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Quentin McDowell Officially Appointed Eighth Head of School

Mercersburg Academy held a service of installation for Head of School Quentin McDowell P '25 September 16 in the Irvine Memorial Chapel.

McDowell was officially appointed in March 2022 and is only the eighth head of school in Mercersburg's 130-year history. Before accepting the acting head of school position in June 2021, he was named Mercersburg's associate head of school for external relations in 2019 after serving for three years as assistant head of school for enrollment.

Rev. Dr. Will Whitmore, school minister, welcomed students, faculty, staff, and guests to the ceremony, and Priscilla Lee '23 and Johanna Lee '25 played a moving violin duet titled “Tango.”

Tom Hadzor '72, Board of Regents member and 2022 recipient of the Class of 1932 Distinguished Alumni Award, introduced the Hon. John Jones '73, Dickinson College president and former Board of Regents vice president, who gave the address as a mentor and friend of McDowell's. The Mercersburg Chorale performed the anthem “Look to This Day” before Stacie Rice Lissette '85, P '14, '14, '17, '23, Board of Regents president, officially installed McDowell as head of school.

“Quentin and his family have been members of this community for 15 years, and he has proven himself as a leader in so many areas,” said Lissette. “His dedication to this place has been unwavering, and I think it's fair to say that he is as ‘true blue’ as they come. He is constantly showing us that he has the ability to empower, inspire, and unite people with integrity, humility, empathy, and optimism.”

As part of the ceremony, a group of community members offered aspirations to McDowell as he takes on this new role. They included Kalwa Tembo '23; Nikki Walker P '19, '23, faculty member; De-Enda Rotz P '25, director of executive services; William Su '88, P '23, '25, White Key Executive Council co-chair; the Hon. Shawn Meyers '86, president judge of Pennsylvania's 39th Judicial District Court; and Michael Pedersen '95, mayor of Mercersburg.

“I am incredibly honored and deeply humbled to be named Mercersburg Academy's eighth head of school,” said McDowell. “It is a responsibility I do not take lightly, but it is also a burden I do not carry alone. We are all charged with carrying this torch together: to honor our history and to keep alive the names that came before us and built the world we now enjoy; to do our best to selflessly serve the students, families, alumni, and friends of Mercersburg today; and to always work toward the brightest possible tomorrow for our beloved school.”   

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