Ms. Leanne Messer named next Head of School

January 4, 2023
Dear Houston Christian Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Houston Christian High School, it is my honor to announce that Ms. Leanne Messer has been selected as our next Head of School, effective July 1, 2023. Following a comprehensive national search and prayerful deliberation, Ms. Messer was unanimously approved by the Houston Christian High School Board of Trustees, acting upon the enthusiastic and unified recommendation of the Search Committee. 
Ms. Messer is an educator with deep experience in Christian education. Ms. Messer brings a distinguished educational and legal career to Houston Christian. As a proven Head of School, Ms. Messer has first-hand leadership experience across all facets of a faith-based educational organization with mission and vision closely aligned to that of Houston Christian.  

Most recently, Ms. Messer comes to us from Hyde Park Schools in Austin, where she was the Head of School from 2014 to 2022. Prior to serving at Hyde Park Schools, Ms. Messer served as the Head of School for Landmark Christian School. She led the school to record enrollment, secured the largest foundation grant in the school's history, and championed capital projects, including the construction of a new softball complex and the renovation of the existing sports complex. Leanne began her career as a high school science teacher and since then held positions as athletic director, principal, head of school, and attorney.

A native Texan, Ms. Messer earned her undergraduate degree in Biology in 1985 from Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as her Master of Arts in Education Administration in 1993 from The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2007, Ms. Messer earned her Doctorate of Jurisprudence in Law from Georgia State University, College of Law in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ms. Messer has been married to her husband, Steve, for 31 years, who currently serves as Vice President of Operations for Asset Living, a third-party property management firm. Leanne and Steve have two adult sons, Mitchell, 25, and Michael, 20, and are excited to make the move to Houston in the coming months.  
On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to thank Trustee and Search Committee Chair Kevin McDonald for his exemplary leadership throughout the process and for the countless hours devoted by our Search Committee (Suzette Estes, John Gualy, Pastor Gunner Gunderson Mike Handel, and Gail Stewart) with the invaluable assistance of our search consultants, Susan Lair and John Cooper of The Education Group. We also express our gratitude to the administrators, faculty, students, parents, and alumni who graciously took time out of their schedules to participate in the search process, providing crucial insights to the Search Committee along this year-long journey. With your help, we have conducted a prayerful, thorough, deliberate, and successful process.

Upon commencement of her tenure, Ms. Messer will succeed Dr. Stephen M. Livingston, who will serve until the summer of 2023. To ensure a seamless transition of leadership, the Board is organizing a Transition Committee to support Ms. Messer, but each recipient of this letter has a role to play in contributing to her successful beginning. Dr. Livingston and Houston Christian's entire team will also work closely with Ms. Messer during this transition.
Please join me in celebrating and welcoming Ms. Messer and her family to Houston Christian and to Houston. We could not be more pleased to have them join our HC family!
Mike Gustafson
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Houston Christian High School