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Millwood School Names New Head of School

The Millwood School has announced that Christopher Ryan has been unanimously selected by the Board to serve as Millwood’s next head of school. Chris was most recently at Carrollwood Day School, in Tampa FL, where he has served as Principal of the Upper School since 2013. Chris comes to RVA along with his wife Christine, and their two sons, Luc, six, and Finn, eight.

Christopher Ryan has been unanimously selected by the board to serve as Millwood’s next head of school.

His personal and professional experiences demonstrate his exceptional commitment to the mission of Millwood School: Challenge the Intellect, Develop the Body and Foster Moral Values. The Board is confident and enthusiastic about his ability to honor the foundation laid by our founding Head of School, Dr. Louise Bagwell-Robinson and also to move the school forward as a strong, vibrant independent JK-12 school.

Chris has served as a senior administrator in three institutions: Washington International School, The British School of Washington, and Carrollwood Day School, where he was the high school principal. He has private school experience with all grade levels, as well as coaching and IT experience. In his most recent roles he has been part of planning the physical expansion of the school, developing and overseeing school curriculum and implementing data collection to drive student and school success. He has experience in marketing, fundraising and development. Early in his career, Chris played professional and semi-professional soccer in U.K. and has coached soccer throughout his career. In 2006 he was named Washington D.C. area High School Coach of the year.

Chris received his B Eng in General Engineering and Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. He went on to receive his Masters of Science in International Education through Southeastern University and their partnership with the European Community of International Schools. Chris is currently pursuing a Masters of Management and Finance at Harvard University. He has dual citizenship in the USA and UK. He is proficient in written and spoken French.

The appointment of Chris marks the end of a thorough, nearly year-long, national search that began shortly after Dr. Bagwell-Robinson announced her retirement in December 2015. The Search Committee was appointed by the Millwood Board of Trustees last winter. The committee, lead by former Millwood Board President Deborah Ellenberg, gathered input from the Board and greater Millwood community to identify the qualities needed in our next leader. After interviewing and reviewing materials from dozens of applicants, the Search Committee interviewed the top 12 candidates via Skype last summer. Shortly after the beginning of this school year, three finalist candidates and their spouses were invited to spend two days visiting Millwood to tour the school and to meet with school constituencies. All who met the candidates were invited to provide feedback, which was carefully reviewed and discussed.

Says Chris of his appointment, “I am deeply honored to be appointed as the second head of Millwood School. Dr. Louise Bagwell-Robinson, the trustees, the faculty and the entire Millwood community deserve enormous credit for the extraordinary shape Millwood is in today. I am humbled and excited about the prospect of leading Millwood School, where I will further facilitate the delivery of a world class education, helping to equip young people for an informed, committed, and compassionate contribution to the world which awaits them.”

As for his personal philosophy regarding education, Chris says, “As an educator, I believe in instilling the attributes of understanding, compassion, diligence, and perseverance within each individual. An education should address the social, emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, and ethical advancement of each student.”


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