DR. JOHN GRIFFITH OFFICIALLY INSTALLED AS RANNEY’S FOURTH HEAD OF SCHOOL
On September 17, students across all three divisions, along with parents, faculty, members of the board of trustees, and distinguished guests that included Shrewsbury Mayor Donald W. Burden, State Senator Joseph Kyrillos, and Carole J. Everett, executive director of New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS), joined together to officially install John W. Griffith, Ed.D, as Ranney’s fourth Head of School.
In his opening remarks, Head of Upper School Paul Zanowski welcomed everyone to the special event, which also served as Fall Convocation and the traditional senior “vesting” ceremony for the Class of 2014.
Before presenting Dr. Griffith with the board of trustees emblem, Mr. Price acknowledged the presence of Ranney’s second Head of School, Mrs. Margaret Mahon, and Dr. Lawrence S. Sykoff, Ranney’s third Head of School, in the audience. He then discussed the Head of School search process and the road that led the board of trustees to select Dr. Griffith to lead Ranney School into the future. Mr. Price posed the question: “Who is John Griffith in the board of trustees’ mind?” Responding, “He is an adult with a wide-range background in education, he is thoughtful, intelligent, he is a teacher, a student, and most importantly…he is a leader.”
Dr. Griffith expressed his gratitude for the community’s support and the warm welcome he and his wife, Dana, and their five-year-old daughter, Claire, received throughout the head-of-school transition. “The metrics that were important to me when I looked at Ranney last fall were not enrollment patterns or standardized testing, or fundraising measures, or the size of the campus,” he said. “The measure for me was the opportunity to lead a school that shared my values, seemed ambitious to grow and improve, and represented a chance to live with my family in a place that would be a home for all of us.”
To pay tribute to Dr. Griffith, the seventh- and eighth-grade chorus sang “Like the Beat of a Drum” before the ceremony transitioned into the traditional vesting of the seniors. “When our seniors wear these vests, it signifies that they have become people worth looking up to; people who make conscientious efforts to bring out the best in their fellow students,” explained Mr. Zanowski, before turning the podium over to Junior Class President Kristen Guyler, who read the names of the seniors as they walked to the stage to be vested. Dr. Griffith also received an honorary vest.
In closing, Student Council President Steve Parlamas ’13 spoke about the many forms of leadership found across campus, from the duties of the Head of School and the senior class to students in all grades. “In a community that prides itself on being interconnected, we will all have opportunities to lead each other,” he said. “Our community has the capacity to do great things when we are united by a common goal. A leader is someone who hears that goal, makes a plan with those around him or her, and then takes action.”