Upland names Archibald Douglas as new head of school

Archibald "Archie" Douglas IV

The Upland Country Day School Board of Trustees has selected Archibald Douglas IV as the Interim Head of School for the 2013-14 school year.

The appointment follows a nationwide search launched last February to replace former head David Suder, who has relocated to his native New England.

Douglas comes to Upland from Pacific Collegiate Charter School in Santa Cruz, Ca., and holds a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and a master of education degree from Harvard University.

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“The committee gave very close consideration to a remarkably strong field, and we are delighted to have found the ideal candidate in Archie Douglas, as Upland’s Interim Head of School,” said trustees president Mary Pat Fralick. “He is an inspiring leader and a gifted educator who brings the right mix of experience, knowledge, wisdom, and talent to serve and lead Upland Country Day School in the next year.”

Douglas has a 25-year career in education with more than half of that time in a leadership capacity. Throughout his career, Douglas has been a teacher, counselor, coach, division director and head of school.

Most recently, he was the principal of Pacific Collegiate, a 480-student charter school in California serving grades 7 – 12. Prior to that, he served as the head of The Montgomery Academy, a Kindergarten through 12 independent school in Montgomery, Ala., with over 800 students.

Douglas was also the upper school director at the Landon School, a 683-student independent school in Bethesda, Md., serving grades three through 12.

“I was incredibly impressed with the students, faculty, parents and alumni I was fortunate to meet during my visits to the Upland campus,” Douglas said. “I knew Upland had a reputation for academic achievement but I was most impressed with the remarkable sense of community that I felt the moment I stepped onto campus. The year ahead will be an opportunity to raise the school’s profile, to document its academic, athletic and artistic excellence emphatically, and to ensure that the life-changing work in which it has been engaged for 65 years continues every day.”

Douglas was selected from the pool of candidates because his distinguished career demonstrated the key attributes the Upland community identified as critical for the interim head of school to possess, according to school marketing director Corinne Hyzny.

“His leadership skills, administrative knowledge, intellectual depth and passion for inspiring and educating children made him the ideal candidate for the position,” Fralick said.

“Education is about people rather than product, and my philosophy is centered on the reality that schools are intensely personal places,” Douglas said in a statement of his educational philosophy. “The supporting pillars of good schools include healthy relationships, values like trust in others and respect for both property and oneself, the modeling of life-long habits like self-discipline and persistence, generosity and citizenship, creativity and curiosity, lessons about actions and consequences, the belief in our potential as individuals and as a group – all these are taught, learned, practiced and shared through duration. More than the content of our lesson plans, more than the homework and the exams over which so many students and teachers labor for so long, this is what our students take from school into life. It is what matters most.”

Douglas takes the helm at Upland as the school celebrates its 65th anniversary. His tenure began July 1 as he assumed leadership of the academic programs and day-to-day operations of the school.

“We could not be more excited about what Archie’s leadership will mean for the next year of Upland,” Fralick said.