am thrilled to be joining All Saints’ Episcopal Day School next July as the new Head of School. I am especially fortunate to follow in the footsteps of Leo Dressel, a visionary leader who has positioned All Saints’ as a force in the educational landscape while maintaining the School’s core mission “to educate children in the light of God—mind, body, and soul—in a nurturing community.” It is an honor and a privilege to be able to work with Leo during this transition. He has a passion for All Saints’ that is evident in every interaction. I share this passion for the School, and I promise to sustain the strong sense of community and purposeful mission that he has defined over the past decade.
    When I first met the search committee, I could feel the sense of family within the group. Our conversation was full of thoughtful understanding about the needs of children, laughter, and a desire to build on the strengths of All Saints’ (tradition, innovation, community) as the School moves into the next chapter of its work. When I came on campus in August, I knew instantly that this is where I wanted to be, as a leader, an educator, and a mother. I saw my family at All Saints’. When I met with the exceptional members of the administrative team and the faculty, each shared a sense of purpose in the work, a desire to support children in a love of learning and to help them develop as individuals of strong character. In the classrooms I watched children engage in collaborative learning. They worked in teams on projects, asked inspired questions, and felt comfortable with their peers and their teachers. This is an environment where children thrive.
    During my visit, I engaged with faculty, members of the Church, parents, and children. In each of my discussions, I heard about the care for the community. During my talks with students, I learned about the traditions of All Saints’ and what the children love about the School. I heard about teachers, the work (and play!) in the DREAMlabs, the famous Harvest Fair, service-learning projects, chapel, and most importantly, how the children felt about their peers. The students talked about their deep friendships and how All Saints’ was a home away from home. Every person I talked to shared an understanding of the All Saints’ Way and the strength of the mission.
    It is clear that All Saints’ places a high value on sustaining a child’s inquisitiveness and curiosity. Most importantly, the faculty masterfully provides a rigorous academic program, paired with a powerful focus on spiritual and moral development that challenges each child in an intentional way. It is a true pleasure to join such a dedicated group of educators.
    I am looking forward to working closely with Leo and the administrative team this year as we prepare for my arrival next summer. I will be visiting the campus several times this year with my husband Dave and my daughter Molly. We are deeply grateful for this opportunity to join the All Saints’ family.
    I am excited to get to know each of you, and your children, as we begin our work together!
    Emma Whitman
  • Dr. Emma Whitman Announced as New Head of School—September 6, 2018

    Thursday, September 6, 2018
    Dear All Saints’ Community,
    On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee, we are delighted to announce the selection of Dr. Emma Whitman as All Saints’ Episcopal Day School’s next Head of School. This marks the end of a competitive national search that began soon after Mr. Leo Dressel announced his retirement. Dr. Whitman will formally join us on July 1, 2019, but we expect to see her on campus before then, as she works with Mr. Dressel and others among the School community to effectively transition to this new chapter in All Saints’ long, proud history.
    Dr. Whitman brings with her an exceptional educational and professional background. Having begun her career with Teach for America, she successfully transitioned into administration and earned a Ph.D. in Child Development with a focus on Education. Her professional experiences include; Head of School at Rye Presbyterian Nursery School in Rye, New York, Director of Lower School and Upper School at St. George’s Episcopal School in New Orleans, Louisiana, and most recently St. George’s Assistant Head of School. After Emma’s interviews, many commented on her depth and breadth of knowledge. Her references overwhelmingly supported such observations, adding that Emma made significant and substantial impacts in the communities she served. Put plainly, her track record is exemplary.
    Emma’s qualities reach far beyond her experience and make her a true fit for All Saints’. Her Episcopal values echo our School’s fundamental beliefs and practices. She shares an understanding and passion for educating children from “head to soul.” An engaging, thoughtful leader with strong communication skills, Dr. Whitman is eager to move our School to an even greater position of excellence while honoring its past. She embodies the All Saints’ Way in both her personal and professional actions.
    This is an exciting time for All Saints’. Under Leo’s outstanding leadership, our School and community successfully navigated the challenges and opportunities of the last decade and marked the School’s 50th anniversary in the process. He, with the help of his wife, Jan, the administration, faculty, staff and indeed the entire community, has made All Saints’ a great school. This is just the first of many opportunities we will take to thank him and to enjoy with him his final year of service as our Head. And, during that time, the School will prepare and anticipate the arrival of its next, sure to be outstanding, Head of School, Dr. Emma Whitman.
    In the months to follow, the All Saints’ community will be provided with more information about Dr. Whitman, her family, and the transition process. Until then, the Search Committee would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated in this important and thorough undertaking. The insightful comments and feedback offered by so many of you were greatly valued. If there are any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Search Committee.
    Please join us in welcoming Emma, her husband, Dave, their daughter, Molly, and dog, Riley to our All Saints’ community!
    Head of School Search Committee Chair
    Chair, Board of Trustees
    Search Committee Members:
    Kelly Bramlett
    JoAn Chun
    Garrick Gallagher
    Ann Halaby
    Tim Haskins
    Rev. Poulson Reed
    Amy Scott
    Drew Smith
    Emily Weissinger
  • A Message from the All Saints’ Search Committee—August 15, 2018

    Dear All Saints’ Family:
    After an initial round of interviews last week with eight Head of School candidates, the Head of School Search Committee is pleased to announce that it has selected three finalists to interview further. We are excited and energized by each, and know that they are very much looking forward to meeting the rest of our exceptional community.
    The three interviews will take place on campus as follows:
    Candidate 1: Monday, August 20–Tuesday, August 21, with parent forums that Monday from 2:30–3:00 p.m. and Tuesday from 8:00–8:30 a.m.
    Candidate 2: Thursday, August 23–Friday, August 24, with parent forums that Thursday from 2:30–3:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00–8:30 a.m.
    Candidate 3: Monday, August 27–Tuesday, August 28, with parent forums that Monday from 2:30–3:00 p.m. and Tuesday from 8:00–8:30 a.m.
    All parent forums will be held in Manning Hall.
    We very much hope parents will come to the forums and meet the candidates—we want you to meet and question them, and we want them to meet you!
    It would be hard to overstate how important your participation in the selection process is. We have selected these finalists based not only on their outstanding credentials, but also on the prospect (and hope) that they may serve our community for years to come. So, while the beginning of the school year is a busy time for everyone, we would ask that you please drop by the forums. Your attendance and participation will also help us “show off” our wonderful community to the candidates, for whom our Head of School position is not necessarily the only opportunity they may be considering this fall.
    Several days before each candidate arrives, we will email the community with detailed information about the candidate and a link to a brief online feedback survey, which we hope to get back from you within 24 hours after the visit. The results will be invaluable input to the Search Committee in the final selection process. The Search Committee hopes to complete the selection process shortly after the final interview, and to announce the next Head of School in early September. As a reminder, Leo Dressel will remain the School’s faithful Head until June 30, 2019.
    Additional information regarding the Head of School Search can be found at https://www.allsaints.org/page/about/head-of-school-search
    Head of School Search Committee Chair
  • A Message from the All Saints’ Search Committee—July 16, 2018

    Monday, July 16, 2018
    Dear Members of the All Saints’ Community,
    While for our children summer is a time to rest and rejuvenate, the Search Committee has continued its work identifying Leo Dressel’s successor as the All Saints’ Head of School. This message is to provide our school community with an update on our progress, make you aware of upcoming activity and—most importantly—request your participation and input.
    Following Mr. Dressel’s retirement announcement, Marcus Hurlbut and Evan Peterson of the Educators’ Collaborative consultancy (EC) were retained to conduct a nationwide search for potential candidates. EC has identified a strong pool of qualified candidates already, will continue to strengthen the candidate pool over the next several weeks, and will provide the Search Committee with the final list of vetted candidates by July’s end.
    The Search Committee then will review candidate dossiers and hold confidential preliminary interviews. Before school resumes on Monday, August 13, the top three candidates will have been selected and invited for a final, two-day series of interviews to be held at All Saints’. The interviews themselves will be conducted on August 20-21, 23-24, and 27-28. ALL members of the community are invited to meet each candidate and provide feedback. Please look for a more formal invitation from the Search Committee after school begins, which will supply exact times and details.
    Ultimately, our goal is to conclude the search process by early fall and to be able to announce the next Head of School by the end of September, with the Head formally joining us July 1, 2019. Until then, Leo Dressel will remain All Saints’ ever-faithful Head of School.
    Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions and ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR SUMMER!
    Head of School Search Committee Chair 
  • A Message from the All Saints’ Search Committee—April 26, 2018

    Thursday, April 26, 2018
    Dear Members of the All Saints’ Community,
    On behalf of the Search Committee, we would like to take this opportunity to update you on the progress of the Head of School search, as the Board of Trustees seeks to identify Leo Dressel’s successor. While some activity related to the search has been visible to the ASEDS community, many of the most important steps over the coming months will be taking place behind the scenes, and we want to provide periodic updates about this progress.
    As you know, our Educators’ Collaborative (EC) consultants Marcus Hurlbut and Evan Peterson spent two days on campus last week meeting with parents, students, teachers, staff, and alums. In addition, over 120 members of our community filled out the online survey giving more feedback regarding the state of the school and the direction of the search. With the benefit of all this information, EC and ASEDS will put together a detailed profile of the School and the leadership opportunity to be used in the recruitment of candidates.
    Marc and Evan are now in the process of actively building a strong candidate pool and then vetting the candidates through preliminary interviews and reference checks. Our Search Committee expects to begin screening candidates in early August. Out of respect for candidate privacy, all communications with candidates and all interviews prior to the finalist stage will be handled in a confidential manner. This assurance of confidentiality enables candidates to feel more comfortable about applying for the position and thus strengthens the candidate pool.
    The search will become more public when finalists are identified and invited to visit the School. Those visits will take place after school begins in late August, during which there will be opportunities for those in the School community to meet with the candidates and provide their impressions of each. Our goal is to conclude the search by the beginning of October. As a reminder, the Head-Elect will not officially assume responsibilities at All Saints’ until July 1, 2019, upon the conclusion of Leo Dressel’s tenure.
    We will provide additional information between now and the finalist visits. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
    Head of School Search Committee Chair 
  • Letter from Board Chair Drew Smith—February 2, 2018

    Dear All Saints’ Community,
    Leo Dressel notified the Board of Trustees of his desire to retire on June 30, 2019, following the 2018-19 school year. After ten years of leadership, he will have more than earned his retirement and the opportunity to spend time with his beloved wife Jan.
    On behalf of the Board and the entire school community, I want to thank Leo for his leadership and commitment to educating our children from head to soul. Leo joined All Saints’ Episcopal Day School in 2009 and has been instrumental in driving academic excellence, expanding the campus’ footprint, and cultivating the Challenge Scholars Program. He has accomplished this while boosting the School’s financial and enrollment health and bolstering the church-school partnership.
    Fortunately, Leo will leave the School well-positioned to find our next leader. As the Board finalizes its search committee and selects the consultant that will help manage the process, we will provide updated information on our search process, timeline, and opportunities to participate. Rest assured that the Board will thoughtfully engage parents, teachers, parishioners, alums, and other stakeholders throughout the process. We plan to announce our next Head of School this fall after a comprehensive search.
    Although Leo will be retiring, it is not time to say goodbye just yet. Over the next 17 months, he remains passionate about helping us evaluate and launch programmatic enhancements, develop community partnerships, and launch our 2018 capital campaign.
    If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to call (480.302.6706) or email (drewsmith@infoarmor.com).
    Drew Smith
    Board Chair
  • Leo P. Dressel Announces His Retirement—February 7, 2018

    Dear Friends,
    I write to let you know that I shall conclude my service as Head of All Saints’ Episcopal Day School at the end of the 2018-19 academic year on June 30, 2019. My retirement will mark ten years as head of school, a role that has unfailingly brought immense joy, fruitful challenge, and many blessings. My heart is filled with gratitude to so many people: faculty, administrative colleagues, staff, Board Chairs, trustees, Rector and other parish clergy and staff, parents, alumni, friends of the school, and most especially all the All Saints’ students with whom I have been privileged to spend my days since 2009. I am pleased to have some months to make those thanks frequent and more personal.
    There will be much for me to accomplish in my remaining 17 months as Head, and I eagerly look forward to those tasks as I do what I can to strengthen All Saints’ as a bastion of tradition and a laboratory of innovation. On the other hand, I am aware that there will be unfinished business at the time of my retirement. But at a wonderful school like ours that strives to improve and thereby thrive, there will always be unfinished business. I also firmly believe that the search for and selection of a new Head of School is a moment of energy and opportunity for a school community.   
    The most compelling dimension of my retirement is personal and poignant. I want to spend more time with my wife Jan, my dearest companion. Jan has always been my strongest supporter and a much loved and highly valued member of every school community of which we have been a part. That remains true to this day. She has continued to live her life with characteristic grace and compassion even after her diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment a number of years ago. Her memory challenges have sadly increased in subsequent years, and I want to walk this path by her side. Jan and I plan to remain in Phoenix and as friends of the School and parishioners of the Church.
    Please know that I shall happily assist in the search for and transition of my successor in the ways that the Board of Trustees sees fit. Be assured also that I shall embrace my role as Head of School with passion and purpose until I reach the finish line.
    Leo P. Dressel
    Head of School


List of 6 items.

  • Will the All Saints’ Mission change?

    No. The All Saints’ Mission not only guides administrative decisions but also is the tool the Board of Trustees uses to shape policy. It is strongly influenced by our Episcopal identity, allowing your child to be educated “head to soul.” It will remain unchanged.
  • Will the Head of School Search impact my family?

    Leo Dressel will remain Head of School through June 30, 2019. There will be no change to his commitment to educating our children. Though parents and students will be given an opportunity to meet each candidate during the interview process, there will be no disruptions to the normal school day.
  • Who will select the new Head of School?

    As part of its fiduciary responsibility, the voting members of the Board of Trustees will approve the appointment of the new Head of School. To manage the process, the Board has appointed a Head of School Search Committee. The committee, comprised of Board members, Church representatives, and School parents, brings a diverse set of skills and perspectives to the process.
    The committee includes Kelly Bramlett, JoAn Chong, Garrick Gallagher, Ann Halaby, Tim Haskins, Rev. Poulson Reed, Amy Scott, Drew Smith, and Emily Weissinger Johnson.
  • Has the School hired a search consultant?

    The School has retained the services of Educators’ Collaborative (EC). Marcus Hurlbut and Evan Peterson (both former Heads of School) will seek qualified candidates and guide the Search Committee through the hiring process. In addition, they will counsel the School as well as the new Head during the transition into his or her new role through the first year of employment. 
  • Will my family be able to provide input?

    There will be an opportunity on campus for parents and students to meet the candidates selected. Details will follow as to the process for providing written comments. If parents have questions or comments during the search process, they are invited to contact Search Committee Chair Ann Halaby.
  • What is the process, including the timeline?

    Marcus and Evan of Educators' Collaborative have begun the search for qualified candidates. In late summer, the Head of School Search Committee will review qualified applicants, selecting the top two to four candidates for campus interviews. Those interviews will occur in late summer and early fall of 2018. The Search Committee will make its recommendation to the Board of Trustees after the campus interviews. The Board expects to announce the next Head of School in early fall of 2018. The new Head of School will assume responsibility on July 1, 2019.
    Learn more about the opportunity to become All Saints' next head of school by downloading the Head of School Leadership Opportunity Statement.

Search Committee

List of 9 items.

  • Kelly Bramlett

    • ASPA President 2016-17
    • Board of Trustees Member 2016-Present
    • Board Vice-Chair 2017-Present
    • Board Chair 2018-2020
    Kelly is parent to Ana Lei '21, Blake '23, and Kate '25.

    She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.
  • Jo An Chong

    • Board of Trustee Member 2014-Present
    • Secretary of Board 2016-Present
    • Chair of Marketing and Engagement Committee 2015-Present
    • Board Member of The Challenge Foundation-Phoenix 2013-Present

    JoAn is parent to Peter '15, Andrew '17, and Claira '19.

    She has a Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Educational Psychology.
  • Ann Halaby

    • Board of Trustees Member 2012-Present
    • Chair of Enrollment Committee 2012-14
    • Board Secretary 2014-16
    • Board Treasurer 2016-Present

    Ann is parent to Ellie '20 and Hank '22.

    She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
  • Garrick Gallagher

    • Longtime member of the All Saints' Episcopal Church

    Garrick is parent to Andrew '03, Jake '10, Olivia '17, and Jack '20.

    He is a senior owner in the law firm Sanders and Parks where he is a trial attorney handling complex civil litigation.
  • Tim Haskins

    • All Saints' Episcopal Church Vestry Clerk 2010
    • All Saints' Episcopal Church Vestry Member 2011-13
    • All Saints' Episcopal Church Junior Warden 2012
    • All Saints' Episcopal Church Treasurer 2015
    • All Saints' Episcopal Church Senior Warden 2016-Present
  • The Rev. Poulson Reed

    Poulson has been the Rector of All Saints' Episcopal Church and Day School since 2009. An Episcopal school graduate himself, he serves as a Trustee and on the Executive Committee of the School. Poulson and his wife Megan are the parents of David '23, Thomas '25, and Matthew '28.
  • Amy Scott

    • All Saints' Parent Association President 2017-18
    • All Saints' Parent Association Vice President 2016-17
    • Board of Trustees Member 2017-Present

    Amy is parent to Gabby '21 and Carly '24.

    She is a stay-at-home mom and spends time giving back to the School.
  • Drew Smith

    • Board of Trustees Chair 2016-Present
    • Board Treasurer 2015-15

    Drew is parent to Grant '14, Arden '15, and Cade '18.

    He is the founder and chairman of InfoArmor. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Masters in Business Administration. 
  • Emily Weissinger

    • Board of Trustee Member and Alumni representative 2013-Present

    Emily graduated from All Saints' in 2000. She is currently a professional engineer and works as a managing consultant for Ramboll, and international consultancy.
If you have questions or comments about the search process, please contact:

Search Committee Chair Ann Halaby − annhalaby@gmail.com