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.
When Richard Selden P’23 spoke at an all-school assembly at Concord Academy on November 16, he acknowledged how much CA students want to change the world. “No matter what your academic and career interests are, you can find a way to tie them into fighting for social justice,” he said. Selden shared how he turned his passion for molecular biology into a rapid DNA technology that is making the world a safer place.
This Thanksgiving season, the CA students involved in the Lawrence-Concord Action Partnership (LCAP) aren’t just giving thanks—they’re also giving back. Together the student-led initiative has a goal of fighting food insecurity in the local community. LCAP is making a meaningful difference through its work with the Lazarus House nonprofit organization by volunteering in the soup kitchen and transitional housing program.
On November 11 and 12, the Concord Academy Dance Project presented Dark Before Dawn, directed and choreographed by dance program co-directors Rika Okamoto and Alexander Brady. The contemporary dance presentation powerfully explored movement, music, and self-expression.