News Archives

Head's May Message

May 11, 2017

In late April, I announced to students that Jennifer Salrin will be our new 11th and 12th grade principal, effective July 1. She is currently associate director of college guidance, an English teacher and dean of the junior class at Sewickley Academy (Sewickley, Pennsylvania), where she has worked for the last 11 years in numerous roles interacting with faculty and students. She serves or has served on the admissions committee, on the faculty council, as an advisor and as a club sponsor. But beyond her roles at the school, what was clear to me and to all who met her was that she truly loves kids, loves schools and believes in the Burroughs philosophy. Prior to Sewickley, Jennifer was an associate instructor of English at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, and a master’s in English and additional work toward a doctorate (all but dissertation) from Indiana University. She is going to be a great fit here.

The announcement capped a long search that began earlier this year when we learned that Macon Finley (assistant head of school and director of academics) will leave at the end of June to take the headship at The Ellis School in Pittsburgh. Julie Harris will take on Macon's role as the assistant head of school, while continuing her duties as the 7th and 8th grade principal. Chris Front will move into the role of director of academics, coordinating and overseeing the academic program across all grade levels and all disciplines. He will step down as the 11th and 12th grade principal, but he will continue as a college counselor.

To fill the vacated principalship, we interviewed a number of excellent candidates. Five finalists visited Burroughs in March and April to meet with administrators, students and teachers. We feel certain that Jennifer will be an outstanding member of the community for what we hope will be years and years to come. Last week, she returned to St. Louis to begin looking for a home and for schools for her three kids. While she was in town, she visited classes and even attended the spring play, Doubt. I loved that after the play, she got to visit with the actors, the stage crew and many of the kids who attended and who will be her charges next year. It was great to see her in her element.

The national search for an administrator marked a small change in that most recent principal appointments have come from within the faculty. In fact, the last time Burroughs hired a new principal from the outside was 16 years ago, when I was hired. I can recall that year of my life as I could immediately sense what a special place Burroughs is. Hundreds of kids, parents, faculty and staff welcomed me — and my family — to the community. I know that you will all join me in supporting Jennifer during this transition.

—Andy Abbott