Our search for Summit's new Director of Lower School has resulted in the hiring of a talented administrator, an exceptional educator, and an inspiring person. I am pleased to announce that Mr. Thomas Gething has accepted the position of Director of Lower School, effective July 1, 2020. Tom is currently Head of School at The Lancaster School, a progressive pre-K-12 independent school of 850 students on two campuses in Mexico City, Mexico. Tom holds his bachelor's degree in civil and structural engineering from University College (University of London), a postgraduate certificate in primary and middle school education (PGCE) from Oxford Polytechnic, and completed a masters of education in international education administration from Endicott College, MA in 2012.
Over the course of 28 years and across three continents, Tom has distinguished himself in these leadership roles: Head of the Botafogo Campus (with 800 students from pre-K through grade 6) for The British School in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Head of Grades 6-12 at Khartoum International Community School in Khartoum, Sudan; and Assistant Headteacher of Woodbank Primary School in Lancashire, United Kingdom. In addition, Tom has held teaching positions in all academic divisions from pre-K through high school; he has taught mathematics, design technology, theory of knowledge and science; he has coached boys and girls soccer; and he has even written, co-produced and co-directed two elementary school musicals. At Summit, we would say, Tom is "All In"!
When we began our search process this past June, we sought an experienced and committed leader with a rich variety of skills, qualifications, and qualities, including the following:
- Contagious commitment to and enjoyment of children
- Demonstrated excellence in developing progressive curriculum and pedagogy
- Participatory approach to and success in leading, supporting, professionally developing and inspiring faculty
- Proven history of excellence in leadership roles
- Administrative acumen
- Strategic vision for and tactical approach to educating children for a future we can scarcely imagine, much less predict
- Commitment to and success in partnering with parents
- Combination of keen intelligence, lively sense of humor, unfaltering integrity, effective communication, strong work ethic, and healthy work/life balance
Tom Gething is that leader.
Those who have worked closely with Tom describe him in the following ways:
- "Tom is highly organized, thoughtful, determined and compassionate."
- "He always has his eye on the future, without losing sight of the heritage of the past and the immediacy of the present."
- "Tom is phenomenally hardworking and a tremendous role model for administrators and teachers alike."
- "Tom possesses a special magic with students that is obvious for all to see."
- "Tom is a teacher and administrator who will expect of his colleagues and students the highest of standards."
- "Tom's international posts, as well as his early career in the United Kingdom, have taught him to be patient, tolerant and flexible, without losing sight of goals."
- "Tom deeply appreciates parents, and approaches them with honesty, insight, clarity, and encouragement."
- "Along with building a common vision, Tom leads by example."
- "Tom is an outstanding and innovative educator and is driven by a constant search for improvement, working tirelessly on behalf of his students while inspiring his staff."
In a recent letter to the Lower School faculty and staff, Tom writes,
"As I have slowly learned more about Summit, it has been clear to me that what makes Summit so special fits directly with what I believe are the fundamental values of a great education: recognizing and valuing the whole child, creating a space where all children can flourish academically, socially and emotionally, and ensuring everybody is a somebody."
While Tom's presence as Director of Lower School is certain to enrich us all, as parents you should know that the excellence, professionalism, creativity, commitment and collaborative spirit so evident among the Summit faculty, staff, students, and community were central to his decision to join us.
We are grateful to the members of our search committee: Della Hinman, Cathy Denning, Catherine Helm, Katia Reyes, Amy King, Bekah Sidden, Carrie Malloy, Misty Hyman, and Yvonne Mushayamunda. Their integrity, clear thinking, and commitment to our Summit students, families, staff, and program were at the heart of this successful hiring process.
Head of Summit School
Doing Our Jobs
The word change is a distraction. A dodge. A form of resistance. An expression of fear.
Sometimes we use it to avoid doing our jobs. "Change is hard."