A Message from Jim Kitendaugh
Dear Members of the Fenn Community:
I am honored to be appointed the sixth Head of School in Fenn's history and am brimming with excitement to steward this wonderful school beginning in July 2018. Since Jerry Ward announced in November his intention to retire at the conclusion of the 2017-18 school year, I have had the opportunity to engage in various forums with many Fenn constituents across the decades. These conversations, which have ranged in topic from the strategic to the operational, have been invigorating and rooted in the deep, abiding love we all share for Fenn. It is unique, I believe, for a school serving boys in grades four through nine to generate for so many such a powerful, unwavering sense of connectivity and appreciation, yet that is what the brilliantly distinctive Fenn School does. As I prepare to assume leadership responsibilities fifteen months from now, I am committed to concurrently preserving and growing Fenn's culture and program to best position the School for ongoing success.
Twenty-two years ago I visited Fenn as a candidate for a position teaching Latin in the Middle and Upper Schools, advising in grade eight, and coaching three sports. I was struck immediately by the clarity of Fenn's mission and the effective application of its philosophy as it prepared boys for the road ahead. Dedicated faculty and staff and bright boys of sound character were at the heart of the experience and brought the School to full bloom for me that day. Many years later Fenn continues to thrive. We are fully enrolled with boys of tremendous promise, our caring faculty and staff believe in the importance of educating boys specifically in their elementary and middle school years, our broad program is robust in each dimension, we have made impressive strides with diversity initiatives, and our beautiful Monument Street campus is remarkably well situated to best serve our boys.
Accompanying the strength of Fenn's current position must be a mindfulness toward enhancement and evolution. Roger Fenn founded a school in 1929 on the premise of using progressive yet proven methods of instruction and operation. Previous Heads of School have carried Roger's ideology forward, as will I. Guided by and adhering to the goals of the long-range plan, I will strive to balance innovation with tradition while carefully protecting the unique culture of the Fenn that we all love.
This past week has been a joyous one for me and my family. There have been many handshakes and many hugs from people, affirming once again the amazingly caring community that is Fenn. Celebratory as today may feel, there is much work to be done and the months between now and July 2018 will quickly peel away as focus is placed on the transition. To those of you whom I have not yet met, I look forward to the opportunity of establishing a relationship with you soon. To those whom I have met or already know well, I look forward to strengthening the connection we already have. Until then, Sua Sponte!
Dated April 18, 2017