The student voice of St. George's Independent School.

St. George’s welcomes new head

Photo: Juliana Wall

Mr. J. Ross Peters visits the Agape Chapel in April. Mr. Peters will be assuming the role of Head of School in July.

Anna Marie Beard, Copy Editor

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On January 5, 2015, St. George’s announced its selection of Mr. J. Ross Peters as the next head of school. This is a bittersweet moment for the school community as it marks the end of President William Taylor’s time at St. George’s.

“I was here when [the Collierville campus] was just dirt,” Mr. Taylor said. “It’s difficult for me to leave because I’ve seen everything happen here.”

This is Mr. Taylor’s 14th year at St. George’s. Originally charged with managing the newly-created Collierville campus, he assumed the position of School President in 2006, which was the same year as the first commencement.

Since then, the Taylor family has thoroughly integrated themselves into the school. Mr. Taylor’s wife, Mrs. Jennifer Taylor, became the Admissions Director for all three campuses. Furthermore, both of the Taylor children are St. George’s alumni, and the eldest, Mr. Wilson Taylor, returned for two and a half years to teach 10th grade English.

On September 19, 2014, Mr. William Taylor announced that he would be leaving St. George’s to become the Headmaster of Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, N.Y. Mr. Taylor actually began his career in education at Trinity-Pawling, teaching there for thirteen years and eventually took on the role of Assistant headmaster before making the move to St. George’s.

“I think change is healthy, for me and for the school, but it’s bittersweet and it’s sad for me to leave,” Mr. Taylor said.

The search for a new Head of School began immediately after his announcement of departure. The Board of Trustees assembled search and advisory committees to oversee the candidate search and evaluation process. The search committee gathered a selection of candidates with the assistance of Educators Collaborative, a firm that specializes in candidate searches for Head of School searches on the behalf of independent schools.

According to Mr. Taylor, the committees were looking for someone with the leadership skills to keep St. George’s growing and thriving.

After conducting the semifinalist and finalist rounds of candidate interviews, the Board of Trustees announced its selection of Mr. Peters.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be joining you next year,” Mr. Peters said to students via email. “I just wrapped up a two-day visit during which I visited each campus, met with a number of people, and developed a better understanding of the school.”

Mr. Peters is currently the Head of the Upper School at Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Ga. He will be transitioning to St. George’s in the middle of July, and he will be joined by his wife, Dr. Katie Peters, and eleven-year-old daughter, Eleanor. Dr. Peters holds a Ph.D. in religious studies and is currently teaching English at Oglethorpe University.

With Mr. Peters’ arrival, his title will be changing from President to Head of School to better keep with the independent school philosophy.

“I am particularly looking forward to getting to know the class of 2016,” Mr. Peters said. “I met with a few members of that class and heard the brief outlines of some thoughtful proposals for next year, and it is clear they are ready to lead us into and through a great year. See you soon!”

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The student voice of St. George's Independent School.
St. George’s welcomes new head