Steve Hancock Appointed Next Head of School

University School of Milwaukee has appointed Steve Hancock as its ninth head of school, effective July 1, 2020. He currently serves as the headmaster at Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, Tennessee, a role he has held since 2014. His hire concludes a national search to identify the successor to Laura Fuller, who announced earlier this year her plan to retire at the end of the 2019–20 school year, following nine highly successful years as the head of school.

Over his 30-year career as an administrator, teacher, and coach, Steve has held increasing leadership positions at several prominent independent schools. Prior to his headmaster role at Presbyterian Day School, he served as head of middle school, and then as assistant head of school for academic leadership, at Princeton Day School (Princeton, New Jersey) from 2008 to 2014. He also served at The Westminster Schools (Atlanta) and at Indian Prairie School District (Naperville/Aurora, Illinois). He was also the education director for Odyssey Atlanta, a summer program serving Atlanta inner-city youth on the campus of The Westminster Schools.

A native of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Steve graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence University, earning a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Violin Performance. He earned a master’s in music education, with an emphasis in curricular design, from the University of Illinois.

Steve and his wife, Stephanie, have two children—a daughter, Emily, 21, and a son, Clayton, 18.

Steve Hancock: Professional Experience

Presbyterian Day School | Memphis, TN
Headmaster, 2014 to present

Princeton Day School | Princeton, NJ
Assistant Head of School for Academic Leadership,  2010 to 2014
Head of Middle School, 2008 to 2014

The Westminster Schools | Atlanta, GA
Orchestra Teacher and Performing Arts Department Chair, 1999 to 2008

Odyssey Atlanta | Atlanta, GA
Education Director and Middle School Division Director, 2000 to 2008

Indian Prairie School District | Naperville/Aurora, IL
Orchestra Teacher and FIne Arts Department Chair, 1990 to 1999

Search Process Timeline

  • Jan. 9, 2019: Laura Fuller shares her retirement announcement with the community after having shared with the Board of Trustees the previous fall

  • Jan. 17, 2019: A search committee comprised of current and former Board of Trustees members, faculty, parents, and parents of alumni is formed

  • Feb. 2019: A community survey is conducted and interviews with constituent group representatives are held to inform the head of school position description

  • Jan.–July 2019: Search partner Educators’ Collaborative receives applications, develops the pool of candidates, and reviews candidate credentials

  • Aug. 2019: Semifinalist candidates are interviewed by the search committee and finalists for the position are selected

  • Sept. 2019: Four finalist candidates visit USM for search committee and administrator interviews and community forums, with feedback collected

  • Sept. 18, 2019: The Board of Trustees votes unanimously to approve the hire of Steve Hancock, following a unanimous search committee recommendation

  • Sept. 23, 2019: Steve Hancock is officially announced to the community as University School of Milwaukee's ninth head of school, effective July 1, 2020

Search Committee and Consultants

University School of Milwaukee and its Board of Trustees wish to thank the following individuals who served as members of the head of school search committee: trustees and search committee co-chairs Jackie Darr and Michael Darrow '86; Board of Trustees president Stephen Guy; trustees Andrew Petzold and Sarah Zimmerman '92; Endowment Board member William Wernecke; faculty Joseph Eason and Jennifer Keppler; and Parents' Association president Debra Pokel.

Thanks are also extended to search partner Educators' Collaborative and consultants Deirdre Ling, Marcus Hurlbut, and John Mackenzie.
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