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Top 50 New England Boarding Schools Heads Average $455,000 in Compensation

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

 

St. George's School

The heads of the top boarding schools in New England average nearly a half a million dollars in compensation annually -- for positions that have come under increased scrutiny in recent years. 

GoLocal takes its second look at how much the heads of some of the most prestigious preparatory schools in the country - and world - make, and found that since 2014, the average compensation of the highest paid school officials has risen from $420,000 to over $455,000.

And during that time, multiple boarding schools -- including St. George's in Rhode Island, Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut, and St. Paul's in New Hampshire -- have come under fire for the handling and de facto cover-up of sexual abuse claims -- some dating back decades. 

SLIDES: See the Top 50 Boarding School Heads' Compensation BELOW

Thomas Hassan earned over $850,000 before his departure from Exeter.

The top head of school? According to the most recent 990 filings available online, former Head of School Thomas Hassan at Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire had a reported compensation of $850,606 on the school's 2015 IRS 990 forms.

Hassan was replaced and was censured for his role in the cover up of an alleged sex scandal. Hassan's wife is a United States Senator and his role in the scandal was an issue in her run for the Senate, according to Politico. Previously, she was the Governor of New Hampshire. Lisa MacFarlane is now the head of Exeter.

In total, eight heads of boarding schools in New England topped over $600,000 in their most recently reported annual compensation, according the schools' latest available IRS filings. 

"I would share that similar to leaders in other sectors, heads of school are responsible for the performance of dynamic, multi-million dollar organizations," said Claire Leheny, Executive Director for the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE).  "Market conditions, job requirements, and success in forwarding the mission and goals of the school all play a role in determining compensation."

"A school’s Board of Trustees is responsible for setting appropriate compensation for the head," said Leheny. "As part of the process, a Board is required to benchmark salaries regionally and nationally as well as comply with IRS regulations."

When asked for comment on compensation levels, representatives from the top five schools -- those over $600,0000 -- did not respond. 

Charlie Cahn of Suffield Academy ranks #2.

Schools Under Scrutiny

In December 2015, GoLocal reported that St. George's in Rhode Island was under investigation for dozens of reports of sexual assaults - and abuse - over the years

St. George’s, the exclusive prep school in Middletown, Rhode Island which reports assets of over $200 million, has admitted that after decades of denial that at least 23 students were molested by multiple faculty and staff.

St. George’s, which sits high above Second Beach and claims one of the most picturesque campuses in the world, has a long list of high profile alumni including John Nicholas Brown, actress Julie Bowen, Bill Bush, Tucker Carlson, many of the Astors, Senator Claiborne Pell and poet Ogden Nash.

On December 23, in the midst of the holiday week, the school released a letter to alumni including a report that admitted widespread sexual abuse. The report prepared by the law firm Schwartz Hannum admits that at least six staffers were involved in sexual abuse, but only named one of the former employees — Al Gibbs.

In August, St. George's reported that it was settling up to 30 sex abuse claims.

Since then, a number of schools in New England conducted their own investigations into reports of sex abuse at their schools -- including Choate in Connecticut. 

Read the Choate report HERE.

On July 14, Reuters reported that New Hampshire has opened a criminal probe into the elite St. Paul's School, following their May report that 13 former members of its staff had engaged in sexual misconduct with students in incidents dating back decades.

Attorney Carmen Durso

Attorney Carmen Durso, who represented victims in the St. George's sex abuse claims, weighed in on head of school compensation -- as it relates to their responsibilities. 

"I have no problem with a headmaster receiving compensation commensurate with the complexity of the position.  With that, comes the obligation to place the welfare of the students first, even if doing so might seem to harm the reputation of the institution," said Durso. "If the institution claims to have a set of values, then they can't be abandoned when the application of those principles becomes inconvenient or embarrassing."

"The ability to recognize that, and to live by it, is what makes an institution great, and the headmaster worth his [or her] salary," said Durso. "Unfortunately, that's not something we see often in the school cases."

 

Related Slideshow: New England’s Top 50 Heads of Schools Ranked by Compensation - 2017

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50.

Head of School: Peter Becker

Total Compensation: $278,836

School: The Gunnery

Number of Students: 288  

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Washington, CT

Tuition Board: $55,350

Tuition Day: $40,425

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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49.

Head of School: David McCusker

Total Compensation: $282,515

School: Cardigan Mountain School

Number of Students: 214

Grades: 6-9

Location: Canaan, NH

Tuition Board: $53,785

Tuition Day: $31,220

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Current Head of School as of June 2017: Christopher D. Day

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48.

Head of School: Antonio Viva

Total Compensation: $285,409

School: Walnut School for the Arts

Number of Students: 295

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Natick, MA

Tuition Board: $57,880

Tuition Day: $43,680

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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47.

Head of School: John Quirk

Total Compensation: $292,450

School: Tabor Academy

Number of Students: 517

Grades: 9-12

Location: Marion, MA

Tuition Board: $57,750

Tuition Day: $39,780

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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46.

Head of School: R Daniel Schiebe

Total Compensation: $303,112

School: Lawrence Academy

Number of Students: 397

Grades: 9-12

Location: Groton, MA

Tuition Board: $59,750

Tuition Day: $46,250

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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45.

Head of School: John Nozell

Total Compensation: $322,438

School: Cheshire Academy

Number of Students: 437

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Cheshire, CT

Tuition Board: $57,120

Tuition Day: $39,900

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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44.

Head of School: Thomas Farmen

Total Compensation: $329,044

School: Rumsey Hall School

Number of Students: 336

Grades: 5-9

Location: Washington Dpt, CT

Tuition Board: $55,665

Tuition Day: $26,040

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Current Head of School as of June 2017:  Matthew Hoeniger

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43.

Head of School: Andrew Chase

Total Compensation: $331,571

School: Eaglebrook School

Number of Students: 247

Grades: 6-9

Location: Deerfield, MA

Tuition Board: $59,500

Tuition Day: $38,500

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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42.

Head of School: Michael Henriques

Total Compensation: $336,335

School: Proctor Academy

Number of Students: 360

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Andover, NH

Tuition Board: $57,200

Tuition Day: $34,500

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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41.

Head of School: Pieter Mulder

Total Compensation: $336,431

School: Berkshire School

Number of Students: 399

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Sheffield, MA

Tuition Board: $58,500

Tuition Day: $46,500

Source: 2015, IRS 990 

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40.

Head of School: Thomas Lovett

Total Compensation: $337,293

School: St. Johnsbury Academy

Number of Students: 950

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: St. Johnsbury, VT

Tuition Board: $51,560

Tuition Day: $16,315

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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39.

Head of School: Mark Devey

Total Compensation: $341,757

School: Indian Mountain School

Number of Students: 250

Grades: 6-9

Location: Lakeville, CT

Tuition Board: $59,610

Tuition Day: $30,805

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Current Head of School as of June 2017: Jody Soja

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38.

Head of School: Robert Broudo

Total Compensation: $346,876

School: Landmark School

Number of Students: 476

Grades: 9-12

Location: Prides Crossing, MA

Tuition Board: $71,300

Tuition Day: $54,300

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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37.

Head of School: John Packard

Total Compensation: $348,636

School: Brooks School

Number of Students: 378

Grades: 9-12

Location: Andover, MA

Tuition Board: $57,785

Tuition Day: $44,575

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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36.

Head of School: Caroline Erisman

Total Compensation: $356,498

School: Dana Hall School

Number of Students: 482

Grades: 9-12

Location: Wellesley, MA

Tuition Board: $59,680

Tuition Day: $45,650

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Current Head of School as of June 2017: Katherine Bradley

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35.

Head of School: Christopher Torino

Total Compensation: $357,643

School: Cushing Academy

Number of Students: 400

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Ashburnham, MA

Tuition Board: $57,800

Tuition Day: $40,300

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Current Heads of School as of June 2017: Margaret Lee and Catherine Pollock

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34.

Head of School: Timothy Richards

Total Compensation: $358,229

School: Pomfret School

Number of Students: 350

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Pomfret, CT

Tuition Board: $57,570

Tuition Day: $37,670

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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33.

Head of School: Peter Quimby

Total Compensation: $363,831

School: The Governor’s Academy

Number of Students: 406

Grades: 9-12

Location: Byfield, MA

Tuition Board: $57,500

Tuition Day: $45,800

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

32,

Head of School: John Warren

Total Compensation: $373,935

School: St. Mark’s School

Number of Students: 360

Grades: 9-12

Location: Southborough, MA

Tuition Board: $57,500

Tuition Day: $45,800

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

31.

Head of School: Rodney Labrecque

Total Compensation: $383,826

School: Wilbraham & Monson Academy

Number of Students: 425

Grades: 8-12 PG

Location: Wilbraham, MA

Tuition Board: $58,200

Tuition Day: $39,300

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Current Head of School as of June 2017: Brian Easler

Prev Next

30.

Head of School: R Phillip Peck

Total Compensation: $384,339

School: Holderness School

Number of Students: 280

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Plymouth, NH

Tuition Board: $58,500

Tuition Day: $38,500

Source: 2016, IRS 990

Prev Next

29.

Head of School: William Vn Phillip

Total Compensation: $386,587

School: Westminster School

Number of Students: 390

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Simsbury, CT

Tuition Board: $58,300

Tuition Day: $43,750

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

28.

Head of School: Adam Man

Total Compensation: $395,086

School: Forman School

Number of Students: 218

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Litchfield, CT

Tuition Board: $70,555

Tuition Day: $57,680

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

27.

Head of School: Andrew Menke

Total Compensation: $401,805

School: New Hampton School

Number of Students: 320

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: New Hampton, NH

Tuition Board: $57,500

Tuition Day: $33,900

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Current Head of School as of June 2017: Joe Williams

Prev Next

26,

Head of School: Robert Hill III

Total Compensation: $406,132

School: The Williston Northampton School

Number of Students: 440

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Easthampton, MA

Tuition Board: $50,800

Tuition Day: $34,800

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

25.

Head of School: Thomas Sheehy III

Total Compensation: $408,230

School: Canterbury School

Number of Students: 320

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: New Milford, CT

Tuition Board: $53,900

Tuition Day: $41,900

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Current Head of School as of June 2017: Rachel Stone

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24.

Head of School: Richard Hardy

Total Compensation: $447,014

School: Concord Academy

Number of Students: 382

Grades: 9-12

Location: Concord, MA

Tuition Board: $58,558

Tuition Day: $47,160

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

23.

Head of School: Peter Mcdonald

Total Compensation: $456,667

School: Eagle Hill School

Number of Students: 220

Grades: 8-12

Location: Hardwick, MA

Tuition Board: $67,850

Tuition Day: $48,099

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

22.

Head of School: Chisholm Chandler

Total Compensation: $473,965

School: Salisbury School

Number of Students: 305

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Salisbury, CT

Tuition Board: $58,100

Tuition Day: $47,500

Source: 2015, IRS 990 

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21.

Head of School: Kenneth LaRocque

Total Compensation: $481,022

School: Avon Old Farms

Number of Students: 409

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Avon, CT

Tuition Board: $52,400

Tuition Day: $39,700

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

20.

Head of School: Michael Schafer

Total Compensation: $487,757

School: Kimball Union Academy

Number of Students: 340

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Meriden, NH

Tuition Board: $58,200

Tuition Day: $36,200

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

19.

Head of School: Temba Maqubela

Total Compensation: $488,956

School: Groton School

Number of Students: 380

Grades: 8-12

Location: Groton, MA

Tuition Board: $56,700

Tuition Day: $43,390

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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18.

Head of School: William MacMullen

Total Compensation: $492,239

School: The Taft School

Number of Students: 594

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Watertown, CT

Tuition Board: $56,550

Tuition Day: $41,950

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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17.

Head of School: Richardson Schell

Total Compensation: $495,953

School: Kent School

Number of Students: 570

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Kent, CT

Tuition Board: $58,450

Tuition Day: $46,300

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

16.

Head of School: Michael Hirschfield

Total Compensation: $523,416

School: St. Paul’s School

Number of Students: 531

Grades: 9-12

Location: Concord, NH

Tuition Board: $56,460

Tuition Day: N/A

Source: 2015, IRS 990

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15.

Head of School: Peter Fayroian

Total Compensation: $526,588

School: Northfield Mount Hermon

Number of Students: 650

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Mount Hermon, MA

Tuition Board: $59,500

Tuition Day: $40,500

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

14.

Head of School: Sheila Culbert

Total Compensation: $543,963

School: The Loomis Chaffee School

Number of Students: 650

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Windsor, CT

Tuition Board: $53,750

Tuition Day: $40,780

Source: 2015, IRS 990 

Prev Next

13.

Head of School: Elizabeth Cromwell Spears

Total Compensation: $550,761

School: The Ethel Walker School

Number of Students: 251

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Simsbury, CT

Tuition Board: $58,550

Tuition Day: $42,550

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Current Head of School as of June 2017: Meera Viswanathan

Prev Next

12.

Head of School: Kathleen Giles

Total Compensation: $552,909

School: Middlesex School

Number of Students: 395

Grades: 9-12

Location: Concord, MA

Tuition Board: $58,020

Tuition Day: $46,420

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

11.

Head of School: John G Palfrey

Total Compensation: $554,979

School: Phillips Academy Andover

Number of Students: 1150

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Andover, MA

Tuition Board: $52,600

Tuition Day: $41,000

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

10.

Head of School: Kevin Hicks

Total Compensation: $566,824

School: The Hotchkiss School

Number of Students: 598

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Lakeville, CT

Tuition Board: $52,430

Tuition Day: $44,575

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

9.

Head of School: Eric Peterson

Total Compensation: $597,052

School: St. George’s School

Number of Students: 370

Grades: 9-12

Location: Newport, RI

Tuition Board: $59,750

Tuition Day: $41,300

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Current Head of School as of June 2017: Alixe Callen

Prev Next

8.

Head of School: Margarita O’Byrne Curtis

Total Compensation: $614,577

School: Deerfield Academy

Number of Students: 650

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Deerfield, MA

Tuition Board: $56,770

Tuition Day: $40,695

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

7.

Head of School: Robert Henderson Jr

Total Compensation: $616,634

School: Noble and Greenough

Number of Students: 613

Grades: 7-12

Location: Dedham, MA

Tuition Board: $54,000

Tuition Day: $48,200

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

6.

Head of School: Robert Gustavson Jr

Total Compensation: $641,541

School: Fay School

Number of Students: 475

Grades: 7-9

Location: Southborough, MA

Tuition Board: $65,060

Tuition Day: $38,550

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

5.

Head of School: Katherine Windsor

Total Compensation: $661,940

School: Miss Porter’s School

Number of Students: 325

Grades: 9-12

Location: Farmington, CT

Tuition Board: $56,700

Tuition Day: $45,660

Source: 2015, IRS 990 

Prev Next

4.

Head of School: Alexander Curtis

Total Compensation: $679,122

School: Choate Rosemary Hall

Number of Students: 862

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Wallingford, CT

Tuition Board: $55,780

Tuition Day: $43,130

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

3.

Head of School: Theodorick Bland

Total Compensation: $681,952

School: Milton Academy

Number of Students: 700

Grades: 9-12

Location: Milton, MA

Tuition Board: $55,410

Tuition Day: $45,490

Source: 2015, IRS 990

Prev Next

2.

Head of School: Charles Cahn III

Total Compensation: $735,043

School: Suffield Academy

Number of Students: 415

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Suffield, CT

Tuition Board: $59,500

Tuition Day: $40,500

Source: 2015 990 

Prev Next

1.

Head of School: Thomas Hassan

Total Compensation: $850,606

School: Phillips Exeter Academy

Number of Students: 1085

Grades: 9-12 PG

Location: Exeter, NH

Tuition Board: $47,790

Tuition Day: $36,800

Source: 2015 990

Current Head of School as of June 2017: Lisa MacFarlane

 
 

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