St. George’s school, a coeducational boarding and day school for grades 9-12, has appointed Alexandra “Alixe” Callen as its 12th Head of School. She will be the first woman to lead the Episcopalian private school when she takes over on July 1, 2017. The board of directors presented Callen to the school community in an introduction on December 9. Callen was chosen from 150 interviewed candidates. She currently serves as the upper school director at Lakeside School in Seattle. Trustees said Callen has a record of academic excellence and an impressive background in public and private school leadership. Callen has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brown University and a master’s degree and a doctorate from Harvard University. Before moving to Lakeside, Alixe Callen was principal at Acton Boxborough Regional High School in Acton, Mass. and before that an assistant principal of Needham High School in Needham, Mass. Four of Callen’s relatives have previously graduated from St. George’s so she’s in good company.
The search committee of trustees, parents, faculty and alumni searched for the candidate who would be the best fit for their community and future visions. The board of trustees said that Callen stood out among so many highly qualified applicants. St. George’s has had one of its most difficult years since its founding in 1896. Sexual abuse by teachers and students dating back to the 1970s came to the surface, which led to an undisclosed civil settlement with up to 30 alumni. Callen will be replacing Head Eric Peterson, who has led the school for 13 years. Peterson told the board earlier this year that he would not seek a contract renewal. The trustees are confident that Callen will steer St. George’s in a positive direction. Callen has a bright future ahead of her.