Dear Members of the Garrison Forest School Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Head of School Search Committee, I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Christopher "Chris" A. Hughes as the 12th Head of Garrison Forest School, effective July 1, 2018. After an extensive search, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Chris to lead our school. A gifted educator and administrator with a deep background in independent schools and significant experience in girls' education, Chris rose as an exceptional leader in a pool of outstanding candidates. With his passion for education, breadth of leadership experience and eagerness to empower young women, Chris possesses the qualities needed to move Garrison Forest forward into its next phase.
Chris holds a BA from Lafayette College and an MA from Lehigh, both in history and education. Chris is currently in his 10th year as Upper School Principal at St. Paul Academy and Summit School in St. Paul, Minnesota, a coed K-12 day school, where he oversees 420 students and more than 50 faculty members in the school's largest division. As chair of multiple K-12 task forces, Chris has been instrumental in the school's success in increasing enrollment, evaluating and improving its science program and a campaign to upgrade STEM facilities and redesign the Upper School. His commitment to education is evident as he continues his work in the classroom teaching courses in global issues and ethics during his tenure as Upper School Principal.
Chris developed a genuine understanding of the importance of empowering young women to lead during his time at Chatham Hall, an all-girls' boarding school in Chatham, Virginia, where he worked for seven years. At Chatham Hall, Chris wore many hats including teacher, advisor, soccer coach and Academic Dean. As Academic Dean, Chris was integral in helping to improve the academic program and reduce faculty attrition.
His day-boarding experience began at the start of his educational career at St. James School in Hagerstown, Maryland, where he served as Director of College Counseling and Dean of Students supervising student activities, residential life and student discipline.
Chris and his wife Farida, an artist and marketing professional, have two children; Jordan, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, and Leah, a freshman at Parsons School of Design. The family is delighted to become a part of the GFS campus and community.
I want to express my sincerest gratitude to our Search Committee. Under the leadership of Kim Gordon and Helen Zinreich Shafer '93, the committee's hard work, commitment and spirit throughout this process has been vital to finding the best person to lead Garrison Forest. Thank you to the many alumnae, parents, faculty, staff, students and trustees for your time and participation in making finding our next head of school truly a community-wide effort.
We look enthusiastically forward to what promises to be a bright future at Garrison Forest under Chris's leadership. Please join me in welcoming Chris, Farida, Jordan and Leah to their new home.
President, Board of Trustees