Matt Walsh, Head of School | Glenelg Country School
Matt Walsh has spent 30 years as an independent school educator. Upon his graduation from Georgetown University, he earned an MA from Middlebury College and went on to hold positions as a teacher, coach, associate academic dean, division head, and head. He joined Glenelg Country School in July 2021 as its tenth head of school. Matt was previously the president and head of school at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Ark. During his nine-year tenure, the school secured a $2 million dollar merit scholarship endowment, enhanced its athletics facilities, revamped its social emotional learning program, expanded its fine and performing arts program across all three divisions, constructed a new student commons, and developed a strategic marketing plan. Matt also served as Headmaster at LaGrange Academy, a co-ed K-12 independent school in LaGrange, Ga. Walsh is fluent in Spanish and French and an avid reader of political history, biography, and social psychology. He and his wife have three children, two of whom are new Dragons in Glenelg Country School’s upper and middle schools.
What drew you to education?
The idea of doing something with my life that has a multigenerational impact has always been compelling. The work teachers and administrators do touches lives and stays with people, and they can pass these lessons on to others. The other part of it is the relationships; there is nothing better than interacting with (and learning from) your colleagues and the students. Also, if you love to learn, there is no better place to work than a school!
What do you like about your current school?
Our faculty and staff genuinely care about our students and their families and want to get to know them; that stood out to me right away. The connections people have with one another run deep—strengthened by our incredible racial diversity (at nearly 50%)—and binds us together in extraordinary ways and sets us apart as an independent school.
On beautiful acres of tree-filled land, our setting offers an extended, natural classroom for environmental exploration, physical activity, and general studies. We are in the “country,” yet so close to everything. There is also something contemplative and peaceful about being surrounded by such natural beauty. This environment ineffably encourages one to slow down and value relationships in a hectic world that can sometimes feel less personal and less reflective than we would like it to be.
What do you hope to achieve in your role?
We hope to build on our record of excellence by continuing to develop opportunities for our students to discover the full range of their interests and passions in academics, athletics, and the arts. Integrated cross-disciplinary studies and activities have been a GCS hallmark from the beginning, and we will pursue initiatives that are both timeless and highly relevant in today’s world. We will also be looking for creative ways to continue engaging with and serving the broader Baltimore-Washington community and sharing the tremendous work that goes on in this unique and beautiful place.