Kristy Kerin Takes the Reins as Head of School

Kristy Kerin Takes the Reins as Head of School
Suzanne Morrissey

Kristy Kerin begins her term as Brewster Academy’s 13th Head of School today, July 1, 2021. 

In stepping from Associate Head of School to Head of School, Ms. Kerin makes history as the first female Head of School in Brewster’s two-century history. 

The move also begins a new era for Brewster, as the Academy is set to open a world-wide network of schools guided by the Brewster Model of education—a project in which the new Head of School played an integral role. This game-changing global campus endeavor begins with the opening of Brewster Madrid in 2023.

Ms. Kerin has become known as a quintessential leader: collaborative, student-focused, and vision-driven with impeccable problem-solving skills. Often working behind the scenes, her presence has served as an invaluable rudder throughout the six years of Craig Gemmell’s time as Head of School. And now, as her predecessor shifts into a new position as the President of Brewster and BA International, LLC, Ms. Kerin will step into the Head of School position backed by not only her deep knowledge of (and love for!) Brewster, but with the enthusiastic endorsement of those in the community. In fact, at the announcement of this leadership evolution to employees in Anderson Hall last month, the news of Ms. Kerin’s appointment drew a wave of whoops and cheers from colleagues, front row to balcony. 

This excitement extends to Brewster’s Board of Trustees. “From the moment I first met Kristy when she came to Brewster in 2011, I have been impressed by her poise, her personal values, her strength of character, and her leadership skills,” said Chair of the Board Roy Ballentine. “She has a strong drive to excel and succeed. But, her drive is not about self-aggrandizement. Rather, it is about finding ways to make herself and others around her the best they can be.”

First hired as the school’s Director of Advancement, Ms. Kerin has held a variety of roles in her decade as a Bobcat. She has assumed leadership over a range of strategic areas, including Advancement, Outreach, and Global Programs. She designed and launched two capital campaigns, most recently “Our Watershed Moment: The Campaign for Brewster,” the Academy’s largest and most successful campaign to date. Well known to many parents and alumni, Kristy has helped implement an integrated approach to outreach that maximizes the reach of Brewster’s Admissions, Advancement, and Communications efforts, and co-led the school’s recent rebranding initiative.

With a deft hand, she has led Brewster’s strategy process, an approach designed to push leadership deeper into the organization and engage a wide variety of stakeholders in generating innovative new ideas to serve students ever better. Since 2016, this vanguard approach to strategy has allowed the Academy to effectively translate its vision into actionable enhancements to its programs—for example, continued evolution of the Instructional Support program, investments in campus culture, community service programs, campus master planning, and ongoing work focusing on writing in the curriculum. This has ensured that as Brewster has continued to refine its practices and evolve in service to student growth, all with an unwavering focus on Brewster’s mission to prepare diverse thinkers for lives of purpose.

In 2020, as the world began to deal with the advent of COVID-19, Ms. Kerin facilitated the Academy’s COVID Task Force, working with the senior leadership team in the face of great uncertainty to rapidly adapt and develop protocols in order to reopen campus safely for the 2020-21 school year. She handled this while also serving in an executive leadership role for the global campus project, working closely with other school leaders to take the Madrid project from concept to reality. Ms. Kerin often deflects praise to others on her team, and such was the case when she discussed the immense and intricate work on the global campus plans: “I have had the great fortune to partner with passionate advocates of Brewster Academy all over the world: alumni who benefited tremendously from their Brewster experience, parents who are making an incredible investment in their children because they see the results of what we are able to provide, and trustees and friends who believe in our global vision,” she said. “It is gratifying to play a role in bringing greater resources to Brewster and to help evolve and grow our programs.”

A Massachusetts native, Ms. Kerin is a graduate of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, where her academic areas of focus included American Civilizations and Japanese Studies. She worked in the College’s Advancement Office for eight years prior to joining Brewster and served as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s track and field program. An internationally ranked high jumper, Kristy competed in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials and was inducted into the NCAA Division III Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016. She lives on campus with her spouse David, and their three children, Matthew, Daniel, and Joanna, future Bobcats all. 

The Kerin Family (Seated L-R, Kristy, Daniel, and Joanna; Standing, Matthew and David)

We invite our community of alumni, families, and friends to join us in wishing Kristy the greatest luck and support as she embarks on this path as Brewster’s chief caretaker and leader!

Follow Kristy on Twitter @DiverseThinkers

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