Community

New Head of School

On July 1, 2022, Dr. Mary Halpin Carter, Ph.D. became our new Head of School.

Welcome Message from Mary

Meet St. Luke's Head of School

Last October, Dr. Mary Halpin Carter, Ph.D. was named as St. Luke's new Head of School. For the past ten years, Dr. Carter served as the beloved and transformative Head at The Derryfield School. In announcing Dr. Carter's appointment, St. Luke's Board Chair Jennifer L. Foster said “It is our assessment that Mary is the best culture fit, has the most applicable leadership skills, brings strong alignment with our strategic direction, will competently tackle our challenges, and has the community support to lead St. Luke’s successfully into the future.”

Dr. Carter encourages schools to aim high for students. In her words: "Developing students’ full potential is a powerful way for an institution with high academic standards to fulfill its mission and impact society. Schools that have mastered preparing students for college ought to see if they have the capacity to aim higher and prepare students to live fulfilling lives ... to build lives of meaning and joy."
 

Fireside Chat

Earlier this year, Head of School Mary Carter sat down with Head of School Emeritus Mark Davis for a fireside chat.

Dr. Mary Halpin Carter, St. Luke's Head of School

Students should feel deeply respected at school. I want each child to know, you are not just important to us and your family—the world also needs you to contribute and serve."

Additional Background Information

Before joining St. Luke's, Mary Carter served as Head of School at The Derryfield School, a co-ed, independent, non-denominational day school located in Manchester, New Hampshire, serving 400 students in grades 6-12.

Learn more about Dr. Carter's outstanding experience and accomplishments below.

List of 3 items.

  • Education

    University of New Hampshire
    Ph.D. in Education; Concentration in School Leadership.
    Dissertation: Independently Innovative: Teachers and Change in Successful Schools.

    Columbia University
    Klingenstein Fellowship for excellence in independent school teaching.

    Harvard Graduate School of Education
    M.Ed. in Teaching, Curriculum, and Learning Environments.

    Dartmouth College
    A.B. in History with a focus on American intellectual and cultural history.
  • Experience

    Dr. Carter joined The Derryfield School in 1997. Prior to becoming Head of School in 2012, she served in various positions, including Assistant Head of School for Faculty and Academic Programs (2010-2012), Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs (2008-2010), Head of Upper School (2006-2008), Academic Dean (2000-2001), and Director of Admission (1997-2000).

    Dr. Carter left Derryfield in 2001 to "raise three little people" with her husband, Chris - children Louisa (25), Polly (23), and Martin (21) - but was enticed back in 2006.

    Prior to Derryfield, Dr. Carter worked at Newton North High School in Newton, MA as a history teacher and tennis coach. Earlier, she served as Director of Admission and Financial Aid, history teacher, and coach at The Pingree School in South Hamilton, MA. Dr. Carter began her career at Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges in Cambridge, MA, implementing young alumni giving strategies as Assistant Director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Fund.
  • Acccomplishments

    • Launched a new academic program that focused on 21st-century skills, application of knowledge to real-world problems, project-based learning and student research. The new program was the product of a three-year faculty research, planning, and training effort, and it included the redesign of all courses, the modification of graduation requirements to include STEM and Design Thinking, the adoption of a new school schedule designed to reduce student stress and the addition of 40 exploration courses for passion pursuit.
    • Established “Leading for the Common Good” program that, as implemented, entailed shaping upper school culture around inclusion and kindness. Associated curriculum is under development, emphasizing leadership skills, emotional intelligence, ethical decision making and equity and inclusion.
    • Created pioneering “Pathways” program, featuring personal coaching for every upper school student to identify individual strengths and interests, and encourage participation in academic and extracurricular opportunities at Derryfield, across the region and the globe.
    • Developed “Portrait of a Middle School Learner” program, in which all middle school courses and advisories are aligned around helping students develop eight core learning skills.
    • Partnered with college counseling team to strengthen college counseling program, resulting in acceptance of 94% of students in Class of 2020 to at least one of their top three schools, and 64% to their top school.
    • Led $11.6 million capital campaign, the largest in school history, to fund construction of new science and innovation center, athletic and wellness center and tennis complex, and to increase endowment by $1 million.
 


St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.