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BHS appoints Black Head of School for first time in its history

Carol Swainson, the incoming Head of School at BHS (Photograph supplied)

For the first time in its 128-year-old history, Bermuda High School for Girls has appointed a woman of colour to be its next Head of School.

Carol Swainson, an American whose grandfather and uncle were from St George’s, will be tasked with leading the school through its new Strategic Plan while “continuing to embed innovation and design into the curriculum and supporting all students at BHS”.

Cece Powell, chairwoman of the board of trustees of the private girls school, said: “This announcement marks a pivotal moment for the future of BHS. We are excited and energised that Ms Swainson will continue to build upon BHS’s strong and lasting legacy of academic excellence.

“We know she is well equipped to lead BHS and, together with our outstanding senior leadership team, will enable the school’s fulfilment of its vision to be an international leader in developing girls and young women to stand out with confidence and purpose as they shape a changing world”.

Ms Swainson, a cousin of Gina Swainson, the 1979 Miss World, has more than 20 years’ experience as an administrator in K12 Independent Schools — private schools in the United States.

She is the Head of School at the San Francisco Schoolhouse, where she has doubled enrolment numbers and increased student retention, and is regarded as a “leading administrator and educator, championing educational excellence, innovation and sustainability”.

Ms Swainson said: “I am pleased to serve as BHS’s sixteenth Head of School and I look forward to getting to know the BHS family and greater community even better.

“The opportunity to positively impact and empower young people through the full arc of their primary and secondary education makes possible magnificent results. BHS’s alumni are evidence of its success.

“Empowering girls resonates on personal and professional levels. When I met with BHS students, I was struck by their thoughtful communication, analytical thinking and courageous spirit.

“In our lively exchange in the Innovation Centre, these savvy young women proposed many clever ideas to strengthen the already amazing school that they love.

“Collaborating with them along with the outstanding faculty that nurtures and educates them will present a wonderful occasion to co-create innovations and fulfil BHS’s mission and strategic goals.

“I relish this opportunity to build on a 128-year foundation of excellence and continue to execute on the Strategic Plan, which contains objectives that I have effectively addressed in my professional experience at other prominent independent schools.”

Ms Swainson earned a Master’s of Education degree in social foundations in education and a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish Languages from the University of Virginia.

With a background in the arts, she is also an amateur oboist, composer and film-maker.

Ms Swainson added: “I look forward to taking my oboe and sitting in on a music ensemble to experience BHS from the student perspective.”

In the upcoming year, Linda Parker, BHS’s present Head of School, and the trustees will work with the senior leadership team to ensure a smooth transition.

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Published July 20, 2022 at 10:07 am (Updated July 20, 2022 at 7:41 pm)

BHS appoints Black Head of School for first time in its history

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