Dear Collegiate Families,
As faculty and staff learned this past fall, Susan Droke, our Chief Academic Officer, is retiring at the end of the school year. I am pleased to share that after an extensive search, we look forward to welcoming Courtney Martin as our Associate Head of School on July 1, 2021.
Below is the announcement that will be posted to our school website which will give you information about Courtney's qualifications and accomplishments. I also wanted you to know that Courtney has shared with me that everything she has learned about the wonderful relationships between teachers and students at Collegiate, as well as the vibrancy of our learning community and our time-honored shared values were important factors in her decision to join Collegiate. She looks forward to teaming with faculty, staff and families, and to furthering our Portrait of a Graduate and Portrait of a Teacher initiatives that Susan led.
I know you will join me in welcoming Courtney to our Cougar community, and I look forward to providing opportunities for you to get to know this remarkable educator and leader. We will be celebrating Susan's accomplishments as her retirement nears. Thank you, as always, for your support and partnership.
Collegiate to Welcome New Associate Head of School
Collegiate School is pleased to announce the appointment of Courtney Martin as Associate Head of School beginning July 1, 2021 following a comprehensive search facilitated by Carney Sandoe and Associates, which drew hundreds of local, national and international candidates. After an interview process in which all faculty and staff were invited to participate, it was clear that Courtney possessed the acumen, attributes and values to build upon Collegiate’s strong foundation.
Courtney comes to Collegiate from the Hawken School, a preeminent coeducational, college preparatory day school with over 1,400 students, toddler through grade 12, on four campuses in Cleveland, Ohio. As Director of the Lower School, she has worked with colleagues to streamline and communicate a cohesive academic program from early childhood through all divisions of the school; led the opening of a new toddler section; focused on faculty professional development; and advanced diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“We are thrilled to welcome Courtney, an admired educator who is committed to intentionality and care for the holistic education of children, and to growing learning communities that pull in a shared direction for the good of our students,” said Penny Evins, Head of School. “An educator at heart, her thoughtful, curious, driven, joyful, collaborative and strategic approaches will benefit Collegiate. I look forward to her immersion in all aspects of our program delivery and growth. Throughout the interview process it remained clear that Courtney is a careful listener, adept connector and contributes to positive partnerships in educational communities. We look forward to welcoming Courtney to campus and introducing her to our entire community in the fall of 2021.”
“I am excited by the great work that is already happening at Collegiate,” said Courtney. “I look forward to getting to know the school and each division, and to finding ways to build on strengths and commonalities, so that together we can continue to advance Collegiate’s focus on educating the whole child and producing graduates who are compassionate, responsible and curious.”
Throughout her career, Courtney has made significant contributions to school-wide initiatives and looks forward to focusing on the entire JK-12 spectrum at Collegiate. Prior to Hawken, she served as a division director at The Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys in Washington, D.C. and as a classroom teacher at The Lovett School in Atlanta and St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Va.
Courtney holds two master’s degrees, one from the University of Georgia in social work and one in elementary education from the well-known Lesley College/Shady Hill School teacher training program in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. in sociology from Hampton University. She looks forward to returning to the Commonwealth of Virginia and getting to know the Richmond region as her new home while furthering Collegiate’s many community partnerships as an extension of our classrooms.
Courtney’s appointment begins following the forthcoming retirement of Susan Droke, who has nurtured and furthered nearly all aspects of the JK-12 experience during her tenure as Collegiate’s Chief Academic Officer. We look forward to celebrating Susan Droke's retirement at the end of the 2021 school year.