Memphis boasts such an array of excellent private schools that the choices can be overwhelming. Here we’ve gathered the headmasters and presidents of many of Memphis’ best private schools. Each one of these educational leaders is responsible for an exceptional learning institution, producing the next generation of enlightened citizens and community leaders. From state-of-the-art facilities to school-wide laptop programs, Memphis’ private schools make stodgy teaching methods a thing of the past. Sit up and take note — these POWER PLAYERS in Private Schools deserve your full attention.
THOMAS A. BEAZLEY
Headmaster, Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School. Has been with school since 1998. Oversaw $6 million capital campaign to build 43,000-square-foot Anchor Center Building; also expanded historic Miss Lee’s Preschool and completed extensive renovations to existing Lower School and Middle School facilities. Member, Memphis Area Independent Schools, Tennessee Charter School Association, Country Day School Heads Association, and Southern Headmasters Association. Recently appointed Executive Director of Promise Academy Charter School.
Headmaster, Presbyterian Day School. B.A., Dartmouth; M.Ed., Harvard. Has been with school more than 10 years. Overseeing second phase of a $26 million capital campaign; helped make PDS a 1:1 laptop school. Elected Vice-President of Elementary School Headmaster Association (ESHA). Author, Flight Plan: Your Mission To Become a Man. Member, Visionary Heads Group, Country Day School Headmasters Association, International Boys’ School Coalition. Supports Neighborhood Christian Center; Second Presbyterian Church.
LORETTA TAYLOR DALE
President, West Memphis Christian School. Ed.D, University of Memphis. Developed sister-school exchange program with Ibaraki Christian School in Hitachi, Japan. Graduate of Crittenden County Leadership, Member of ASQ (Featured Engineer), past Board of Advisers-CBU Graduate School of Engineering, Tennessee Baldrige Examiner; past MSQPC Director of Training involved in Baldrige assessments for business, healthcare, and education. Involved in Navajo missions and urban ministries.
President, St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School. B.A., Latin, University of Mississippi; Master of Education and Master of Arts, Guidance and Counseling and Secondary Education, University of Memphis. Member of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Independent Schools. Past President, Tennessee Association of Independent Schools. Membership in the National Catholic Education Association and the National Association of Independent Schools. Board member of the St. Martin de Porres Shrine and Institute and is a Eucharistic Minister in St. Louis parish.
Principal, Christian Brothers High School. B.A., English, M.S., Educational Leadership, CBU. Has been with CBHS 8 years, in current position 2 years. Facilitating school’s transition to one-computer-per-student environment. Named to “Top 40 Under 40,” Memphis Business Journal. Member, Lasallian Association of Secondary School Chief Administrators (LASSCA), National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
ELLIS L. HAGUEWOOD
Headmaster, Memphis University School. In current position since 1995; with MUS more than 40 years. Former director of student activities, dean of students, director of summer school, and Upper School principal. Named a 2010 Distinguished Service Honoree by Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA). The Commercial Appeal’s MOST Principled Principal, 2009. Past President, Memphis Association of Independent Schools. Member, TSSAA Division II Committee since its inception in 1997.
SALLY S. HERMSDORFER
High School Principal, Immaculate Conception Cathedral School. B.A., Siena College, Memphis, 1970; M.A., University of Memphis, 1996. Has spent seven years at ICCS, an all-girl, college-prep high school, grades 9-12; part of a 3K-12 Unit School. Offers dual enrollment and advanced placement classes. The school has served Memphis since 1950, with a diverse student population representative of the Memphis community. Notable alumni include Margaret “Peggy” Scobey, U.S. ambassador to Egypt, and Priscilla Presley.
Headmaster, Lausanne Collegiate School. Has been with school since 2005. Led renovation of the school’s K-12 curriculum; established Lausanne as an International Baccalaureate World School; acquired funding for $13.8 million library and sports complex. Member, International Baccalaureate Association, National Association of Independent Schools, Independent School Management. Vice President, Memphis Association of Independent Schools. Strategic Planning for Non-Profits; University of Memphis Confucius Institute Program Speaker.
President, Briarcrest Christian School. Bachelor’s degree, Christian Brothers University; M.B.A., University of Memphis. Has spent two years as President; 10 years with Briarcrest. Recently opened Briarcrest Houston Levee campus. Distinguished Lecturer, Stern School of Business, New York University. Certified Public Accountant. Past President, Memphis Chapter of Financial Executives Institute. Member, St. Patrick Presbyterian Church in Collierville. Married with three children.
TIMOTHY L. RUSSELL
Headmaster, Westminster Academy. B.A., English, Geneva College; Master’s of Divinity, Reformed Theological Seminary; Ph.D. Candidate, Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. Most recently served as the President of Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies. Moved to Memphis in 2004 with wife, Kathe. Attends Second Presbyterian Church where he serves on the pastoral staff. Committed to furthering the vision of Westminster Academy to train students to love that which is worth loving by way of Scripture and the Classical Liberal Arts.
MARLENE RUTLEDGE SHAW
Head of School, St. Mary’s Episcopal School. B.S., Secondary Education, Louisiana State University; Master’s of Education, University of New Orleans. Leads a faculty and staff of 160 and a student body of 860. Implemented 6-year strategic plan with focus on technology and capital campaign. Raised $26 million in five years and oversaw planning and construction of three new buildings. National Board Certified Counselor. Member, National Board of Directors, and Vice President, Educational Records Bureau. Served on Tennessee Association of Independent Schools Executive Committee.
ANNETTE C. SMITH
Head of School, Hutchison School. Has been head of Hutchison for 11 years. Cited for outstanding school leadership by the United States Department of Education. Named one of the “50 Women Who Make A Difference,” Memphis Woman. President, Tennessee Association of Independent Schools (TAIS); Advisory Board, The Children’s Museum of Memphis; Community Advisory Board, Junior League of Memphis; Scholarship Committee, English Speaking Union; Board of Directors, DeNeuville Learning Center.
WILLIAM W. TAYLOR
President, St. George’s Independent School. B.A., History, Kenyon College; M.A., Religion, Yale University; Certificate of Anglican Studies, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Has been with St. George’s Independent School for four years. Oversees three campuses: elementary schools in Memphis and Germantown and a middle/upper school in Collierville. Supports The Children’s Museum of Memphis, Church of the Holy Apostles. Married to Jennifer Luce Taylor with two children.
GEORGE D. VALADIE
President and Principal, St. Benedict at Auburndale Catholic High School. B.A., Notre Dame; M.A., Secondary Administration, UT- Chattanooga. Has been at school 12 years. Oversaw design, construction, and transition into new 184,000-square-foot campus. Young Educator of the Year, Chattanooga Kiwanis; Christ the Teacher Award, Catholic Diocese of Memphis. Member, National Catholic Education Association; Memphis Association of Independent Schools. Supports Memphis Food Bank. Member, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.