The New Head of School: A Photo Essay

Writing by Rico López ’18

Photos by Zoe Huang ’18, Steven Yoo ’19, Jessee VanNewKirk ’19, and Rico López ’18

After months of a rigorous selection process, the Succession Committee headed by Dean of Faculty Jeff Hooper and college counselor Maria Morales-Kent— announced a monumental turning point in the Thacher School’s history. Mr. Mulligan, they explained, after twenty-five years of service to thousands of high school students, will be handing off the baton to Blossom Beatty Pidduck CdeP 1992. 

The first female Head of School, Ms. Pidduck represents the ninth leader of the Thacher School in what the Board of Trustees declared to be a unanimous vote. Ms. Pidduck, having been a potent force in the school’s English Department, as the former Dean of Faculty, and as the Assistant Head of School, hopes to bring a new level of optimism during her tenure.

Meanwhile, she plans to stay true to Thacher’s unique and vibrant culture. In a letter released by the Board of Trustees following the Succession Committee’s announcement, Ms. Pidduck wrote, “In accepting the tremendous honor and responsibility of serving as Thacher’s ninth head, I commit myself to that tradition, to defining a new era while protecting the values and ethos that have made Thacher a peerless school for one hundred and twenty-eight years.”

Her appointment is a landmark decision in Thacher’s history, and the community is eager to welcome her back from her family’s sabbatical with open arms.

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The Thacher community enters the Library Amphitheatre, eagerly awaiting the biggest announcement of the school year.

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Seniors and Sophomores brace themselves after a month of candidate interviews and visits.

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Mr. Mulligan remained calm behind a pair shades, betraying only a slight smile before the Succession Committee’s announcement.

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In a ceremonious display, Maria Morales Kent and Jeff Hooper used a sealed envelope to announce Blossom Beatty Pidduck as the next Head of School.

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Students, stunned and excited, offered their applause.

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Mr. Mulligan joined in the community’s congratulation.

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Congratulations, Ms. Pidduck. The community thanks you for the incredible work you’ve done over the past years and is eager to see what you’ll do in the future.