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Gretchen Forsyth to Serve as Interim Head of GUS, Beginning June 12

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The GUS Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Assistant Head of School Gretchen Forsyth will serve as Interim Head beginning on June 12, 2019 and throughout the 2019-2020 school year. She will work in partnership with Head of School David Liebmann, throughout the spring to promote continuity and consistency for students, teachers, and families.

"Gretchen is a gifted and energetic leader who inspires students and colleagues with her commitment to learning and understanding of the social-emotional needs of children.  Throughout her nine years as an educator and administrator at GUS, Gretchen has been known as a champion for the student experience, a driver for progressive curriculum, and a motivating force behind the development of the student life program in upper school." said Carl Graves, P'19, '20, President of the GUS Board of Trustees.

Forsyth joined the GUS community in 2010 as Director of Upper School before becoming the Assistant Head of School in 2018. With a strong understanding of young people and their development, she holds a Masters of Arts in Private School Leadership from the renowned Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, is a graduate of Boston College School of Social Work and a licensed social worker, and received her Bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College. An avid athlete, Gretchen has taught and coached at her alma mater The Governor's Academy, Rocky Hill School, and Kimball Union Academy. Gretchen enjoys arriving to the GUS campus each morning with her daughters, Libby '25 and Charlotte '27, and competing in the annual GUS Wild Boar Classic Golf Tournament with her husband Kirk.

Forsyth shared her educational philosophy with GUS faculty this fall, "I believe we can instill in young people the belief that every problem is solvable, every obstacle can be overcome and that they have the power to make a difference in their communities and in the world. Helping children to believe in themselves and believe they are capable of great things should be the purpose of education and the goal of every school." Learn more about Gretchen Forsyth, her experiences in education, and her teaching philosophy here. 

While Liebmann and Forsyth will work closely on a plan of transition to next year, they will not be alone in that endeavor as the school is in the process of establishing an Interim Support Committee. The committee will comprise faculty, staff, parents and trustees and will be charged with supporting Forsyth and the school in the interim period to ensure the student and family experience throughout the 2019-20 school year is uninterrupted. Graves shared, "David, Gretchen, the Board and our wonderful faculty and staff are all 100% dedicated to that purpose. We will also staff additional roles next year in the areas of student and academic support, to be announced, to fill in for Gretchen’s current functional role as she turns her attention to the interim headship."

The Board of Trustees is currently beginning a search for a permanent Head of School to be in place for the 2020-2021 school year. Graves continued, “It is our fiduciary responsibility, and leadership obligation, to conduct an extensive search for the next GUS Head of School. We will seek the very best candidate available to build on our past successes and lead our school into the next 40 years. At the same time, we are fortunate to have a talented leader like Gretchen Forsyth, resident in our community, who is ready to step into the interim role. Based on her extensive background and nearly a decade of experience with GUS, she is distinctively qualified to lead us through this interim period.  We also recognize that she is ready for the next step in her career and have encouraged her to become a candidate in our formal search process."

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the transition and search processes, feel free to contact Carl Graves directly 617.320.4961 or cgraves@vestapartners.com.