Carlisle Welcomes New Leadership

Keith Dallas assumes role of Upper School Director at Carlisle School.

Keith Dallas assumes role of Upper School Director at Carlisle School.

Familiar faces at Carlisle School will assume new positions in key administration roles starting this summer. Keith Dallas, Carlisle’s current Athletic Director, will replace Gayle Jessee as the new Upper School Director upon her retirement, and the vacated Athletic Director position will be filled by Mancino Craighead. To lead Carlisle’s International Program, Lindsay Favero will be the school’s International Program Coordinator.

Leading the way
While many qualified candidates were considered for the position of Upper School Director, said Carlisle’s Head of School Tommy Hudgins, “after I spoke with the faculty and heard what they wanted in their next leader, [Dallas] rose to the top of the pile.” Hudgins added that “[Dallas] combines a unique blend of general experience and specific knowledge of Carlisle that made him, by a good margin, the strongest candidate.”

That experience and knowledge comes from a ten-year relationship with Carlisle as a member of its faculty and administration, as well as a parent to a student. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dallas joined the Carlisle family in 2006 as a math teacher. The following year he assumed the role of Dean of Students and in 2008 became the Middle School Director.

In 2012, Dallas became Carlisle’s Athletic Director, a role that he believes uniquely qualifies him for the role of Upper School Director.

“As Athletic Director I had to be in contact with all facets of the school – academics, finance, transportation, facilities – it all collides in athletics,” Dallas explained. “That exposure gives me the confidence to move into this new role.”

Prior to Dallas’ long history at Carlisle, he taught and coached a variety of sports in the North Carolina public-school system for 17 years. His passion for education, he explained, is due to the fact that “the most influential people in my life, outside of family, were teachers and coaches. I want to pay that forward.” This driving mentality has pushed him to work toward a graduate degree in educational leadership from Queens College.

“My goal is to continue our good work in providing a rigorous academic program, balanced with strong extracurriculars, athletics and arts that are second to none,” Dallas said. “Carlisle is such an incredible place because of all the diferent things we provide. To see the way our kids perform on and off the courts and fields, day-to-day, it makes you so proud of what they accomplish.”

As for the Athletic Director role he is vacating, Dallas admits he has mixed emotions. “I’ve invested a lot of time into the program and want to see some ideas to fruition, but those feelings are offset by the knowledge that [Craighead] is taking over. The athletic program is going to be in wonderful hands.”

Mancino CraigheadStepping up to the plate
Since 2004, Mancino Craighead has worked at Carlisle teaching physical education classes and coaching several sports, most notably Carlisle’s two-time defending state champion girls basketball team. But after nine years of serving as the Assistant Athletic Director, the time has come for Craighead to assume the role of Athletic Director.

Mancino Craighead is a graduate of Virginia State University and holds a graduate degree in sports management from Liberty University. He joined Carlisle in 2004 and has served as the Assistant Athletic Director for the past nine years in addition to teaching physical education classes and coaching several sports, most notably Carlisle’s two-time defending state champion girls basketball team.

“He has proven himself an outstanding coach and is one of Carlisle’s most popular teachers,” said Hudgins. “When it became clear that we would need a new Athletic Director, it was equally clear that [Craighead] was our best choice. He has the experience, the dedication and the respect of the community required to help Carlisle’s interscholastic athletic program thrive.”

Craighead is a graduate of Virginia State University and holds a graduate degree in sports management from Liberty University. Eager to assume the role, Craighead said he’s “looking forward to the continued relationship with our players, coaches and staff. I have learned a lot of things from past and present Athletic Directors here at Carlisle, and I hope to put all that knowledge to use as the new Athletic Director.”

A global outlook
As Carlisle’s International Program has grown over the past 10 years, changing from a home-stay program to now include two boarding houses, the needs of the program have also changed. Lindsay Favero will spearhead efforts to continue to improve the experience for international students at Carlisle as the new International Program Coordinator.

“[Favero] will work with faculty, host parents and boarding house parents to make sure we provide the best experience possible for our students from foreign countries,” Hudgins said. “Additionally she will work with the students to plan activities and full immersion into life at school and in the broader community.”

Favero, who has a masters degree in educational leadership from Radford University, joined Carlisle last year to teach Upper School Spanish after 13 years of teaching in the Henry County public schools. With a National Board Certification in World Languages, Favero will be a great asset to the International Program in terms of recruitment and acclimation.

“I have always had a passion for celebrating multicultural diversity and language acquisition and am thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with students from around the world,” said Favero. “I look forward to serving as their advocate in all aspects of their experiences here and I am excited to support these students as they acclimate to life in the United States.”