As the 2017-2018 school year officially gets underway, Alixe Callen, the 12th Head of St. George’s School and the first woman to lead the school, welcomed the new students to the coeducational boarding and day school.
The newly appointed Callen, who was selected from more than 150 candidates, told the students she would encourage them to challenge themselves by not only asking questions but by taking risks and having the confidence the community will be there for them.
She also expressed her enthusiasm to keep moving forward in areas such as arts, science and engineering as well as with sports and other after-school activities.
As she learns more about St. George, Callen intends to create a working plan for the future of the school, which incorporates core values such as kindness and fairness. She believes children and adults should be rightfully cared for and that schools should be places of continuous learning and feedback.
A graduate of Milton Academy, Callen holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brown University as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate from Harvard University.
With her wide-ranging experience as an educator in independent and public schools, Callen’s skill includes her work as principal at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School and as an assistant principle at Needham High School, both in Massachusetts. Prior to accepting the position at St. George’s School, Callen worked as the upper school director at Lakeside School in Seattle.
Callen pointed out the long history her family has with the school that goes back more than 100 years as four of her relatives graduated from St. George. Her great grandfather, John Congdon graduated in ’03; her grandfather James Congdon ’41; her great uncle Charles Congdon ’40 and her uncle James Congdon Jr.’66. She reflected they would take delight in her running the school.
As far as being the first woman in charge at St. George’s she revealed she looks forward to grow to be a positive example. She also credits her husband, James Bailey, for his support and her children, Zander, 18 and Miles, 15.
Callen replaces Eric Peterson who headed the school for the past 13 years.
Founded in 1896, the 125-acre campus of the St. George School is located in Middletown, Rhode Island. Of the 371 student body members, 88 percent are boarding students and 12 percent are day students.