A Farewell

Mr. Commons announced in April of 2012 that he would be leaving at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Since then, the school has undergone an at times turbulent but generally good year. Thanks to the hard work of the Headmaster Search Committee, we’ve found a worthy replacement, and after a tremendous introduction in the fall, the Circle seems excited to welcome Mr. Maqubela next September. However, with the eve of Mr. Commons’ departure upon us, it’s time to reflect and thank the Headmaster for a solid 10 (?) years.

Like any extended period of time spent under a leader, not every decision made was without controversy. However, through a lot of ups and downs, Mr. Commons kept the school on an even keel. His humor and gift for public speaking will certainly be missed, as his chapel talks given at the beginning of each term were always well written and delivered, and almost always well-received. Parlor at the Commons’ house was always something to look forward to, and Mr. Commons’ amazing skill at remembering names never ceased to impress me. Of course, above all, we will miss his leadership and his candor in dealing with important school-wide issues.

Mr. Commons will leave us having secured funding for a new Science Wing and general remodeling of the schoolhouse. His next stop is at Harvard Westlake, an excellent and extremely well regarded high school in Los Angeles, California. In his chapel talk announcing his intention to depart, Mr. Commons cited his wanting to be closer to family out in California as well as continue his career in academic leadership. While it’s a shame that we’ll never get to see his children enrolled on the Circle, we certainly wish them well in their new lives on the west coast.

In his announcement last April, Mr. Commons expressed his confidence that Groton had “set forth a bold, clear vision for the years ahead, one that will build upon the School’s tremendous strength, integrating new and innovative educational approaches with time-tested traditions,”. Clearly, Mr. Commons feels that he will leave the Circle in a strong position, and the “leadership transition” that he mentioned seems to be going well.

At the end of the day, an Headmaster at a school as intimate as Groton is a friend and a member of the community, as well as a leader. Mr. Commons, we thank you for your time on the circle, and wish you and your family luck in your travels to come.

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