My Final Year As Upper School Head

By Bart Gummere, Upper School Head

It is with truly mixed feelings that I reflect on the last few weeks of my time as the EPS Upper School Head.  I’m excited to move into my new position, and I’m thrilled to be able to grow into a new role while remaining a part of this school.  Still, there is some feeling of loss.

One example of loss is entirely personal.  I see the pictures of when I started 13 years ago and think, “where did that young guy go?!”  I don’t want to say the job aged me, but something did.

A more significant loss will be in the chance to work with and develop such a strong faculty.  There are very few people teaching here now for whom I was not part of the hiring practice.  Everyone knows that finding good teachers is not easy.  Finding good teachers who are also good people is even harder. What a pleasure it’s been to work with this group.  I’ll still be with them on a daily basis, but it will no longer be my role to help each on their own professional path.

Of course, the daily nature of my work with students and families will change as well.  While I won’t be managing many aspects of student life that I do now, my hope is to remain strongly connected with students and parents.  To build a strong alumni network and to further strengthen a great college counseling program I need to be in touch with day-to-day student life, and I will be.

The campus and the program I work within each day was almost impossible to imagine in 2006 when I started.  We were thrilled when each student made the choice to enroll and stay.  Each simple physical improvement to the buildings was a milestone.  I never dreamed we’d come so far, so fast.

The one other aspect that makes this transition easy is to know that the great leadership team that got the school here, continues to work with the same focus and energy.  Added to that group next year will be Dr. John Stegeman, our incoming Upper School Head.  My contact with him to this point indicates he’ll be a great addition, doing much in the role and taking the faculty and school to even greater heights.  I’m glad I’ll still be here to enjoy the ride.