Scott Griggs, Head of School, is departing from Greenhill at the end of the 2017-18 school year. He is leaving due to “the right timing” within Greenhill’s administrative cycle.
According to Mr. Griggs, schools create a strategic plan every eight to ten years. In the past, these eight-to-ten year cycles have spurred major development campaigns. Mr. Griggs’ first cycle produced a campaign to construct the Preschool and Lower School buildings and add an addition to the Upper School. His second cycle elicited the “Building Community” campaign, which was completed by February 2016 with the opening of the Marshall Family Performing Arts Center (MPAC).
These campaigns can be stressful and time-consuming. Mr. Griggs has said he does not wish to complete another full cycle.
“I will have been here 18 years, and that’s a long time for any head to be at one school,” said Mr. Griggs. “Candidly, I don’t have another eight to ten years in me.”
However, he is not retiring. Mr. Griggs plans to look for work in a wide variety of things. A couple of possibilities he is considering are working as an administrator at another independent school for a few years or consulting.
Mr. Griggs came to Greenhill in 2000. He was working as the Head of Upper School at an independent school in Virginia when he was contacted about an opening at Greenhill.
“I wasn’t looking to move at that point in time. That school had just started with a new headmaster, and I was very happy there and very comfortable there. But I had always heard about Greenhill,” Mr. Griggs said.
It was Greenhill’s mission of diversity and inclusion that particularly appealed to him. In fact, Mr. Griggs considers his greatest responsibility as Head of School to maintain these values.
However, Mr. Griggs does admit that Greenhill could do a better job of respecting diversity within the ideological spectrum.
“I think clearly Greenhill is a more liberal leaning community. If we truly are living our mission, we need to respect opinions that are different from that. There’s got to be a place for that voice to be heard in our community as well,” Mr. Griggs said.
According to Mr. Griggs, respecting different viewpoints does not mean shying away from difficult conversations. To him, conversations should result in some level of mutual understanding, even if there are still stark differences in opinion.
“I hope Greenhill can have good conversations—and I mean good conversations,” said Mr. Griggs. “Conversations means it goes back and forth, without being demeaning and spiteful and hateful. We need to be able to disagree with a person’s opinion or position, but in a way that also provides a level of understanding.”
Griggs’ replacement will be chosen by the Board of Trustees. Next year, the board will hire a search firm to survey the community for qualities they’re looking for in a head of school and interview applicants. The search firm has not yet been determined.