Liz Morrison Appointed Next Head of School at MBS

Dear Members of the Morristown-Beard School Community,

I write to you today to share the exciting news that the Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to appoint Elizabeth "Liz" Morrison as the next Head of the Morristown-Beard School, effective July 1, 2021, on the retirement of Peter Caldwell in June 2021. Liz will be the first woman to serve as Head of School for Morristown-Beard School since the Morristown School and the Beard School merged in 1971. She joins the ranks of only a handful of other women in the state serving in the position.

Liz comes to MBS from Antilles School, an independent, coeducational college preparatory school in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, where she has served as Head of School since 2016. She brings more than three decades of experience in independent school education, having served as Assistant Head of School at the Millbrook School in Millbrook, New York before joining Antilles School.

Liz's appointment comes as a result of a thorough and inclusive process conducted by the Search Committee, under the leadership of Trustee Paul Hawkins '85, 'P18, 'P20, and in conjunction with the experienced educational search firm, Carney Sandoe & Associates. The Search Committee was comprised of trustees, faculty and administration members working collaboratively to evaluate and select our next Head of School. Liz was selected from a national pool of highly qualified and talented candidates of diverse racial and gender backgrounds after a thorough search process that engaged students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and trustees. My deep thanks to the Search Committee and the entire MBS community for their efforts to find our new Head of School. 

When we began the search process, we sought to find a new Head of School who not only understood and embraced who we are, but would be instrumental and effective in leading the School to new heights. Armed with those charges, our Search Committee received dozens of qualified applications from across the country and vetted each of them. Yet, one stood out from the rest. After conversations and Zoom meetings with faculty, students, alumni, and parents, every constituency came back with the same report — Liz Morrison should be our next Head of School.

We are thrilled that Liz accepted our invitation. She was chosen for her all-encompassing experience in education, her passion for teaching and learning, and especially for her ability to connect with students and earn the respect of faculty, and her commitment to diversity and inclusion. With a student population at Antilles School that is almost 50 percent students of color, Liz has grown in her understanding of the complexity of race in independent schools, and she is striving to create a curriculum and community where all students feel a deep sense of belonging.  It's clear that she understands the important role that the Head of School plays in shaping school culture. Liz was drawn to Antilles by its deep commitment to balance — values that date to the school's founding in 1950. At the same time, she has worked to shape the culture and school policies to support greater dynamism and experimentation.

Leading a school on a small island has meant connecting the school with the larger St. Thomas community — a task Liz has enjoyed — and she has been critical to Antilles' fund-raising success. Many of the school's major donors have no ties to the school but value it as an essential community resource. In addition to leading the transition to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, she also successfully navigated two back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes at the school in 2017.

The MBS Board of Trustees was impressed by the breadth of her credentials as an educator and administrator. At the Millbrook School, she held positions as Dean of Students, Academic Dean, and Director of College Counseling. Earlier in her career, Liz served as a math teacher and Chair of the Math Department at Oakwood Friends. More recently, Liz was inducted into the Headmasters Association, a highly prestigious association of only 100 members.

A graduate of The Bryn Mawr School, Liz holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout the search process, Liz's supervisors and colleagues were uniform in their praise for her professionalism, work ethic, communications, and team-building skills, along with her business and curriculum development acumen.

On a more personal level, Liz grew up in Baltimore, Maryland; she was a proud member of the 1986 University of Maryland NCAA Division 1 National Champion Women's Lacrosse team; has a son and daughter in their twenties, along with two adult stepchildren; her husband Tom is a corporate pilot; and she plans to reside in New Jersey near MBS.

We are very eager to welcome Liz and her family to campus next summer. We plan to work with Liz and Peter Caldwell to ensure a successful transition and onboarding of Liz to MBS. This process will be managed by a Transition Committee Co-Chaired by Trustees Scott Tannen '95, P '22, P '25, P '25, and Lissa Ferrell P '22 and which will include members of faculty and administration to support Liz as she joins our community. Over the coming months you will learn more about Liz's onboarding process as she meets and learns more about our community.

I am confident that under Liz's leadership, Morristown-Beard School will attain new heights, our horizons will continue to expand, and our students will continue to flourish. 

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, and every constituent, please join me in welcoming Liz Morrison to Morristown-Beard School and to wish her unprecedented success!

With warmest regards,

John F. Fay P '11, P '14, P '20
President, Board of Trustees


 

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