This past January, Head of School David Stettler announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, and the head of school search process commenced. Today, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Steven J. Armstrong as The Fessenden School's tenth Head of School, effective July 1, 2018.
Dear Fessenden Community,
As Chair of the Search Committee and on behalf of The Fessenden School Board of Trustees, we are excited to announce that the Board voted unanimously to name Steven J. Armstrong as The Fessenden School’s tenth Head of School. As we begin our school year next week and embark on celebrating David Stettler’s seven years of incredible leadership at Fessenden, we are thrilled to announce Steve’s appointment, which will commence on July 1, 2018.
The Search Committee was comprised of a dedicated team of twelve trustees, administrators, and faculty members within our community. The Committee worked with the search firm RG 175 to assist us in finding our next head of school, and together we initiated a comprehensive national search last spring. We held two formal stages of interviews, followed by additional touch points and further discussions with finalist candidates and members of our Search Committee throughout the summer. As a testament to this remarkable institution, we were deeply impressed with the finalist candidates’ qualifications, experience, and track records of leadership. During the last round of discussions, we engaged a number of trustees, faculty and staff members, and administrators to meet with our finalist candidates. After completing our process, the Search Committee unanimously voted to nominate Steve as our next head of school. We presented our decision to the Board, and our Board voted in favor of Steve’s appointment.
Steve will join us from Belmont Hill, where he has begun his eighteenth year at the school. At Belmont Hill, Steve has served in a variety of roles during his long-standing tenure. He is currently the Assistant Head of School and Dean of Faculty, and he is responsible for faculty hiring, evaluation, and development. He has also served as Director of Middle School (grades 7-9) and Director of Admissions. Steve is an experienced and devoted classroom teacher in history and currently teaches Modern European History and Advanced Placement U.S. History. He has also taught Ancient Greece and Rome, U.S. Government, and World Issues to students in middle through high school. Steve has also been a dedicated coach of a variety of sports for students at many different ages. Prior to his years at Belmont Hill, Steve served as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at The Rivers School in Weston, MA; as Director of Development at Northwood School in Lake Placid, NY; and as a Research Associate at Cambridge Associates. Steve graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Government and Harvard Graduate School of Education with an MA in Education with a concentration in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy.
Throughout our process, Steve demonstrated a deep appreciation for Fessenden’s mission to teach, nurture, and celebrate growing boys, cultivating each student’s individual potential and developing in balance his mind, character, heart, and body in an inclusive and joyful community. It is clear that Steve’s personal values are aligned with Fessenden’s core values of honesty, compassion, and respect. Steve has a profound commitment to boys’ education and excellence in academics, the arts, and athletics; a comprehensive understanding of Fessenden’s pedagogical approach and its focus on 21st century learning; and a dedication to the School’s strategic priorities and initiatives. It became evident to all of us that Steve would be the right leader for Fessenden to continue delivering on its mission of educating and preparing boys for successful futures.
The Fessenden community is incredibly fortunate to have benefited from Dave Stettler’s remarkable leadership, and we are grateful for his continued guidance this year. We will, of course, have opportunities during the school year to offer our gratitude to Dave and celebrate his legacy and accomplishments.
Please join us in welcoming Steve, his wife Jane, and their three children Matthew (20), Michael (19), and Katie (15) to Fessenden. Steve and his family very much look forward to living in Webster House and to joining our wonderful community in July 2018.
With warm regards,
Susan B. Levine P ’16, ’18, ’18
Search Committee Chair