By Peggy Shaw
On Monday, the HIES Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Paul A. Barton as the next Head of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, effective July 1, 2014. Following a national search to identify the school’s next leader, the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees enthusiastically endorsed Paul’s candidacy and voted unanimously in favor of his calling.Current headmaster, Gene Bratek, is retiring.
Barton is an inspirational and engaging educational leader, having served as a successful Head of School for the past 14 years, most recently with the Avery Coonley School near Chicago. During his career, Barton has led a diverse range of independent and public institutions and has served a broad spectrum of students and learning styles from Pre-K through grade 12. His many roles have included teacher, coach, residential dean, admissions associate, and senior administrator. In recent years, he was invited to attend two of the most respected professional development programs for educational leadership, the Klingenstein Visiting Heads Fellowship at Teachers College, Columbia University and the Kellogg Executive Scholars Program at Northwestern University.
Barton is openly enthusiastic about the opportunity. “I am extremely honored to become a member of the Holy Innocents’ community as its next Head of School,” he said upon accepting the position. “My wife Leanne and I were overwhelmed by the warmth of the Holy Innocents’ community, the passion and professionalism of the faculty and staff, and the vision and commitment of the Board of Trustees. We do feel called to be part of this very special place – a place dedicated to the development of each and every child – spiritually, academically, artistically, and athletically. We look forward to many years of growing together.””
The Bartons have three children – Sam (11), Abby (9), and Charlie (4). Leanne, a former teacher, is very active in community service and recently served as president of a school’s parent association.
Speaking on behalf the HIES Board of Trustees, Board chair Mr. Bruce Ford said, “We are thrilled to be calling Paul Barton as our next Head of School. Paul is the right leader for Holy Innocents’ and we were impressed by his focus on developing every facet of the academic, artistic, athletic, and spiritual potential of each child. Paul and his wife Leanne will be very welcome additions to our community – on campus, in Sandy Springs, and throughout metro Atlanta. I look forward to working with Paul in the years ahead.”
Added Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church rector the Rev. Michael Sullivan, “Paul brings the leadership we need around all aspects of our strategic plan, from understanding Episcopal identity to faculty development to integration of STEM more fully into our curriculum. More importantly, he will embody the spirit of our community among students, faculty, parents, friends and Greater Atlanta. Paul has the energy, vision, and expertise to build upon the great traditions of HIES while also leading us into new dreams and aspirations.”
While the search has been successfully completed, Search Committee chair Mr. Mark Crosswell points out that the students, families, faculty, and staff still have nine months of work before the transition takes place. “We continue to be grateful for the leadership of Gene Bratek, who will continue as our Head through next June,” said Crosswell. “Gene’s guidance and advice have been invaluable during this process.”
Ford and Crosswell released the news in a jointly-signed message to the entire HIES community on Monday afternoon. “We are extremely grateful to all those in our community who have contributed meaningfully to our process, including faculty, parents, administration, alumni, trustees, and students,” they wrote. “Our school was well represented in all respects by these constituents and the Search Committee benefited greatly from their insight and support.