Alixe Callen has been appointed the first woman Head of School, and the twelfth in the history of St. George’s, the elite Episcopalian private school in Rhode Island. She will assume her position of responsibility on July 1, 2017.
Trustees at St. George’s cited Callen’s impressive background and track record of academic excellence in both private and public school leadership, leading her to the selection among a field of 150 highly qualified, interviewed candidates, some of which were deans of colleges.
Prior to entering the academic world in an administrative capacity, Callen put together an extremely impressive resume as a student. Holding bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brown University, she then went on to obtain a master’s degree and a doctorate degree from Harvard University. At Harvard, she helped to assist with graduate level courses in school leadership, school reform, and secondary school design.
Callen’s professional positions in academia include serving as an assistant principal from 2004-2008 at Needham High School in Needham, Mass. From there, she went on to become principal at Acton Boxborough Regional High School in Acton, Mass. from 2008-2013.
St. George’s, facing allegations of sexual abuse by students and teachers that date back to the 1970s, may be at a real crossroads now, having had perhaps the most difficult year in its storied history. With this in mind, the search committee, composed of trustees, faculty, alumni, and parents, sought to find the candidate who has a clear vision for the future; a candidate who best fits their community. This may very well be where Callen stood above the rest of the talented field of candidates.
Callen, with extraordinarily strong east coast ties, has equally strong ties to St. George’s, as four of her relatives have graduated from the school. Her great grandfather, John H. Condon, graduated in ’03. Her grandfather, James B. Condon, graduated in ’41. In ’40, her great uncle Charles B. Condon graduated. Then in ’66, uncle James B. Condon Jr. went on to graduate from the school.
In a statement regarding her new appointment at St. George’s School, Callen would go on to say: “My entire career has been spent helping teenagers to be kind, to watch out for each other, and to be contributing community members. To do that work in a school that has such deep roots for my family makes me humble and proud.”