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Transition Planning Continues With Willard’s Visit to Campus


Clockwise from top left: Derrick Willard and Doreen Kelly stop for a photo with Wyatt Kenady ’​​​28 and Ryder Grenz ’​​​29 during a walk across campus; Willard chats with Lower School teacher Dominique Taylor during an informal reception in the Olander Center; Willard addresses employees gathered for the full faculty and staff meeting.

On Monday, Jan. 29, Head of School Doreen Kelly welcomed incoming Head of School Derrick Willard to campus to continue their ongoing board-directed work in support of a smooth leadership transition on July 1, 2024. 

Willard, who concludes his tenure as Head of School at Augusta Preparatory Day School in Martinez, Georgia, in June, had spent the previous week at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, working with Ravenscroft’s longtime partner in Lead From Here to learn more about the many ways the citizen leadership framework shapes our school community and culture.

In addition to meeting with Ravenscroft’s board chair Laura Kalorin ’92 and several other trustees during his visit, Willard met with members of the faculty and staff to learn more about key initiatives such as global education, DEIB, and student health and wellness as well as our admissions processes. Willard then joined employees at the afternoon’s full faculty and staff meeting and reception, held in the dining hall of the Olander Center for Student Life at the A.E. Finley Activity Center.

In his remarks to faculty and staff, Willard said that he was honored by the opportunity to serve the school community and that he is pleased to be working with Kelly on such an “intentional level of transition planning.”

Both Kelly and Willard characterized the day as strategic and productive.

“As part of the leadership transition plan for Ravenscroft, I was happy to welcome Derrick to campus, with time focused on meeting employees and beginning to get a better sense of Ravenscroft culture,” Kelly said. “Additionally, I am pleased that Derrick spent the week before over at the Center for Creative Leadership for a deep experience around the work that anchors Lead From Here. He shared with us how that broadened his understanding — and how much he looks forward to learning more.”

“It was a wonderful time to return to campus and begin work with the Leadership Team and other program leaders on the transition,” Willard said. “I also have a new appreciation for Lead From Here and the resources available to our students, staff and families. I look forward to returning to campus again this spring to continue meeting employees, students, families and alumni and learn all I can before I assume the Head of School role in July.”

We look forward to welcoming Willard back to campus in the spring.