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Oakridge Names New Leader to Succeed Retiring Head of School

The Oakridge School has named a new Head of School to succeed Jon Kellam, who announced last winter that he will retire from the school he has served for nearly three decades.

Matthew R. Burgy, Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning at St. Mark’s Episcopal School in Houston, has been selected to lead Oakridge following a comprehensive national search that attracted a diverse pool of outstanding candidates. He will begin his tenure at Oakridge on July 1, 2022. Kellam’s last day as Head of School will be on June 30, 2022. 

Burgy has served as a Head of School, Dean of Students, Director of Admission, Head of Middle School, Head of Upper School, Athletic Director, and mathematics teacher for 5th grade through AP Calculus. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Master of Education in Independent School Leadership from Vanderbilt University.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to accept the Board of Regents’ invitation to be The Oakridge School’s next Head of School. I am eager to begin our collective work with talented faculty and staff who are dedicated to knowing each child and helping them become the best version of themselves,” Burgy said in a statement. “I am inspired to grow with a dedicated leadership team that is focused and driven to support the development of the whole child. I am elated to build new partnerships with the caring and supportive parents who give so generously to this wonderful school. In short, I could not be more excited to join the parliament of Owls and shepherd Oakridge into its next era.”

Burgy and his wife Moira, a veteran educator with experience presenting at national conferences on curriculum and teacher development, have one daughter, Katie, who is a doctoral student at Tufts University.

The search was led by Board of Regents Chairman Charles Pierson and a committee of Regents and parents, in partnership with distinguished educational recruitment firm, Carney, Sandoe & Associates. The search committee reviewed nearly 60 candidates from around the globe, ultimately narrowing the number to four finalists. Committee members were gratified to see the number of exceptional individuals with very diverse backgrounds who expressed an interest in the position, and said the superb quality of the candidates spoke to Oakridge’s strong reputation and bright future.

“A thoughtful, thorough, transparent, and inclusive process by our entire Oakridge community yielded unanimous support for a highly qualified, gifted, and natural-born leader in Matt,” Pierson said. “He was the favorite of all constituent groups: our Board, faculty and staff, parents, and children.”

He added: “Matt’s qualifications for the job are superior in every way. He has the rare and amazing combination of both a business background and teaching experience through the entire spectrum of lower, middle, and upper school. Matt brings the administrative and operational expertise we sought in someone who has prior Head of School experience, as well as being a division head leader.” 

Burgy has served St. Mark’s Episcopal Houston since 2013. St. Mark’s is a private co-educational school for students age 2 through grade 8. 

Established in 1979, The Oakridge School is an independent, co-educational, college preparatory, day school for students age 3 through grade 12. The school draws a diverse student body from 22 area cities and 8 countries to a dynamic learning environment on a 100-acre campus in Arlington. The Oakridge School mission is to inspire students to seek their full potential in academics, the arts, and athletics in a challenging and nurturing environment that cultivates social responsibility, mutual respect, and personal integrity.

In announcing retirement plans in January 2021, Kellam said, “When I reminisce, I am particularly proud of the positive relationships we have established with thousands of students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and grandparents. With his remaining time, he pledged to continue leading Oakridge with his heart and soul.

“Between now and June 30, 2022, our team will remain focused on delivering the mission, working toward strategic improvement, and assisting Matt Burgy with a smooth transition to The Oakridge School.”

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021