New Middle School Head Arrives on Campus

Collegiate School’s new Head of Middle School, Tung Trinh, begins his tenure today with a combination of anticipation and nervousness, but mostly great enthusiasm.
“I’m excited to get enmeshed in Collegiate,” he said. “It doesn’t take long to get a sense from people here how much they really love their School and how much pride they take in being part of the community. The magic of Collegiate continues to grow for me by talking with the people here.”

Mr. Trinh comes to Collegiate from Garrison Forest School in Baltimore, Maryland, where he served for the past four years as the Head of Middle School. Prior to assuming his duties as Head of Middle School, he served for several years as Garrison’s Middle School Dean of Students. Before Garrison, Mr. Trinh led the Middle School History Department and taught history at Shore Country Day School in Beverly, Massachusetts. He also has coached both boys and girls in various sports, including basketball, softball and cross country. Mr. Trinh holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College and a M.Ed. from Lesley University. 

His wife, Ashley Clevenger Trinh, is a ’99 Collegiate School alumna and fellow educator. She will join the Collegiate faculty as a 4th Grade assistant. Their children, Ollie and Mae, will begin 1st Grade and JK, respectively, in the fall. The entire family looks forward to starting their new adventure.

“My kids are thrilled to go to the school that their mom went to, and Ashley is super excited to return to Collegiate,” Mr. Trinh said. “This is an all-out family affair.”

This summer, Mr. Trinh hopes to familiarize himself with Collegiate’s campus, learning building names and getting a feel for the place. More importantly, he looks forward to meeting faculty, staff and members of the community, to prepare for the 2019-20 school year, during which he hopes to ensure that the experience of every student in the Middle School is as meaningful, positive, fun and healthy as possible. 

“Middle School is not a period that you just wish to get through or that you want to finish as quickly as possible,” he said. “There’s so much goodness in Middle School, and to spend it with educators who want to be with that age group and with families who are committed to supporting their kids through what can be a challenging, but really exciting time, is the best part.”

Mr. Trinh likens the Middle School experience to bookends, with 5th Graders entering wide-eyed and joyful to start their journey and 8th Graders leaving confident in who they are, having found their voice and having made really important relationships with their friends, teachers, coaches and advisors. And everything in between.

“So what I hope students experience is full-on Middle School in a very challenging, caring, supportive environment, with a lot of people who are all rooting for them,” he said.

To accomplish what happens between those bookends, Mr. Trinh believes in holding onto the ideals and integrity that have made Collegiate successful, while exploring new ways to make teaching and learning more engaging, always ensuring that students are at the center of every decision made.  

“There are things that we’ve done in the past that we need to keep doing, and there are things that we need to explore and assess how we might change it up,” he said.

Mr. Trinh knows that how he feels today and how he will feel on Aug. 27, the first day of school, will be entirely different. He will be nervous.

“But that’s ok,” he said. “Things that are important or meaningful are always going to produce butterflies. The most reassuring part will be sharing that first day with everyone. All of us embracing that together and being supportive of one another for getting through that first day is great. Everyone needs to give me some high-fives.” 
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