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E.L. Haynes to Identify New CEO in SY24-25

A designed image that says, "CEO SEARCH."

On June 6, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School shared with the full E.L. Haynes community that it will search for and select a new Chief Executive Officer in the 2024-2025 School Year.

What does this mean for me and my student?

E.L. Haynes remains committed to ensuring every student receives a quality education every day—including while we search for, select, and onboard our next CEO. To ensure as smooth a transition as possible, this process will span over the course of at least 12 months. Our goal is to have our next CEO selected by the spring of 2025.

This summer (Summer 2024), we will identify an experienced executive search firm to help lead the recruitment and selection process. This fall, we will share more information about the following:

  • How families and staff can expect to receive regular updates about the process.
  • A plan and timeline for how we will engage with families, students, and staff in this search.

Who is responsible for finding our next CEO?

The E.L. Haynes Board of Trustees (Board) holds responsibility for finding and selecting our next CEO. The Board is committed to continuing our progress and our strategic plan priorities, including consolidating our three schools onto one campus. Delivering on the strategic plan and continuing to build the E.L. Haynes legacy will require input from the full community—from students, from staff, and from you—and the Board is committed to listening to and working with you in the transition process.

The Search Committee

To focus the Board’s efforts on this critical transition while it continues to oversee ongoing academic performance and operations work, the Board has formed a Search Committee to lead this process. This Search Committee is composed of a diverse group of stakeholders representing E.L. Haynes parents, staff, future Board leadership, and education experts. The Committee includes:

  • Fonda Sutton, Board Chair-Elect
  • Roshelle Payes, E.L. Haynes Parent
  • Lenora Robinson-Mills, E.L. Haynes Parent
  • Keylon Simpkins, E.L. Haynes High School Teacher
  • Richard Laine, School Performance Committee Chair

The Search Committee will identify and work with an experienced search firm that understands E.L. Haynes, our community, and our academic, equity, talent, and operational priorities. 

What happens next?

This fall, we will share more information with families and staff about how they can expect to receive regular updates, including how we will engage families, students, and staff in the search and selection process. Our goal is to have selected our next CEO by the spring of 2025. See below for a high-level timeline.

  • Summer 2024: Identify and hire an executive search firm; establish a plan for regular communications and updates.
  • Fall 2024: Conduct community engagement opportunities for E.L. Haynes families, staff, and students.
  • Winter 2024 / 2025: Interview candidates and move through selection process.
  • Spring 2025: Finalize selection and announce the new CEO to the full E.L. Haynes community and the general public.

The following message was shared on June 6, 2024:

Dear E.L. Haynes Families,

On behalf of the E.L. Haynes leadership team, Board Chair Lisa Waller and I are writing with some important news: next school year will be my last year as Chief Executive Officer. In partnership with the Board of Trustees, we have begun planning next steps, including how we will engage families, students, and staff throughout the coming months (see OUR NEXT STEPS below).

Having been in this role for nearly ten years, I have reflected on our progress and what we need in our next chapter. I believe that the end of next school year is the right time for me to transition from my role — and the right time for our next CEO to lead E.L. Haynes into the next ten years. This announcement does not change the critical work we have ahead of us. We will continue to strive to achieve our bold strategic plan goals: strengthening our Pre-K3 to 12th grade superpower; evolving as a great place to work; and, ensuring our organization is built to last. Together, in the year ahead, we will further realize our commitments to students, families, and staff.

I am deeply grateful to you — our families — for your partnership and support. Whether we discussed your input on a challenge facing our community, cheered on students with you during a Promise Roll, promotion ceremony, or soccer game, celebrated our talented students during a cultural heritage night or arts performance, or ran into each other during drop-off or dismissal, working with you and your students has, and will always be, one of the greatest joys of my career. I am especially energized knowing that I will continue to lead in this role through one more school year. 


Your voices will be an important part of planning for this transition. That is why we are sharing this update now, so that the Board of Trustees has meaningful time to engage you in this process. Delivering on our strategic plan and continuing to build the E.L. Haynes legacy will require input from the full community — and the Board is committed to listening to and working with you throughout this process. 

Led by a newly formed search committee that includes E.L. Haynes parents, staff, future board leadership, and education experts, and with support from an experienced search firm that understands our community’s priorities, the Board will work to identify the new CEO by Spring 2025.

Please reach out to me or any of the Board members directly with questions. It has been, and will continue to be, an honor to lead E.L. Haynes.

Hilary Darilek
Chief Executive Officer

Lisa Carlton Waller
Board Chair

An image of Hilary Darilek with Lisa Carlton Waller (Board Chair), Candace Crawford (former Director of College Counseling), and an alumna.
An image showing CEO Hilary Darilek with three young students on the playground, all wearing medical masks.
An image showing Founding CEO Jennie Niles and current CEO Hilary Darilek.

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