New Head of School Announcement

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The Academy’s Board of Trustees is excited to announce the appointment of Timothy Horner as the new Head of School at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, effective July 1, 2022. Tim’s appointment follows an extensive nationwide search, the gathering of input of our community, and the unanimous approval of the Board of Trustees. 

Tim brings a broad array of skills and strengths in the operational, strategic and community relations aspects of school leadership. He is a forward-thinking leader. His approach to leadership and his skills and experience are well suited for the current needs of the Academy.

Tim has been a trusted leader and respected member of the University Lake School (Hartland, Wisconsin) community for 32 years. He began as the Business Manager at ULS and eventually moved into school leadership serving as Assistant Head, Co-Head of School and currently as Interim Head. With his deep experience as a school leader, he understands both sides of school operations — academic and business. Because of Tim’s leadership style and character and his belief that one of the most important roles in leadership is being a good listener, faculty truly respect him as a leader. Tim notes that ever since he began working in an independent school, he understood that there really is just one lens through which decisions need to be made, and that is simply what is best for students and faculty. As a leader, Tim understands that he is there to support, challenge and raise up the people with whom he works. Given his approach to leadership, his strong relational and listening skills, his empathy and focus on vision, the ULS community has appreciated his school leadership.

As a Catholic and having attended Catholic school and universities, Tim is engaged in his faith and is very much looking forward to serving as a leader at the Academy. Tim shared, “I am honored to serve as the next Head of School at the Academy. The warmth and dedication of the community are inviting, palpable and distinctive. I find in the school’s mission and in the Goals and Criteria all that a school, its students, faculty and community need to thrive. I observe a liberal arts curriculum that is intentional, relevant and transformative. In even brief visits, it is evident that the Academy is an amazing place that transforms students and helps families fulfill the dreams they have for their children. As a community, we will forge a bright future for each student, each day, educating his or her heart and mind. I am eager to join the community. I look forward to my next visit, to beginning in July and to the many years to come.”

In my conversations with Tim, it is clear that he is passionate about the education and development of students. Tim brings a wealth of knowledge, leadership and experience in all facets of operations of an independent school such as the Academy. His passion, caring and outgoing nature, and knowledge will be positive additions to our school. We are excited to have Tim and his wife, Robynn, join our community and are excited for the future of the Academy.  

The Board of Trustees thanks the Search Committee for the time they dedicated to lead this important and thorough search over the past seven months. We also thank the many other members of the Academy community, including faculty, staff, administrators, students, parents and alumni, for providing thoughtful feedback on the finalists. Your emails and survey comments reinforced the choice of Tim Horner as the next Head of the Academy of the Sacred Heart.

The Board of Trustees would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Susan Dempf for her service to the Academy. The Board looks forward to continuing to support Dr. Dempf in her leadership through June and are grateful for her commitment to partnering with all members of the school community to ensure a smooth transition in leadership. Dr. Dempf will be the next Head of School of Woodlands Academy, a Chicago-area high school within the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.

The Board looks forward to welcoming Tim and Robynn to the Academy of the Sacred Heart community. We are excited to be working with Tim to continue to foster our Sacred Heart values and the Academy’s commitment to excellence and the Goals and Criteria in all that we do.  


John E. Ahlheim
Board Chair