April 2, 2004 – Arthur Scott, the man chosen two years ago to succeed longtime Antilles School headmaster Mark Marin following Marin's death, submitted his resignation this week effective immediately, according to a message issued on Thursday by the president of the board of trustees, Bob Schmidt.
"Art Scott has chosen for personal reasons to step down from his position as head of school," the message e-mailed to students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni stated.
"While some elements of his tenure at Antilles have been controversial, the board recognizes the skills inherent in Art's many years of broad-based academic and leadership experience, and the valuable contributions that Art has brought to the Antilles School community," Schmidt said.
Scott's "commitment to educational excellence has revitalized the board's resolve to provide the best education we can to our young people," the message continued.
Schmidt said that Ted Morse, Antilles academic dean and head of the school's history department, "has accepted the board's request to become acting head through the balance of the 2003-2004 academic year."
Scott came to the top job at the private St. Thomas school a year after the unexpected death in July 2001 of Marin, who headed the school for 22 years. Following Marin's death, Kaye Knoepfel, who had retired a month earlier after 21 years with the school, agreed to return as interim head for the 2001-02 academic year while the board conducted the search for a permanent successor.
In April 2002, the board announced its choice: Scott, then 51, at the time headmaster of the Native American Preparatory School in Rowe, N.M., about an hour outside of Santa Fe. He began work on July 1. In announcing the appointment, Elliott McIver Davis, then president of the Antilles board, said of Scott: "He's got vision, he's got an eclectic intellect and he's extremely well read."
Scott is a high school graduate of the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., a private Quaker institution committed to diversity; he received his undergraduate degree from Hiram College in Ohio and holds master's degrees in divinity and theology from Duke University.
Davis noted then that the headmaster's mandate was wide ranging: to deal with issues such as tuition and scholarships, maintain enrollment diversity, bring teacher salaries up to the norm for independent schools and improve academic performance.
Schmidt said in the Thursday message that the board has formed a search committee "to formulate strategy in finding a head of school for the 2004-05 academic year and beyond." He said the committee includes board members and the president of the Parent-Teacher Association. "We will also be soliciting and including input from faculty, staff, parents and other constituents," he said, pledging to keep the Antilles community updated on developments.
Morse, who is to assume the duties of acting head on Monday, joined the Antilles faculty in 1996. Before that he chaired the history department at the Kent School, a private college preparatory school in Connecticut, and then taught at two high schools in the New York-Connecticut area. He also currently serves as chief reader in American history for the Advanced Placement Program administered by the College Boards.
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