Meet Interim Head of Lower School Dorothy Hutcheson

Interim Head of Lower School DOROTHY HUTCHESON brings more than four decades of experience in education to her role at Pace Academy. She has worn many hats throughout her career—from classroom teacher, college counselor and dean of students to consultant, executive coach and head of school. 

Most recently, Hutcheson served as interim director of the Village School (kindergarten through sixth grade) at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, Calif. From 1992 to 2012, she was head of the Nightingale-Bamford School, an independent K-12, girls’ school. Her resume also includes time at The Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn and at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh. Hutcheson has served on the boards of six independent schools, the National Association of Independent Schools and the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Education at Teachers College, among others; her list of professional honors and affiliations is long. 

Hutcheson’s arrival at Pace for the 2021-2022 school year represents a personal homecoming; she is an Atlanta native and a Westminster alumna. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and earned a master’s in school counseling from Duquesne University. Hutcheson also participated in Columbia University’s Klingenstein Visiting Heads Program and holds a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. 

“Needless to say, we are thrilled to have such a seasoned and spirited educator join our ranks as we search for our next Head of Lower School,” says Head of School FRED ASSAF. “Dorothy understands deeply our school’s mission to create prepared, confident citizens of the world, as well as our ongoing efforts to ensure that Pace is a welcoming and inclusive place for all members of our community. Under Dorothy’s guidance, and with our leadership team’s passion and expertise, our Lower School students, faculty, staff and parents are in good hands.”

Hutcheson is equally excited to join the Pace community. “My heart is in school, and I am incredibly lucky to have this interim year at Pace,” she says. “I see myself in this interim role as not just a caretaker but as a builder of the community so that students, teachers and parents support one another. I like to have fun and can’t believe I found a calling that makes a difference to others and energizes me every day.”

Hutcheson and her husband, Sam, whom she met while teaching at Shady Side Academy, have been married for 38 years and have a daughter, Holly, who teaches middle school science at Rye Country Day School in New York. During Hutcheson’s interim term, the couple will “have a commuter marriage—Sam will live in Connecticut with our rescue labs Taz and Tucker, while our cat Jack keeps me company in Atlanta,” she says. It’s an arrangement the couple has maintained before, and one that allows Hutcheson to remain close to her 98-year-old mother in Atlanta.  

“I am eager to explore the cultural scene in Atlanta and have been listening to Lois Reitzes on WABE to get some ideas for weekend jaunts,” she reports.

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