EAST GREENWICH, R.I. – The Board of Trustees of Rocky Hill School has selected Diane Rich of East Greenwich as Head of School effective July 1, 2018. Ms. Rich, who will be the first woman Head of School since Dorothy Marshall founded Rocky Hill School in 1934, succeeds Dr. James Tracy who will become President of the groundbreaking Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning founded by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“We are enthusiastic about the future of Rocky Hill School under Diane Rich’s leadership. The Board’s unanimous vote to hire Diane as our Head of School is testimony to our belief that, as the individual who has been largely responsible for overseeing the implementation of all of our forward-thinking academic programs and structures, she is uniquely qualified to continue to advance our school,” said Donald McCaughey, President of the Rocky Hill School Board of Trustees. “Dr. Tracy has provided us with a solid foundation upon which we will further build. We are grateful for Jim’s vision and leadership and we wish him well as he takes on this nationally impactful endeavor.”
Ms. Rich joined Rocky Hill School in 2013 as an English teacher and Dean of Faculty, and most recently served as Assistant Head of School for Internal Affairs where she oversaw all curriculum and academic programs, faculty, and operations. Previously Ms. Rich, who has 30 years of experience in education, served as founding Dean of Humanities at the award-winning Bedford High School in Bedford, NH. She has an undergraduate degree from Boston College and received her Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University.
“I am honored and humbled to be named to lead Rocky Hill School as it continues to emerge as one of the most dynamic and innovative schools in America,” said Diane Rich, Head of School-designate. “I am fortunate to have been able to work side-by-side with Jim Tracy and our team of talented educators to design our unique approach to teaching and learning. I look forward to the exciting opportunities ahead as we work to reshape education through innovation and collaboration with an eye on the changing nature of work.”
In the 2017-2018 academic year, Rocky Hill School saw a 45% year-over-year increase in applications, catalyzed by the School’s innovative, skills-focused education that provides real-world opportunities for students to master communication, collaboration, critical and design-thinking, ethics, creativity, and global awareness. Additionally, the School has collaborated with area businesses and non-profits including LearnLaunch, Sproutel, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, Highlander Institute, Trinity Repertory Company, and several area Chambers of Commerce to design high-impact opportunities for students and faculty. The School is excited to further these initiatives and others under Rich’s leadership.
In his new position, Dr. Tracy will become the first President of the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning which is fundamentally changing master's-level teacher preparation by adapting it for the 21st century. The Academy is funded in large part through generous gifts from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Carnegie Corporation, Amgen, and others.
“Rocky Hill School is an amazing community of dedicated students, parents, and teachers who have fully embraced a new approach to education that is designed to prepare our children for the future in ways that will make them lifelong learners and leaders,” said Dr. James Tracy, Head of School. “Leaving this wonderful place was a difficult decision, but I am excited about this new opportunity to continue to innovate educational practice at a national level. While departing is bittersweet, I am heartened to know that Diane Rich, who has been such an instrumental part in our success, will lead our dynamic faculty and engage students forward on this important journey we began together.”
About Rocky Hill School
Founded in 1934, Rocky Hill School is an independent, day school for Preschool through Grade 12. Located on 84 acres along Narragansett Bay, Rocky Hill School provides a college preparatory foundation and diverse opportunities for students to explore and pursue their intellectual, athletic and artistic passions.