Quentin McDowell Appointed Head of School

Thursday, March 3, 2022
Head of School Quentin McDowell P ’25

Mercersburg Academy is proud to announce that the Board of Regents has unanimously voted to appoint current Acting Head of School Quentin McDowell P ’25 as Mercersburg’s eighth permanent head of school, effective immediately.

Quentin’s appointment comes at the end of a comprehensive process during which the Board met with students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and trusted advisers. As part of this process, the Board engaged a national consulting firm that specializes in head of school searches to conduct in-depth interviews and conversations with nearly 150 members of the Mercersburg community. After an extensive evaluation of the national independent school landscape, and in consultation with the search firm’s findings, it became abundantly clear that Quentin is the right fit to lead our school, both now and in the future.

“We are tremendously pleased with the Board’s selection of Quentin to be the next head of school,” said Kristin Butterfield Vickery ’88, P ’18, ’22, a member of the head of school search committee and White Key co-chair. “As a parent and an alum, I am confident that Quentin, with his incredibly warm persona, dynamic leadership style, and devotion to our school community and its traditions, is the right person to lead Mercersburg and to put into motion the school’s robust new strategic design.”

“Quentin is a natural leader with an unlimited ceiling,” added former Board of Regents member and President at Dickinson College John E. Jones III ’73. “From the moment we met a decade and a half ago, he has consistently impressed me with his considerable skills. I am delighted for my good friend, but even more so for my beloved alma mater.” 

Quentin has been a valued member of the Mercersburg family since 2007. Prior to accepting the acting head of school position in June 2021, Quentin served Mercersburg in various capacities, including associate head of school for external relations (2019-2021), assistant head of school for enrollment (2016-2019), senior associate director of admission and financial aid (2012-2016), and director of summer and extended programs (2008-2012), and history teacher (2007). Quentin also served as the head boys’ varsity soccer coach for eight years, leading the Blue Storm to its first-ever Mid-Atlantic Prep League championship and the PAISAA state championship game in 2014.

McDowell addresses the school community 

“Since Quentin arrived at Mercersburg fifteen years ago, he has been tapped to take on various new responsibilities for the school along the way,” says Douglas Hale, former head of school (1997-2016). “His success in each new appointment has been palpable. He possesses great charisma, along with real intelligence, talent, and character. I believe Mercersburg’s Board of Regents has wisely chosen the school’s next head of school.”

“I had the opportunity to work closely with Quentin during my time on the Board and I have seen first hand his love and dedication to the school,” added former Board of Regents President Deborah Simon ’74. “I know how deeply he cares about the experience our students receive at Mercersburg, and I look forward to supporting him through the next phase of the school’s vision. I am confident that Mercersburg will thrive under Quentin’s leadership.”

As Board President Stacie Rice Lissette ’85, P ’14, ’14, ’17, ’23, wrote in her letter to the school community announcing Quentin’s appointment, “With Quentin at the helm, Mercersburg is well-positioned to move forward as a leader in the world of education with its bold new strategic design and campus master plan.”

The school looks forward to celebrating Quentin during his “official” installation in the fall. There will also be opportunities for the community to meet with and hear from Quentin and his family, both in-person and virtually, in the weeks and months ahead.