Chief of Independent School Strategy
Patrick Schuermann has 25 years of experience cultivating leadership in organizations and individuals that span Kindergarten through Doctoral level initiatives, in both the public and private sector. He has worked with Presidents, Secretaries, Senate and House staff, Governors and State Superintendents as a Founding Director of a National Center for the U.S. Department of Education; and has likewise worked with high-level international leaders on programs to support leadership development in schools across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Patrick has authored numerous articles, commissioned reports and books on leadership. Successful School Leadership: Planning, Politics, Performance and Power is the anchor text in the Peabody Instructional Leadership Series, and Leading Schools to Success: Constructing and Sustaining High-Performing Learning Cultures is used in schools, districts and graduate programs across the country, and Data Fluency: Empowering Your Organization with Effective Data Communication helps leaders better understand how to leverage effective data visualization and communication approaches within their teams and organizations. Patrick served as the founding co-editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Education Online and in 2014 won an Emmy Award for Best Educational Piece for his documentary “A Matter of Principals” – a piece that brought leadership lessons to life in a contextual manner. This commitment to capturing the nuance of context, and building programs with deep respect for local cultures and expertise, have been a hallmark of Patrick’s career as a practitioner, professor, and professional development designer and facilitator. Patrick designed and served as the founding director of Vanderbilt University’s Abu Dhabi Leadership Development project, and is a member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation project studying the ways leaders can use and communicate effectiveness data to inform critical human capital decisions. Patrick led an international team of experts on the development of the Tennessee – Shanghai Shared Leadership Initiative, and works closely with leaders spanning the globe through the World Leading Schools partnership – an initiative that seeks to identify and develop innovative practices in leading and learning. For several years, Patrick collaborated on the development of, and worldwide training of leaders in skills aligned with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Leadership Coaching Model. Presently, Patrick is supporting the work of To Move Mountains who is engaging members of every tribe across the Nuba Mountains to develop the first national curriculum, teacher training, and leadership development program for the country of Sudan. In 2005, Patrick founded the Peabody Professional Leadership Institutes and in 2014 he developed, and for 8 years directed, the Independent School Leadership Master’s Program at Vanderbilt University, which has over 150 alumni doing life-changing work in independent schools across the country and world. In addition to these university-based initiatives, Patrick has collaborated on the design and delivery of professional development programs and resources in support of the independent school community with NAIS, SAIS, NBOA, AISAP, ERB, MISBO, ESHA, and a host of state and regional associations. Patrick is on the board of Harding Academy in Nashville, TN and he has prior independent school teaching, coaching and leadership experience at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC and Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando FL. Patrick also spent a year as a private traveling tutor for several professional golf families. Originally from Winter Park, Florida, Patrick holds B.S. and M.A. degrees from Furman University and a Doctorate in Education Leadership and Public Policy from Vanderbilt University.