Former Baylor School Headmaster Douglas Hale to Retire From Pennsylvania School

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Douglas Hale
Douglas Hale
- photo by Mercersburg Academy
Douglas Hale, head of school at Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pa., announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

Mr. Hale has served as Mercersburg’s head of school since his appointment in 1997. He went to Mercersburg after 24 years at Baylor School in Chattanooga, where he had been a teacher, associate headmaster, and eventually headmaster.

Mr. Hale was the valedictorian of his high-school graduating class (at McMinnville Central High School in McMinnville) and played basketball at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (where he earned the Dale May Award as the varsity athlete with the highest academic average) and
received a bachelor’s degree in 1973.
He then earned a master’s degree 
from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English.

When Mr. Hale retires, he will have been head of school at Mercersburg for 19 years. He is just the sixth head of school in Mercersburg’s 122 years as a college preparatory school. (Mercersburg is a coed boarding and day school in Mercersburg, Pa., approximately 45 miles west of Gettysburg, Pa., and 90 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. Approximately 435 students from grades 9–12 are enrolled at Mercersburg this year.)

To set the stage for a smooth and efficient transition, Mr. Hale informed Mercersburg’s Board of Regents last summer that he intended to retire in June 2016, thereby providing time for him to assist with the completion of the school’s $300-million Daring to Lead Campaign, and set the stage for
completing the remaining initiatives in the strategic plan, in addition to giving the board ample notice to locate and hire the next head of school.

David O. Frantz ’60, president of Mercersburg’s Board of Regents, said that he and the board have already formed a search committee and have engaged the services of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates to assist the school in finding Mr. Hale’s successor.

“Doug Hale’s contributions to Mercersburg are manifold, and the positive impact of his leadership, creativity, and progressive vision will resonate here for decades to come,” said Mr. Frantz. “During his tenure, Doug has accomplished something quite remarkable: he has transformed every aspect of this campus and its curriculum, while sustaining and embellishing the longstanding character of who we are and what we stand for as one of the nation’s premier independent secondary schools. His
caring and indomitable spirit has energized all of us who have been fortunate enough to be part of the Mercersburg family during his tenure.”

Reflecting on his nearly two decades as head of school, Mr. Hale said, “There are wonderful people virtually everywhere, but none any more wonderful than those at Mercersburg. Nothing I have accomplished as head of school could have come to pass without the extraordinarily intelligent,
talented, dedicated, and loving people who comprise Mercersburg’s extended family.

“I have every confidence that the search committee will find an outstanding new head of school. While I am looking forward to retirement, I am also genuinely looking forward to my remaining time here, during which I plan to continue to work hard on behalf of the school, savor every minute, and thank as many people as possible for all they have done for me and continue to do for this great school.”

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