December 4, 2018
Dear Members of the Collegiate Community,
I write on behalf of the Board of Trustees concerning Dr. Lee Levison’s announcement that the 2019-20 school year will be his last as our Headmaster. Joining us in 2006, Dr. Levison is the only head that our present students, and most of our current parents, have ever known. He has and continues to work tirelessly on behalf of our boys, our faculty, administration, and staff, as well as our broader community.
There will be many opportunities between now and June 2020 to fully recognize and celebrate Dr. Levison’s many contributions. First and foremost, he has been an exemplary steward of our mission, fostering the energy, respect, and curiosity that our faculty and students share with each other every day. Dr. Levison embodies the character of Collegiate and our embrace of respect, kindness, humility and integrity.
Any discussion of Dr. Levison’s tenure would not be complete without reference to our magnificent new home at 301 Freedom Place South. His leadership enabled the School to move not just its address, but its soul. The vision, courage, and pure grit necessary to move our community from its home of more than a century to our modern building speak for themselves. We now have a state-of-the-art, flexible K-12 facility that will be a home for our boys for many decades to come.
On a personal note, I am grateful to Lee for the time and guidance he has offered to the Board (past and present), and to me and prior Board presidents. His wisdom runs deep.
In announcing his plans now, Dr. Levison has given the Board ample opportunity to conduct a thoughtful and successful search for his successor. We are in the process of forming a Search Committee, which I will chair and which will report to the full Board and its Executive Committee. The Search Committee will consist of other board members, parents (current and former), alumni, and faculty. It will be assisted by an experienced search firm. We expect to select our next Headmaster before the end of 2019, allowing for an effective and smooth transition. Our work will be informed by input we seek from all of you. And, within the confines of what at many times will need to be a highly confidential process, we will seek to provide appropriate communication and, when possible, transparency.
The transition from one longtime head of school to another is necessarily a time of reflection and, potentially, inflection. As with any moment of change, there will be aspects of uncertainty. The process the Board is putting in place will be a deliberate one. The search is an opportunity for us to recognize who we are today and to explore where we need to go. We will focus not only on our deeply rooted strengths and proud tradition, but, as importantly, on new educational goals for the world in which our children will live.
Our Statement of Beliefs, reformulated under Dr. Levison, reflects our priorities. We believe in a diverse and just community that fosters purposeful and spirited engagement. We strive for education that prepares our students to be citizens who act with conscience, courage, and compassion. That is Collegiate School at its best, and that is the school we will continue to be.
The Board and I look forward to working with the entire community in the months to come.
Jonathan K. Youngwood '85