Moorestown Friends Head of School Larry Van Meter announced his retirement at the end of next year at a meeting with Juniors and Seniors this morning, preceding an email blast that went out to the school community at the end of the day.
“I am writing to share our deep appreciation to Larry Van Meter for his 16 years of service as Head of School, and to accept his notice of retirement effective June 30, 2018” wrote School Committee Clerk Nick Smith in the email.
The quickly organized meeting was scheduled in an email with Juniors and Seniors on Sunday evening. They met second period in the auditorium, where Van Meter made the announcement. He explained that he wanted to let them know that they will be the last classes he will be handing diplomas to.
The faculty and staff were not informed prior to the student meeting. Dean of Students Mike Brunswick, who came into the position the same year Van Meter became Head of School, could not speculate on why that decision was made.
“You know…coaches when they step down…they tell their team first, and since this is the group that would be the last two groups that he’ll be doing graduation for…maybe that [played a factor],” Brunswick commented.
Van Meter, who graduated in MFS Class of 1968, has been instrumental in change at MFS. He oversaw the new coding program for preschool through fifth grade, the introduction of the Mandarin Chinese program, and the addition of Hartman Hall, among a long list of others.
While no replacement has been named, a head search committee has been created. The committee consists of “trustees, faculty, alumni, current and past parents, and Quakers.” It is co-clerked by Barbara Caldwell, retired associate head of school, and Smith.
“There’s much still to do over the next 19 months,” Van Meter writes. He continued that he is still focused on “achieving important goals for the school.”
WordsWorth wishes Mr. Van Meter a congratulations on his retirement.