Morristown-Beard School Headmaster Peter J. Caldwell announced this week that he plans to retire at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year after having served for 10 years at MBS.
Mr. Caldwell and his wife Darcy, a member of the MBS English Department, joined the Morristown-Beard School community in July, 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Caldwell served as Assistant Headmaster at St. Andrew’s School, a coed preparatory boarding school in Middletown, Delaware.
“Peter Caldwell embodies Morristown-Beard School’s mission and core values, and he has worked energetically on behalf of our students and community since he and his wife Darcy Caldwell first joined us,” said Board of Trustees President John F. Fay. “Peter has led our School in the execution of our student-centric strategy, and as a result, Morristown-Beard School is in a very strong position with a modern and leading academic program, a strong and committed faculty and administration, top of the line facilities, and most importantly, happy and engaged students.”
Mr. Caldwell’s accomplishments at MBS include programmatic initiatives designed to encourage the life-long skills of curiosity, risk-taking, and self-advocacy in its students. During his tenure at MBS, he introduced a humanities curriculum, an earned honors program, and a focus on writing and critical thinking. He also expanded the math and sciences curriculum as well as the School’s experiential-design learning programs. He has also been a champion of diversity and inclusion, encouraging dialogue and understanding across the campus.
To support these programmatic initiatives, Mr. Caldwell led the largest capital campaign in Morristown-Beard School’s history, Transforming Our Future- $20 million by 2020. Results of this campaign include the School’s new Math & Science Center, the Center for Innovation & Design, enhanced and remodeled athletic facilities, and additional financial aid via an expanded endowment. Mr. Caldwell is currently leading Morristown-Beard School’s next five-year strategic plan which will deepen the School’s focus and commitment to its students’ well-being, academic success, and extracurricular activities.
“Most importantly, Peter has been a role model, mentor and teacher to our students,” said Mr. Fay. “Whether it is the life lessons in his monthly Bench Talks, greeting students in front of School, his passion at athletic and performing arts events, teaching a class on leadership, or knowing the name of every student, Peter is a positive presence on campus.”
“The initiatives most meaningful to me have been ones that enhance the daily experience of students, teachers and staff; that allow an exceptional school to be a relevant voice in a contemporary, national dialogue on educational best practices; and that ensure the School’s continued fiscal strength and lasting sustainability,” said Mr. Caldwell. “MBS is a thriving, extraordinary school, well poised for its own next chapter.”
Mr. Caldwell’s announcement and planning has given the MBS Board of Trustees ample time to conduct a thorough national search for his successor. The Board has formed a Search Committee which will consist of a diverse group of trustees and members of the administration and faculty. They expect to select the next Head of School in the fall of 2020 and to use the remaining time through the end of the 2021 school year as a transition for the individual to work closely with Mr. Caldwell.
“There is much that Darcy and I will miss when we leave this incredible community a year and a half from now,” said Mr. Caldwell. “Most poignant will be our relationship with the remarkable students who have passed through our doors. It gives us unending delight to watch how so many students have flourished and have been transformed under the watchful eye of a loving and brilliant faculty and staff. Simply put, MBS is a joyful community because of the people.”
Morristown-Beard School enjoys a rich history and celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2016. The School is the product of the 1971 merger of Miss Beard's School for girls and The Morristown School for boys, which were both established in 1891. Today, Morristown-Beard School enrolls a total of 550 students in grades 6-12, representing more than 100 towns. Through the years, MBS has maintained a personal approach to education and a steadfast commitment to preparing students for academic and personal success.