Tabor Academy begins search for new head of school
MARION — Tabor Academy Head of School John Quirk will not return to the school after a leave of absence this semester, Trustees announced in a letter to community members.
Quirk was arrested for driving under the influence, speeding and negligent operation of a motor vehicle following a Jan. 31 traffic stop in Bourne.
In a June 17 letter, the school said “The Board has now completed a process of reviewing a variety of circumstances surrounding John's status and has determined that his conduct has fallen short of our standards. Therefore, it is in the best interests of Tabor Academy to terminate our relationship with John.”
Quirk’s case was “continued without a finding,” for the speeding and driving under the influence charges, a ruling which means the state has enough evidence to try Quirk but he chose to submit to probation conditions for a year rather than going to trial. The negligent driving charge was dismissed.
Tabor Academy initially said that Quirk would continue as Head of School and face other disciplinary action, including a public apology. But five days later, it reversed its course and said he would take a leave of absence for the rest of the year.
Instead, Tabor will keep Interim Head of School Julie Salit for the 2020-2021 school year.
The school acknowledged Salit’s hard work during a highly unusual first semester.
“The board recognizes Julie's strong leadership and exemplary performance as Tabor's Acting Head of School for the last three months – a period of uncertainty, compounded by the COVID pandemic and societal challenge.”
The school will start a search process for its next Head of School immediately, and will look to appoint a new leader by the 2021-2022 school year.
The full text of the Trustees’ letter is as follows:
Dear Tabor Community:
As you know, in February 2020, the Board of Trustees placed our Head of School, John Quirk, on a leave of absence until the end of this academic year. The Board has now completed a process of reviewing a variety of circumstances surrounding John's status and has determined that his conduct has fallen short of our standards. Therefore, it is in the best interests of Tabor Academy to terminate our relationship with John.
To ensure continued effective leadership as we enter the next academic year, our Acting Head of School, Julie Salit, will serve as our Interim Head of School through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. In making this appointment, the board recognizes Julie's strong leadership and exemplary performance as Tabor's Acting Head of School for the last three months – a period of uncertainty, compounded by the COVID pandemic and societal challenge. Tabor is extremely fortunate that Julie, her leadership team, along with our talented and dedicated faculty and staff, have demonstrated remarkable adaptability and is completing a successful academic year under such difficult circumstances. The Board fully supports Julie's new and expanded role as Interim Head of School.
We will immediately begin a search for a new Head of School to be appointed for the 2021-2022 school year. The search will be overseen by a Trustee-led search committee assisted by a search firm. As our search process progresses, we will provide additional information.
This has been a challenging time for Tabor Academy and we thank the Tabor community for its ongoing commitment to our school. The Board of Trustees looks forward to working with all members of the Tabor Community in our shared goal of building a brighter future for the school that we all love.
The Tabor Academy Board of Trustees