July 20, 2016
I have been eagerly anticipating my arrival at Brandon Hall since first accepting the role of President and Head of School in December 2015. I first learned of this amazing community when I stumbled upon the school website. On July 1, 2016 my family and I moved into the River House where we were immediately welcomed by a family of deer, and a host of kayakers who were enjoying the wonders of the Chattahoochee River. Having worked most of my career in independent day and boarding schools, rare is the campus that rivals the natural beauty and majesty of Brandon Hall’s 28 pristine acres. In addition, during the interview process, I was repeatedly struck by the ways in which my values and convictions regarding education deeply resonated with the mission and aspirations of Brandon Hall. I am a passionate advocate for the small school model and firmly believe that the students at Brandon Hall benefit from the personalized education, diverse academic, athletic, and arts offerings, and our global boarding community.
Although I was formerly introduced to you on the school website months ago, I am happy to reiterate a few biographical items. I grew up in St. Augustine, Florida where my parents owned a family restaurant for decades. Even though my career path would diverge from theirs, I am forever grateful for the enduring lessons I learned from them about serving others, dedication to a shared vision, and staying true to the work you love. I have been blessed to work my entire career in K-12 schools throughout the world including The Putney School in Vermont, Northfield Mount Hermon and The Bement School in Massachusetts, Episcopal High School in Florida, and a host of schools in Spain, Puerto Rico, and The Dominican Republic. The common thread in each has been a clear and unwavering mission to put the education of children and their well being at the forefront of every action a school takes. I have always made it my goal to give back to the larger independent school world and founded a K-12 global edu-library at www.teachlearnlead.org in 2014 in order to promote teacher professional development and provide access to educational designs and research.
I am ecstatic about immersing myself in the Brandon Hall community and collaborating with all of you to make our school a robust and world class learning community. As summer winds down, I have made it my goal to meet as many of you as possible and to be an ongoing resource if you should need anything. We urge our families to get involved in school life and I am eager to learn of your talents and willingness to volunteer in any capacity. I look forward to opening day of the 2016-2017 school year and to meeting you at our many school events, athletic games, and arts showcases.
Dean J. Fusto
President/Head of School