Announcing Our Next Head of School

Mr. Chad Dirkse

"Chad has the heart for God and leadership skills that closely align with what I believe we need as a community in the future.  He will build upon our past successes, propelling us forward as we continue to strive to be the best version of ourselves."~ Mike Edmonds, President of the AACS Board of Directors

A Letter to the AACS Community from Mr. Dirkse

Dear AACS Community,

Serving as the next Head of School at AACS is a great privilege. Over the last few months, my wife Heather and I have felt a persistent tug to become part of your community. Each interaction with the people within the AACS family cultivated a sense of belonging that grew into a peace that God was clearly calling us to leave a place we love to join a new school family. 

We are coming to Annapolis with a deep hope that we can contribute to the goodness and beauty already present at AACS. We feel blessed to have been part of the search process, and each step along the way only confirmed that your foundation is strong and that God has been steadfast in His provision and care for AACS through the board, administration, faculty, staff, parents, students, and friends of AACS.

The work we will do together is also complex and can be difficult. Our hope, even in the most challenging times, rests in the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” In real and tangible ways, God reconciles us to Him, to each other, and to creation. Our confidence that He will complete and perfect this work for us is the foundation for every step we take together in the daily journey of learning, growth, and discipleship at AACS. We are excited to join you in this wonderful work.   

There is much to talk about in the days to come, and we look forward to fellowship with you and listening to your hopes and dreams for AACS. I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who was involved in the search process for the care and commitment you have shown to us and AACS. The professionalism, thoughtful questions, and attention to every detail speak volumes to the quality of your community. See you soon!

Grace and Peace,

Chad Dirkse

Letters From Mr. Dirkse

In response to being offered the position, Chad told the search committee he has felt a calling from God to us and this opportunity from the very beginning.  He is very excited to join our community and see how God unfolds this next chapter in his life. 

More About Mr. Dirkse

Chad Dirkse is currently serving in his 14th year as the President of Chattanooga Christian School (CCS). Prior to his time at CCS, Chad served 5 years as the Superintendent of Westminster Christian School in Elgin, Illinois. In addition to his head of school roles, he has served vocationally in Christian schooling as a Middle School and High School teacher and principal as well as an athletic director and High School basketball and soccer coach.

Chad has been married to his wife Heather for 29 years and they have three children. Their oldest daughter, Clara Wolfe, lives in Chattanooga and is married to Rob. Clara and Rob have two children, Joanna Kate and Mary Ellen. Their son Coleman lives in Charlotte and is married to Zoe. Their youngest daughter Kate is a senior at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee and will return for an extra semester in the fall of 2023 to finish her collegiate soccer career.

Chad is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education (CACE) where he serves schools across the country primarily through board governance and school operating support as well as strategic planning. He is an ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church of America.

Chad holds a bachelor's degree in education from Covenant College and an MBA with a specialization in School Leadership from LeTourneau University.

Chad and Heather are members at Northshore Fellowship where Heather serves as the Women’s Ministry and Curriculum Coordinator. They enjoy hospitality, the outdoors, Premier League Soccer, and an active lifestyle.

Questions & Answers

"Chad is clear and concise in his communications, he adjusted his communications style based on the group he was meeting with, which is a very encouraging leadership quality."~ Search Committee Member

Philippians 4:4-8
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And a peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Amen

In Gratitude

We are grateful to the Search Committee for their time, energy, and discernment during this search process. Through their abiding faith in Jesus Christ, they remain committed to serving the Lord in through their leadership of the AACS community. Every step of the process was enveloped in prayer. I have faith that God's strong hand was over all of us as the committee came to its selection of the next AACS leader. 

We look forward to the ways God will move through our community, guiding us and working through our faculty, staff, and families to always honor and praise His almighty name. AACS Community, thank you for your prayers, support, patience, and encouragement over these months.

With Grateful Hearts, on behalf of the AACS Board of Directors