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Head of School Welcome

Saint Mary's School is currently undergoing a search for an Interim Head of School. During this time, the school is governed by an Executive Cabinet reporting directly to the Board of Trustees, with the added support of a temporary Transition Team to help guide us during this time. Please refer to the email below sent to the Saint Mary's community on June 28, 2022, for additional information.


Message from the Chair of the Board of Trustees

June 28, 2022


Dear Saint Mary’s Community,

I am writing to inform you that our Head of School, Carol Killebrew, will be resigning from Saint Mary’s School on July 31, 2022, and relocating to Maryland. The Board of Trustees thanks Carol for her enthusiasm for our school and for her commitment to assisting us over the next several weeks as we prepare a search for her replacement. We are grateful to Carol for her contributions, and I know you will join us in wishing her well.

"I have been involved in girls' education – both as a student and as a career choice – for almost 45 years,” Ms. Killebrew says, “and I consider myself fortunate to have been part of communities that make a difference, including Saint Mary's. Now, more than ever, it is important to provide girls an educational opportunity where they can both uncover and discover their talents and interests, and Saint Mary's is committed to doing just that. I look forward to hearing about the successes of both the school and her graduates in decades to come."

A nationwide search for a two-year interim Head of School has already begun with the assistance of The Education Group, a top educational search and consulting firm. We hope to have a two-year interim in place within the next few months. This interim head will not be a candidate for the permanent Head of School position but will have career-long experience in school leadership and community building, as well as a vocation to serve as an institutional head during a time of transition. This kind of leader will position Saint Mary’s well as we prepare for a comprehensive search for a permanent replacement to lead the school beginning in July 2024.

While the search for an interim is underway, the Board has formed a Transition Team to ensure continuity for our community and lead the school until an interim is in place. I am pleased to inform you that Chaplain Margaret Stoddard has agreed to Chair this team and provide weekly updates to our community. She will be joined on the Transition Team by Melissa Ramel, Chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department and a Dorm Head; Lane Turner Nash ’72HS ’74C and former Chair of the Board of Trustees; and Louise Stowe P’20 ’24, incoming President of the Parents Association.

This Transition Team is steeped in the culture and operations of our community and shares a deep knowledge and love of our school. Together, they bring a passion for our mission and confidence in our future. The Transition Team will be advised by Dennis Campbell of the Education Group, report to the Board of Trustees, and will have the Board’s full support in their important work.

In the meantime, preparations are well underway for the start of the new school year as we prepare to welcome 307 students from 12 states and eight countries. This is a record enrollment number for Saint Mary’s at this point in the academic year. Our boarding population is also growing proportionately; we are pleased to report that we will be welcoming at least 114 boarders. Some are former day student leaders who have been selected for our new Leaders in Residence program.

Ready to greet our girls when they return to campus is our new Assistant Head of School, Patricia Sasser, who moved to campus with her family last week and will lead academics; athletics; college counseling; student and residential life; and student support services. Ms. Sasser most recently served as Head of the Upper School at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Florida.

Also new to our school is Hunt Heffner, Dean of College Counseling, who will live on campus with his family. Mr. Heffner has most recently overseen admissions at The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, a day/boarding school in Baltimore, and served for eight years as director of college counseling at Woodberry Forest School. Mr. Heffner’s team will include the familiar face of Kyong Lee P’17 as Associate Director of College Counseling, as well as Danielle Tanner, who joins Saint Mary’s as an Associate Director of College Counseling, from the Windsor School in Nassau, The Bahamas, where she served as Head of College Advising.

In addition, we are pleased to welcome to campus Jessica Campbell as our new Dean of Academic Innovation. Ms. Campbell comes from Lake Forest, Illinois, where she was Director of the Center for Global Studies at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. And Anne Aichele will serve as our new Dean of Student Experience. Ms. Aichele will be joining us from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, where she most recently served as Director of Student Leadership and Learning.

These new campus leaders bring with them a wealth of independent school experience, a commitment to girls’ education, and a robust enthusiasm for boarding school life, which they share with our full roster of 111 faculty and staff. Our school's strength is in the collective talent of our employees. Together, we will lead our community in launching the 2022-2023 academic year with strength, momentum, and excitement.

That same enthusiasm has never been more apparent among our loyal alumnae, parents, and devoted supporters. This week, these loyal benefactors pushed our Saint Mary’s Forever Capital Campaign to another milestone, with $52,107,960 raised. As you know, these funds will benefit our school and our students in countless ways, expanding our endowment, growing scholarships, making possible a state-of-the-art new science building, the creation of the Blanche Robertson Bacon Performing Arts Center, and bolstering our long-term financial sustainability. At the same time, our Annual Fund is poised to raise a record $1.655 million thanks to the generosity of our extended community. With two days left in our fiscal year we encourage each of you to make your commitment to help us complete an already amazing year.

All this good news does include quite a bit of change, and it is natural that many of you will have questions. Saint Mary’s wants to answer them. Please note that it is summer, school is closed, and most of our faculty and student-facing staff are 10-month employees – not currently working – so that process will need to be slightly different for the time being.

If you are a parent and have a question regarding the start of school, you should be able to find it on this new microsite: www.sms.edu/welcome2sms. If you can’t find your answer there, please direct your question to our new Assistant Head of School, Patricia Sasser, at psasser@sms.edu.

In the meantime, I hope you will join me in welcoming our new school leaders, thanking our Transition Team, and celebrating Saint Mary’s continued strength in admissions, recruitment, and fundraising.

Thank you all for your continued support of our school. I look forward to banding together as a community and kicking the 2022-2023 academic year off with enthusiasm and excitement.

Sincerely,

Liza Roberts P’19 ’24
Chair, Saint Mary’s School Board of Trustees

 


Liza Roberts P '19,'24
Chair, Board of Trustees