CA Board of Trustees Appoints Henry Fairfax as Concord Academy’s 11th Head of School, Effective July 1, 2022
“It is with great joy that we welcome Henry Fairfax to be CA’s next Head of School,” shares Board President Fay Shutzer ’65. “Henry’s personal values, professional experience, and vision for the future dovetail perfectly with CA’s mission and community culture. He is the ideal Head of School to lead us into our next century.”
Concord Academy’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the search committee’s recommendation to appoint Henry Fairfax as CA’s 11th head of school, following a process that spanned a 10-month period. The co-chairs of the search committee write, “The search committee relied heavily on community input in defining the role and the characteristics CA was seeking in its next head. The community came out to meet our candidates and shared their feedback, which was vitally important to our recommendation. We are deeply grateful to all who participated and to the search committee members, all of whom took many hours away from their families and professional commitments for this important appointment.”
Henry says he was immediately drawn to CA, seeing in its culture and mission a reflection of his own drive for excellence and his deep commitment to building community and fostering equity in secondary school education. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the school into its next century,” he says. “I savor the opportunity to bring the Concord Academy community together around a grand vision of modeling equity, academic excellence, common trust, respect for the individual, and love of learning.” Read Henry’s letter to the community here.
Most of Henry’s leadership career has been spent in schools that are in many ways similar to CA: He was program director, teacher, coach, and dorm parent at McDonogh School, a leading day and boarding school in suburban Maryland, and then returned to his alma mater, The Haverford School, outside of Philadelphia, where by age 30 he was named Upper School Director of Admissions. While at Haverford, he earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania.
More recently, Henry has followed his passion for making independent school education accessible to underserved populations, serving as Vice President of Enrollment and Institutional Advancement at Girard College, a full scholarship five-day boarding school, and then as founding Head of School at Revolution School in Philadelphia, which has taken a novel and progressive approach to independent secondary school education. Henry also gives generously of his time in the education space, both as a mentor in Penn’s school leadership program and on the boards of a number of schools and education-related organizations.
A Head of School transition team is being assembled and will work closely with Henry to ensure that he is fully prepared to step into the role on July 1, 2022.
CA’s Board of Trustees extends its gratitude to Head of School Search Committee co-chairs Jen Burleigh ’85 and John Grossman P’17 ’19 and the search committee for their comprehensive and inclusive search process and to Interim Head of School Sarah Yeh P’24 for her commitment and leadership of Concord Academy.
For their senior projects this year, members of the class of 2022 took on a wide array of independent projects with faculty advisors, including reexamining health care inequities within prison settings, building an electric go-kart, mapping the physics of a pirouette, and creating a cookbook with sustainable recipes.
On June 3, Concord Academy honored the class of 2022 in the Academy Garden, celebrating the accomplishments and promise of the newest members of CA’s alumnae/i community. A damp morning didn’t subdue the spirits of the 102 members of CA’s 98th graduating class. And in her Commencement address, Trelane Clark ’92, P’22 advised them to embrace gratitude, grace, and greatness.
As the 2022 Centennial Hall Fellow, Rashaun Mitchell ’96, a dancer, choreographer, educator, and mentor, shared his artistry and life story at Concord Academy this spring. “I’m not
working with narrative; I’m not working with music,” he said at a dance demonstration at CA. “We’re really trying to understand what is happening in the body when we’re dancing and how we can expose the mechanics of the creation.”