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Mark McGough Named New Head of School at Harbor School

Harbor School’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Mark McGough has been appointed as Harbor School’s next Head of School. Mark will officially begin his tenure July 1, 2016. The Board’s unanimous decision to appoint Mr. McGough was based on the endorsements and positive support of the Search Committee and the participation of the school’s parent, faculty and alumni community.

“I am eager to join the Vashon community. I was so impressed with the level of parent participation and alumni support that I saw at both Harbor School and Carpe Diem Primary during my visit – it shows a great love for the students, faculty and programs. The students were articulate and fun, the faculty and staff passionate, the Board thoughtful, and the parents and alumni engaged and committed to the ongoing success of their schools.” – Mark McGough

Mark brings over 30 years of international and independent school experience as an elementary teacher, educator and administrator to Harbor School. For the past 8 years, Mark has been Head of School at The Gardner School of Arts & Sciences in Vancouver, WA – an independent, private progressive student-centered learning environment, serving students from Pre-K through Grade 8. During his time at Gardner School, Mark has also served the Northwest Association of Independent Schools as a member and Vice-chair of several accreditation teams. Prior to his work at Gardner School, Mark presided as Head of School at the Bilingual European School in Milan, Italy. In addition, Mark has been an administrator and teacher in several international schools abroad – Windhoek International School (Windhoek, Namibia), International School of Moshi (Moshi, Tanzania), Munich International School (Munich, Germany), and the International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).

A native of Great Britain, Mark earned his MA in International Education at Oxford Brookes University (United Kingdom). He received his PGCE (Post-Graduate Certificate in Education) in Primary Education with Distinction in Teaching Practice at University of Leeds (United Kingdom), and his BA with Honors at Newcastle University (United Kingdom).

Mark’s international school experiences and travel history are well suited for Harbor School, where Travel Study plays a critical role in student development. With a mission to “inspire young scholars to contribute their wisdom, compassion, and personal best in the classroom, the community, and the world,” the Board of Trustees are confident and excited that Mark will bring his global experiences to further enrich our students’ minds and create opportunities that expand upon the great work the faculty and staff are doing on both campuses. For our youngest students at Carpe Diem Primary (Kindergarten through 3rd grade), Mark’s knowledge as an educator and leader has taught him the value of nurturing the whole child and creating a diverse learning environment from hands-on learning in an academic setting to exploration and discovery through outdoor education.

“This is a great opportunity for Mark to join us in leading Harbor School and Carpe Diem Primary. Mark’s deep understanding of developmentally appropriate curriculum is an asset to strengthen and move Harbor School into the future as a strong, independent choice for families on Vashon.”- Scott Shawver, Board Chair.

The selection process for a new Head of School was the Board of Trustees’ highest priority. The Board appointed a Search Committee made up of faculty, parents, alumni and trustees, along with the professional guidance of Terry Macaluso of NewThinker, a search leadership consultant firm.  A national search was conducted which led to extensive interviews with many highly qualified applicants. Three finalists were chosen to visit Harbor School for further interviews, and to meet members of the community. Alumni, parents, and faculty participation played a vital role for the Search Committee to determine their recommendation to the Board of Trustees.  Harbor School is honored to welcome Mark McGough to our island community.