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St. Luke’s School Celebrates Mary Halpin Carter

N. Troeger
SLS SoS Program_JM
Board Chair Jennifer L. Foster and Head of School Mary Halpin Carter

St. Luke’s School officially installed Mary Halpin Carter, Ph.D. as the 11th Head of the School and the first female head since the school’s opening in 1928. The community welcomed Carter with an Installation Celebration on Oct. 13 and special student assemblies on Oct. 14. 

SLS Head of School Installation
Julia Gabriele presents the Distinguished Faculty Award to Alec LeBris

Associate Head of School and Chief Financial Officer Julia Gabriele, a 35-year SLS veteran, told the community: “Even as we have grown exponentially in size and reputation…we never lost sight of who we are and who we want to be: A school that believes who you are—your character, your moral compass, your kindness, your willingness to serve others—is every bit as important as your intelligence, your grades, what college you go to, and your professional success.” Gabriele also presented the annual Edward B. Blakely Distinguished Faculty Award to chemistry teacher Alec LeBris, a 1995 alum of the school.

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Guy Bailey, TaShun Bowden-Lewis, Sally Rose Zuckert

The history of the school was brought to life by three people who lived it: Guy Bailey, former Assistant Head of School for Teaching & Learning, 1990 alum TaShun Bowden-Lewis who recently became Connecticut’s first Black and first female Chief Public Defender, and Sally Rose Zuckert, a 2015 alum and current SLS teacher.

Head of School Mary Carter addressed the future of SLS.

Carter told her new community: “Before setting foot on this campus or meeting a single soul, this mission told me everything about what St. Luke’s strives to instill: Love learning, be a good person, take care of each other. Believe in yourself and your ability to lead and make things happen. What a worthy foundation for young lives. The future of St. Luke’s is about building on this mission.” 

SLS Head of School Installation
St. Luke’s students from grades 5-12 present mission-inspired gifts

Dr. Carter received symbolic gifts tied to the school’s mission. Students representing grades 5-12 welcomed their new Head of School and explained the meaning behind each gift. 

Performances by SLS Chorale opened and closed the Installation Celebration

The school’s Chorale, led by Music Director Jessica Zamek and Executive Assistant Laurel Scarozza, performed the school’s alma mater and then closed the show with a “last gift” to Carter, a rendition of “Home” by Phillip Phillips.
Board Chair Foster told Carter that the community wanted to “publicly celebrate that we found the exact right 11th Head of School for St. Luke’s…We want you to know you have our full confidence and deep appreciation for who you are and what you bring to our community. And we plan to do everything we can to make this place your home. And a very happy one at that.”

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St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving over 35 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.