Head of School Search

Dave Skeen Named Spartanburg Day School's Next Head of School

Sept. 12, 2022

Dear Members of the Spartanburg Day School Community,

On behalf of the board of trustees, it is my great pleasure to announce that Dave Skeen has been appointed as Spartanburg Day School’s eighth Head of School, effective July 1, 2023. The board’s unanimous decision to select Dave followed the overwhelmingly enthusiastic recommendation of the search committee. Dave is a visionary and gifted leader who also has the heart of an educator, and he comes to SDS with invaluable Head of School experience.

Dave will succeed Rachel Deems who has skillfully and devotedly led the SDS community for 11 years. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to Rachel for her exceptional efforts as head of school, placing Dave in a superb position to capitalize on our tremendous momentum.

Dave has been the head of school at Harding Academy, a preschool to eighth grade independent school in Nashville, Tenn. since 2016. Prior to joining Harding Academy, Dave served as middle school director at the Canterbury School in Greensboro, N.C. and dean of students at the Calvert School in Baltimore, Md. where he was also a teacher and athletic coach.

A native of Baltimore, Dave received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Washington & Lee University where he was captain of the lacrosse team. He also earned a Master’s in Educational Studies and Independent School Leadership from Johns Hopkins University.  Dave is passionate about providing mission-aligned academic and extracurricular experiences designed for every child to reach their full potential. Dave and his wife Mackenzie have seven children including one girl, Grier (10), and six boys, Ford (8), Webb (7), Bo (5), Tully (4), Pike (2), and Lawson (6 months).

In accepting the appointment, Dave said, “I was initially drawn to this opportunity because of Spartanburg Day School’s mission and whole child approach. It aligns with my approach as an educator and as a parent of independent school students. Mackenzie and I felt an immediate connection to this learning community and are excited to be a part of the next chapter at SDS.” 

Since last November, a search committee, chaired by Board of Trustees Member Michel Stone, has been working closely with our consultants at The Education Group. The process brought forth a diverse and qualified pool of candidates from across the nation. Of these candidates, three finalists were selected to visit the Spartanburg Day School campus and meet with our constituents. I am deeply grateful for each member of our community who participated in this important process, shared their thoughts and perspectives, and offered candidates a clear and thorough understanding of SDS’s unique culture and community. Furthermore, the nine members of the search committee deserve our utmost thanks for working so diligently to help us successfully complete the selection of the next head of school.  

Speaking for the search committee, Michel noted that members were immediately impressed with Dave’s leadership style and curricular innovations. She said, “From the start, the committee appreciated his warmth, poise, passion, and authenticity, as well as his student-centered approach to learning. We're excited and most fortunate to welcome Dave, Mackenzie, and their children to the Griffin family!”

Rachel and the SDS leadership team will work closely with Dave in the upcoming months to ensure a seamless transition. We are confident that our school community will thrive under Dave’s leadership and look forward to welcoming the Skeen family to Spartanburg and to SDS in July 2023.


Jaime Wall
Board of Trustees President

Dave Skeen

I was initially drawn to this opportunity because of Spartanburg Day School's mission and whole child approach. It aligns with my approach as an educator and as a parent of independent school students.

Dave Skeen


Head of School Search Communications