Monday, March 1, 2004

Country Day hires chief

New Jersey administrator to start July 1

By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

INDIAN HILL - Cincinnati Country Day School will welcome its 10th head of school this summer.

Robert Macrae, 40, head of the middle school and assistant headmaster at Pingry School in Martinsville, N.J., will take the helm of the prestigious prep school July 1.

He received a unanimous vote by the board of trustees to replace Lee Pierson, the interim head of school for the past year.

Rodney Geier, chair of the search committee and school alumnus, said Macrae was an obvious choice.

"He's a true gentleman and a family man, just the type of person of character you would want to set an example for your children or grandchild," Geier said.

"We think he'll bring a fresh energy to the school, which will be wonderful."

Pingry, a private school 20 miles from New York City, has 1,000 students in grades K-12. Tuition runs as high as $21,100.

Cincinnati Country Day School has just over 900 students, from early childhood to grade 12. Tuition ranges from $7,350 to $15,950.

"(Country Day) has a great reputation and a wonderful faculty," Macrae said . "Not to mention the students are incredible, very motivated for learning."

Macrae received a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and master's degrees from the Stanford University School of Education and Columbia University's Teachers College, where he also received his doctorate.

He said teaching was always in his blood. After leaving a job as a financial analyst for Payne Webber Inc. in 1988, Macrae became a teacher at the Pingry School. He has since worn many hats there, as a coach, administrator and educator.

During his first days as head, Macrae plans to do a lot of listening.

"I want to get a better sense of the school, get to know the teachers and students and meet the alumni," he said. "All schools need to grow. I just need to figure out precisely in what direction we need to grow now."

He will be moving to Cincinnati with his wife, Lynn and their four children.



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