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Board of Trustees

October 29, 2018

 

Dear WRA Community:

 

We are pleased to announce that after a national search, the Board of Trustees and the Head of School Search Committee have unanimously selected Suzanne Walker Buck as Western Reserve Academy's 32nd Head of School. We extend our warmest and most enthusiastic welcome to Suzanne and her family as they prepare for the beginning of her headship effective July 1, 2019.

 

The Reserve community was impressed by Suzanne's experience, intelligence, authenticity, warmth and unrivaled passion. She won hearts and minds during her time in Hudson, fielding questions from all constituencies and eliciting a standing ovation from students during a bold presentation at Morning Meeting. The energy Suzanne ignited in the Chapel swept campus for the duration of her visit to WRA, foreshadowing an exciting trajectory for the school's next chapter, building on nearly two centuries of strength.

 

Throughout her life and work experience, Suzanne has shown a personal commitment to excellence, integrity and compassion, aligning with our enduring school values. Suzanne's engagement with boarding schools is long and deep. She is a graduate of both the Fay School and Miss Porter's School. She says she knew as early as the fifth grade that the world of boarding schools held a spell of magic and could always foresee returning to work in such an extraordinary environment.

 

After graduating from Connecticut College, Suzanne joined Westminster School as an Admission Counselor, Dorm Parent, and Coach of Field Hockey and Lacrosse. From Westminster she attended graduate school earning a degree in clinical social work from Columbia University and a degree in education from Harvard University. She has since held posts at Fay School, New Hampton School, and most recently as the Rector (Head of School) at Chatham Hall in Chatham, Virginia, where in four years she increased enrollment by 36 percent; added significant tuition revenue; increased annual giving by 14 percent and developed a bold strategic plan.

 

It seemed that Suzanne absorbed and harnessed, almost instantly, both the history and promise of Reserve.

 

"I couldn't be more thrilled to join Western Reserve Academy," she said. "While rich in traditions, resources and programs, I am struck most by the character of the community. Pioneers care about one another and the world at large. It is clear that students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni share a common thread in the tapestry of experience; they are committed to learning, teaching, innovating, and connecting with authenticity and compassion. My husband, Johnny, and I are extremely honored to root our professional lives and family at Western Reserve Academy."

 

Suzanne is married to Johnny Buck, art teacher, coach, advisor and Interim Director of Athletics at Chatham Hall. Johnny too is a product of boarding school (Fessenden School and Proctor Academy). They have a daughter, Halsey (12), and two children from Johnny's first marriage, Oliver (19) and Nina (21). In the coming months, there will be opportunities to meet Suzanne and her family, including scheduled meetings with the WRA community as we welcome the Buck family to Hudson.

 

Suzanne's arrival at Western Reserve Academy is due in large part to the work of our Head of School Search Committee and the partnership with executive search firm RG-175. We extend our sincere gratitude to Robert T. Michael '60, former WRA Trustee and our Co-Chair of the Search Committee.

 

The entire Reserve community — faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni — played the other pivotal role. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, thank you all. Throughout our history, with this announcement today, and in our future, remarkable things happen when our Reserve community combines its experiences, passion and purpose. Together, we have created a school that stood out to a world-class candidate.

 

Please join us in extending a gracious Midwestern welcome to Suzanne and her family.

 

Sincerely,

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Andrew R. Midler '79

Co-President, WRA Board of Trustees

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Timothy R. Warner '69

Co-President, WRA Board of Trustees

 
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© Western Reserve Academy 2018

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