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MPH Board of Trustees appoints new headmaster

The Manlius Pebble Hill School Board of Trustees has named D. Scott Wiggins the next headmaster of MPH. Wiggins will take over leadership of MPH July 1.

His selection ends a national search to fill the position previously held by Baxter F. Ball, who died last February after more than two decades as headmaster. Tracy Frank, the school’s chief financial officer, has been serving as interim head since Ball’s death.

Board President Jamie Sutphen said the decision to appoint Scott headmaster was unanimous among the trustees.

“He emerged from a group of exceptional candidates as the gifted administrator and inspiring leader MPH needs to meet the educational challenges and opportunities of the future,” Sutphen said.

The MPH search committee retained transition and search consultant Richard Jung, of Maryland-based Education Access Strategies, to aid in its consideration of some 40 applicants for the position of headmaster. The committee was chaired by Peter Manolakos.

“In Scott, we have found a leader with strong experience in independent schools, a vision for the future of MPH, and a commitment to our mission,” Manolakos. “He is absolutely passionate about educating children and helping them mature into both lifelong learners and contributing members of society.”

Wiggins has been involved in independent school education as a teacher, coach and administrator for more than 25 years. He recently left the Lawrence Academy, a grade 9 – 12 coeducational boarding and day school in Groton, Mass., after eight years as head of school. His previous credentials in independent education include six years as principal of upper school at Metairie Park Country Day School in Metairie, La., and positions with independent schools in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Colorado.

“My desire to become an educational leader was sparked thirty-three years ago during my first year as a boarding school teacher,” Wiggins said in a personal statement. “The path I have taken since that time to arrive on the threshold of a second posting as a head of school has been deliberate, and has prepared me to lead with confidence, conviction and vision.”

Wiggins holds a B.A. in chemistry from Boston University and a J.D. from the College of Law at Arizona State University. He practiced law for several years while living in Pennsylvania. He is a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals and a trustee of Nashoba Brooks School of Concord, Mass.

Wiggins is a contributing author to “The Head’s Handbook, A Guide for Aspiring, New, and Experienced Heads of School,” published in 2011 by the National Association of Independent Schools.

NAIS Vice President Gene Batiste asked Mr. Wiggins to write about his “nontraditional path to headship” for the handbook.

“With remarkable clarity, insight, and humor, Wiggins poignantly shared how his training and experience as an attorney and prosecutor, as well as an independent school faculty spouse, positioned him to better serve as a head of school,” Batiste said. “Congratulations to Manlius Pebble Hill School on Scott Wiggins’ appointment.”

Wiggins and his wife, Susan, have twin daughters who will be entering ninth grade in the fall.

Wiggins’ personal statement can be read on the school’s website.