Dear Alumni, Students, Parents, and Friends of Kimball Union,
Today I write to share the news that I have notified the Board of Trustees that the upcoming academic year, 2018-2019, will be my last year at Kimball Union. I have made this decision to complete my tenure as the 18th Head of School with my family and with the full support of our Board of Trustees. After fifteen years at Kimball Union’s helm, I believe now is the right time for a new Head of School with a fresh vision to advance Kimball Union to the highest heights among the leading independent schools of our kind.
Kimball Union was a strong school when we arrived in 2003, thanks to so many who came before us, in particular our predecessors, Timothy and Elizabeth Knox. Today, by any measure, our school has never been better equipped to achieve our mission for every child under our care: academic mastery, creativity, responsibility, and leadership. We can be confident that KUA’s position is ever brighter now and will shine long into the future.
Over the past fifteen years, the Academy has far exceeded the goals that were set forth in the long-range plan, two subsequent strategic plans, and in the historic bicentennial Impact Campaign. I am proud of the impressive accomplishments achieved by the extended KUA family. The Campaign, which was supported by nearly 5,000 alumni, parents, and friends raised nearly $50 million and has strengthened the Academy enormously.
We have made lasting investments in faculty and student support, modernized and preserved our beautiful historic village campus, and created broad and in-depth innovative academic initiatives and Scholar Programs in the humanities, STEM, and the arts. We have advanced academic support services to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse, multi-faceted student body. We have enhanced leadership and service programs, fostered lasting global and local partnerships, and redoubled our commitment to excellence in the arts, athletics, and character development.
The hallmark of Kimball Union’s culture is a warm, vibrant, and loving learning community, wholly dedicated to continuous improvement while changing hearts and building relationships that endure. Relationships are at the core of the learning process for students and are what drive our Academy onward. To ensure a smooth leadership transition, I will spend the coming year focused on the external affairs of the school. Gayle and I will dedicate our time to solidifying relationships with alumni and friends of the school, celebrating the Academy’s many successes, and outlining future opportunities as directed by the Board of Trustees.
Gayle and I, Hannah '12, Joanna '15, and Jonathan '19, each raised in Munro House and educated on the Hilltop, are eternally grateful to our alumni, parents, trustees, and four outstanding Board Chairs under whom I have proudly served. Whatever part we may have played in the storied history of this wonderful Academy, the people who walked before us, alongside us, and to all who call it home, have created an experience of a lifetime. In particular, we would like to thank the dedicated KUA faculty, staff, and the Academy’s life force, our students past and present, whose ongoing success is our most cherished legacy, and profoundly, our greatest personal reward.
Michael J. Schafer H'13, P'12, P'15, P'19