Head of School Certification

Head of school certificationLeading a Christian educational institution is a multi-faceted responsibility.  It is an important goal of CESA to have highly-trained Christian leaders around the world leading schools.  Some leaders may be called to inner-city work, others to international work, while others may be called to suburban independent schools.  It is vital to put strong Christian leaders in schools across the country and world in order to further Christian education.

What is CESA Head Certification?

The first value proposition that distinguishes CESA from other Christian school organizations and brings value to member schools specifically and Christian education generally is the edification of the Christian school head. The purpose of the CESA head certification process is ultimately the personal and professional growth and development of the Christian school head by strengthening his or her leadership in reference to peer-reviewed and peer-generated professional standards. The process envisions a three-part process of personal guided reflection, assessment by those who know and best understand the leader’s practice, and peer discussion with two mentor heads of school from the CESA network, all centered around the standards. This process will lead to heightened self-awareness, deeper understanding of one’s strengths as a leader, and a clear, personalized direction for next-level professional growth.

Who is it for?

Heads of CESA Member of Council, Candidate Schools, along with Heads of non-CESA schools that are in agreement with the Nicene Creed.

What is the process?

First, heads engage in a self-reflective process, guided by the CESA head of school certification standards. The purpose of the self-report is for school heads to gain an honest look at their leadership skills, areas of strength and the areas needing further growth.  Realizing that leadership is a practice of constant growth, no leader may be exceptional at every level and in every category.

The second phase of certification includes an observer assessment by six members of the school community who best know and understand the head of school’s leadership practice, again, relevant to the standards.  Observers will use the CESA Standards to reflect on the Head’s leadership.

Written feedback will come from the three observers, which are to include the administrative team and board members.  The self-reflection and observer assessments will be submitted to the Executive Director of CESA and reviewed by a committee of the Board of Directors. A link to an electronic survey will be given to the applicant to distribute to his or her observers.

The third and final phase of certification will consist of a school site visit and assessment/mentoring/coaching session by two CESA Member of Council heads of school. These heads will first meet with the administrative team, as well as a committee of the Board of Trustees.

The Head Certification is a benefit of membership for CESA Member of Council and Candidate Schools.  For non-CESA schools, the certification process has a cost of $750, then an annual fee of $750 to maintain the certification.

Contact Us

Barry Giller

Barry Giller serves as the vice chair of the Board of Directors for CESA. Barry joined the faculty of Charlotte Christian as Head of School in June 2010 and ushered the school into its 60th anniversary. As head of school Mr. Giller oversees the college preparatory school’s 180 employees and 1055 students grades JK to 12. A 1994 graduate of Wheaton College, he received his Bachelor of Arts in history/social science and a certification for secondary education. He also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership in Nova Southeastern University. Mr. Giller currently resides on the board of directors for North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association and Teaching Fellows Institute. Mr. Giller served six years as headmaster at Christian Heritage School, a private K-12 interdenominational Christian college preparatory school, in Trumbull, Conn. He joined Christian Heritage in 2001 as the upper school principal and was promoted to the headmaster position in 2004. Barry and his wife, Lisa, have seven children and are active members of Church at Charlotte.

Mission Clarity

CESA member schools are accredited, mission-driven, Christian institutions aspiring to be academically, programmatically, and institutionally excellent. 

Effective Goverance

CESA member schools commit to a model of leadership that includes a governing board, which formally (policy statement) and informally (daily practice) delegates the daily operation of the institution to the head of school who supervises the administrative team, faculty, and staff.  

Institutional Viability

CESA member schools follow best practices that demonstrate astute financial management, appropriate budget forecasting, and thoughtful short and long-term financial planning processes.  

Academic & Programmatic Distinction

CESA member schools shall provide high quality academic, artistic, and athletic programs designed to meet the mission of the school and to distinguish the institution as one of high quality.  

Sense of Coherent Christian Community

CESA member schools shall develop a Christian ethos rooted in a commitment to the Nicene Creed and/or Apostles Creed, the foundational tenets of Christian orthodoxy, that distinguishes them from other local public and independent schools and we should have a nice sense of community.

Schedule of Events

Monday, Jan 20th

Tuesday, Jan 21

Wednesday, Jan 22