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Brendan O'Shea officially installed as 14th Head of School
Mary Virginia Swain '77C

Brendan J. O'Shea, the 14th head of Saint Mary's School, was officially installed into office, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, at 3 p.m., in a ceremonial service in the historic Saint Mary's Chapel. The installation ceremony was attended by students, faculty, staff, members of the Board of Trustees, and special invited guests.


The Rt. Rev. Ann Hodges-Copple, bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, presided, assisted by Saint Mary's Chaplain, the Rev. Ann Bonner-Stewart. Saint Mary's trustee and alumna Mary Hinton '88HS, Ph.D., president of the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., delivered an inspiring homily. Representatives of all school constituencies – students, faculty/staff, alumnae, and parents - presented gifts symbolic of school life. Board of Trustees Chair Gloria Taft Becker '92HS presented keys to the school to Mr. O'Shea. Vestry officers Sophie Burkhardt '18 and Lucy Ham '18 presented the Book of Common Prayer. SGA President Grace Battle Thompson '18 presented a framed and signed photograph of the 2017-2018 student body. Faculty and staff members Ed Denault and Lauren Gerber presented special books to Mr. O'Shea. Parents Association President Maura Moylan Sullivan '87HS presented a gift from the P.A. Alumnae Association Co-Presidents Merritt Atkins '99 and Diane Gupton Beckton '77HS presented a copy of The Heritage, the history of the school from 1842-1982 written by Professor Emerita of History Martha Stoops. The Chorale offered the anthem, Homeland. Cookies and punch were served in the Chapel garden following the service.

"It is an honor and privilege to join the Saint Mary's School community as head of school," says O'Shea. "Saint Mary's is purposeful in providing a top-notch education while instilling important character traits in the girls it serves."

Nearly 300 alumnae, parents, trustees, faculty, staff, and friends of the school gathered in Smedes Hall, Wednesday evening, October 11, 2017, to celebrate the installation of Brendan O'Shea as the 14th head of school in our 176-year history.

O'Shea has been serving as head of school since July 1. A native of Baltimore, he is a 1980 graduate of the Gilman School. He graduated from the University of Virginia, where he earned a B.S. in commerce in 1984 from the McIntire School of Commerce and an M.Ed. in administration and supervision in 2001 from the Curry School of Education.

O'Shea is a seasoned independent school educator and leader. He began his educational career at Woodberry Forest School, an all-boys' boarding school in Madison County, Va. During his 16-year tenure at Woodberry Forest, O'Shea served in numerous senior administrative positions, including director of admission; assistant headmaster for admission, marketing, and financial aid; and assistant headmaster and dean of academic affairs. These positions involved O'Shea in virtually every area of school administration. He directed the school's daily operations and administered its academic program. He was responsible for hiring faculty members and managing the school's processes for faculty professional development and evaluation. O'Shea's roles also allowed him to work closely with the school's board of trustees to set policy, and to plan for the school's future. Throughout his tenure at Woodberry, O'Shea continued to work closely with students, parents, and faculty in each of his roles.

In 2004, O'Shea was appointed headmaster of Charleston Day School, a co-ed, K-8 school in Charleston, S.C. As headmaster, O'Shea designed and managed a successful capital campaign that resulted in the construction of the new Student Academic Center at Charleston Day School. He also led two successful accreditations for Charleston Day School and has served on numerous SAIS/SACS accreditation teams. Many members of the Charleston Day School community commented that O'Shea's leadership will always be distinguished by the culture of welcome, care, and civility he fostered at the school - work he is continuing at Saint Mary's School.






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