Update: Tabor head of school charged with drunk driving

Feb 10, 2020

MARION — Tabor Academy Head of School John 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 Falmouth District Court on Tuesday one charge was dismissed and two were “continued without a finding” until Feb. 11, 2021.

According to police and court reports, Bourne police clocked Quirk traveling 78 miles an hour in a 55-miles-per-hour zone at 1:17 a.m.

After being stopped by police on MacArthur Boulevard, Quirk reportedly failed five field sobriety tests, and two breathalyzer tests showed blood alcohol content of 0.138 and 0.134. Anything above 0.08 is considered legally intoxicated.

The Tabor Academy Board of Trustees issued a statement saying it is deliberating on what should happen next.

"The Board is fully aware of the recent incident involving our Head of School John Quirk . . . the Board is taking this matter very seriously. We continue to carefully deliberate. After thorough discussion and evaluation, we will make an appropriate determination shortly based on the best interests of the school and our students," the board wrote Monday night. 

Attempts to contact Quirk for comment were unsuccessful.

According to the police report, Quirk stated he was coming from a work dinner, and that he had had six glasses of wine between 9 p.m. and midnight. 

The report described Quirk as wearing a shirt and tie, but also as being “mussed.”

“The tie was tangled up in the seat belt and facing backward,” Patrolman Michael Haglof wrote.

Quoting from the report:

“Officer asked Quirk where he was coming from and he lethargically shook his head and mumbled ‘I’m coming from a work thing.’ Officer asked what type of work event would end at 1 in the morning. Quirk again mumbled ‘it was a dinner thing for work. I’m head of a school.’ ” 

Asked to do field sobriety tests, “Quirk stated, ‘Come on, this is a career killer.’ ”

After failing the five tests, Quirk reportedly said, “I’ve probably had too much to drink. Six glasses was probably too much.” 

Charged at the Bourne Police station, he was arraigned in Falmouth District Court later on Jan. 31. Quirk’s license was suspended for 30 days. He was released on $40 bail.

On Feb. 11, the DUI and speeding charges were continued without a finding, which indicates the state does have enough evidence to try Quirk but that he chose to submit to probation conditions for a year rather than going to trial. The negligent driving charge was dismissed. Quirk will face severe penalties if another incident occurs. 

Quirk, 53, has served as head of school at Tabor since October 2011. Before Tabor, he was the associate head of school affairs at Brooks School in North Andover.