After our nationwide search, facilitated by our search firm Acies Srategies, it is with great excitement we announce Mr. Chris Wilson as our Interim Head of School.
We are grateful for the community’s comments and engagement during this interim search. Your experiences, perspectives, and point of views were a valuable addition to this very important process. We look forward to your continued involvement as we enter the next transition phase, where we work together this summer and next school year with Chris and continue the search process for a permanent head of school.
Mr. Wilson is pleased to become part of our PA family and looks forward to engaging with our community as soon as possible. He officially begins serving as our Interim Head of School on Monday, June 15, and will be relocating to Peoria as soon as possible. Cheryl Murzyn, currently serving as Head of School, is looking forward to assisting Chris with a smooth transition. A message from Chris:
“I am thrilled to be joining the Peoria Academy community. The school’s central commitment to a rigorous, nurturing, and holistic approach in a diverse and inclusive group of students and families is inspiring. I look forward to working alongside students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni, trustees, and the wider Peoria community to provide the very best program for our students during the coming year.”
Mr. Wilson most recently was the Head of School at the Bement School in Deerfield, MA, a kindergarten through grade nine, day and junior boarding school with students from 20 different countries and 10 different US states. In that time, he increased annual revenue by nearly 30% over four years; moved the annual budget from cashflow negative to cashflow positive; grew enrollment from 203 to 225; and more than doubled the annual fund.
Prior to that, Chris was the Head of School at Esperanza Academy in Lawrence, MA, a tuition-free, independent middle school for 65 girls where he was responsible for raising the $1.5 million annual operating budget through initiatives including annual fund, student sponsorship, and fundraising and donor cultivation events. Prior to that, he was the Principal at Saint Ignatius Loyola Academy where he managed the day-to-day operations of an independent middle school for Baltimore City boys.
Chris has served on external Boards of Trustees and given several presentations at workshops and conferences. He started his career as an upper school history teacher, football and baseball coach. He holds a B.A. degree with high honors in History from University of Maryland, a M.A. degree in History from Stanford University, and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Loyola University Maryland.
Chris looks forward to getting to know the Peoria community with his wife Stephanie and daughters, Madeline and Lydia.
We will be releasing a press release very soon to the larger community. If you’re on social media, please like and share this good news.