McDonogh School Headmaster’s Retirement Moved Up to this Summer

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The Allan Building on the McDonogh School campus. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Charlie Britton, headmaster of 11 years for the McDonogh School, will retire this summer to allow his replacement to take over one year earlier than planned, the Owings Mills school’s board president said in a letter to parents and alumni Wednesday.

McDonogh last month tapped David Farace, an alum who is currently headmaster at a Florida boarding school, to take over for Britton in 2019. But in a letter sent to the school community, board of trustees president Howard S. Klein wrote that “Dave’s obligations have changed, which permit him to come to McDonogh a year early on July 1, 2018.”

The announcement comes weeks after an assault investigation involving male students in an Upper School dormitory, and two months after Britton divulged that two former teachers who are married to each other had been accused of sexual involvement with teenagers in separate incidents.

Britton called the assault case a “troubling incident,” but said in a follow-up letter that he could not share any further details about the students involved.

Baltimore County police launched an investigation into the assault case. Corp. Shawn Vinson, a spokesman for the department, said in January that they are “looking into everything.” On a phone call Thursday morning, Vinson said the investigation has been completed, and no charges were filed. “We have not been able to substantiate any of the allegations, and based on that it’s an inactive investigation.”

Baltimore Fishbowl reached out to the school for comment on Britton’s retirement.

Britton had actually originally planned to retire in 2018, which Klein noted, but agreed last August to stay until July of 2019 to allow the school’s hired recruiters to extend their search for his replacement. Klein wrote that the acceleration of Farace’s arrival will “allow us to honor Charlie’s original timeline.”

In an email to Baltimore Fishbowl, current McDonogh School board member and former board president Michael Falcone applauded Britton’s “willingness to flip flop his retirement date.”

“He will be deeply missed by all of us who have worked with him over the past 11 years,” Falcone said.

Britton, a native of Southport, Maine, became McDonogh’s 12th headmaster in 2007. He previously served as headmaster for the Casady School in Oklahoma City for five years, and also worked as an administrator and teacher for private schools in New York, Texas and Pittsburgh.

He’ll be working with Farace through the end of the current school year “to ensure a smooth transition,” Klein wrote.

“Like Charlie, [Farace] is a person of the highest integrity who is deeply committed to taking care of young people and providing them with the best possible education experience,” the letter said.

This story has been updated.

Ethan McLeod
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