Dear Glenelg Country School Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Matt Walsh as Glenelg Country School’s 10th Head of School, effective July 1, 2021. After a comprehensive search and careful consideration, the Board has unanimously selected Matt to succeed Greg Ventre, who is retiring on June 30, 2021 after 14 years of dedicated service to GCS.
Matt’s experience and expertise as an independent school head make him an excellent choice for the job. In addition, his intelligence, integrity, energy, transparent communication style, thoughtful and collaborative nature, and warm and caring demeanor make Matt a great fit for our GCS community and Dragon family. During Matt’s recent campus visit, the Board was impressed with how he interacted with administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni, and the feedback we received from the GCS community members with whom he met was overwhelmingly positive. The Board is certain that Matt is the right person to lead GCS going forward.
Matt has spent 30 years as an independent school educator, holding positions as a teacher, coach, associate academic dean, division head, and head. Matt is currently the President and Head of School at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas. Pulaski Academy is very similar to GCS in that it is a co-ed Pre-K-12 independent school with approximately 1250 students from age 2½ to grade 12, 190 employees, and an $18 million budget. During Matt's nine-year tenure at Pulaski Academy, the school achieved several consecutive years of operating surpluses, secured a $2 million dollar merit scholarship endowment from the Malone Family Foundation, established a cash reserve, and raised significant capital funds for the enhancement of its athletics facilities. Utilizing the research from Yale's Center for Emotional Intelligence, Matt led the school in revamping its social emotional learning program. Under his leadership, Pulaski Academy expanded its fine and performing arts program across all three divisions, constructed a new student commons, and developed a strategic marketing plan. Prior to joining Pulaski Academy, Matt was Headmaster at LaGrange Academy, a co-ed K-12 independent school with 200 students and 31 employees in LaGrange, Georgia.
Matt is a graduate of Georgetown University with a BS in French, Minor in English and holds a MA from Middlebury College in Spanish Language and Literature. He is fluent in Spanish and French and an avid reader of political history, biography, and social psychology.
Matt and his wife Janet have three children. Their older daughter, Ashling, attends Middlebury College while their younger daughter, Ayla, and son, John, currently attend Pulaski Academy’s Middle School. They look forward to making their home at the Head of School house on the GCS campus and having Ayla and John become GCS students in our Upper and Middle Schools.
Plans are now underway to ensure a smooth leadership transition from Greg to Matt. Matt is excited to learn more about our beloved school and diverse community over the next several months and start as Head of School on July 1. The Board is confident that when you get to know Matt, you will see in him what we see—a caring, competent, and collaborative Head of School who will lead GCS successfully into the future while preserving the best of its past.
Please join me in thanking Greg for his many years of devoted leadership and warmly welcoming Matt and his family to GCS!
Bradley Smith, P ’12, ‘14
Chair, Board of Trustees