I am honored and humbled to be selected as Derryfield’s next Head of School. My family and I are excited about moving to the Manchester area this summer and getting to know each one of you as we work together to write the next important chapter of the School’s history.
I have admired Derryfield from afar for more than twenty-five years, when I first met my wife, Kate Hurlbut Chappell ’93 and her family in the fall of 1997. Their love for Derryfield—the people, experiences, programs, and strong sense of community—made an impression on me many years ago affirming that Derryfield is, indeed, a special community. Through the years, my appreciation for the School has only grown through visits to campus, attending alumni/ae events, and reading numerous Derryfield Today publications. I have long been impressed with how Derryfield has stayed true to its mission and core values, while evolving and growing to develop a program that meets the needs of 21st-century learners.
Throughout the search process, I learned even more about Derryfield’s innovative academic vision, the ongoing commitment to equity and belonging, the burgeoning culture of philanthropy, and the exciting new physical additions to campus. I was delighted to see that Breakthrough Manchester is thriving, as it serves as a clear symbol of Derryfield’s commitment to the greater Manchester community and a model of how the School can extend its footprint beyond the 400 students it serves each year. I was also inspired by the spirit of Derryfield, embodied in the students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, parents, and trustees that I met. During my visit to campus, the stories that Kate and her family have recounted to me over the years about the people and the relationships came alive as I walked through the halls, lunched with students, and met with faculty and staff. The energy was palpable, and the love for Derryfield evident. Parents and students shared stories of caring, talented, dedicated teachers, and the teachers themselves offered examples of compassionate, generous, committed students. At the core, I witnessed a school family that values and celebrates kindness, character, and authenticity. Dr. Carter and all of you have clearly built a strong, dynamic, caring community together, and I look forward to contributing to that legacy in the years ahead.
I want to thank Susan Rand King ’81 P’20 ’22, Lauren Hines P’20 ’23, and the entire search committee for their dedication and commitment to leading a thoughtful and thorough process. I felt welcomed by all, appropriately challenged as a candidate, and energized by the talented and dedicated people I met. I am extremely grateful for the extraordinary amount of time that each person gave to this very important undertaking. The challenge of selecting a new Head of School provides an important opportunity for a school to celebrate what has been accomplished, to put a spotlight on its most vital priorities, and to develop a shared vision for the future. I am grateful for the trust placed in me, and I will work to justify your faith and to earn your trust. I also want to express my gratitude to Roxbury Latin, a community that has given me so much and prepared me for this opportunity to serve Derryfield. I look forward to getting to know all members of the community in the months ahead. I promise I will ask lots of questions, listen closely, and learn from each of you, all in order to partner together to advance the mission of Derryfield.