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Oldfields News

Important News from the Head of School
Posted 10/25/2016 12:49PM

Parny to "Graduate" with the Class of 2017!

Those four daughters of hers are finally getting their dearest wish! Parny has made the decision to "graduate" with the Class of 2017 in our 150th year! Much as she will be missed when she goes, it's hard to be selfish knowing how long her family (including nine grandchildren!) has wanted her back in New England with all of them. We just know that wonderful new adventures are awaiting her back in her old stomping grounds (although we're not sure the real reason isn't so she can be closer to her beloved Patriots and Tom Brady…). Parny, we wish you all the very best! We'll never forget you or what you've done for Oldfields!

Below is a letter from Parny to the community as well as one from Hilary Gardner Swain ’72, Board Chair:

Dear Members of the Board, Leadership Team, Faculty and Oldfields Community,

I am writing to share with you my decision to step down as Head of School at the conclusion of this celebratory 150th year for Oldfields. Although my love for Oldfields has never been stronger, the pull to return closer to my children and grandchildren in New England has guided me to make this most difficult decision. To the students especially, I want each of you to know how deeply I care for each and every one of you and how incredibly difficult this decision has been for me. Without a doubt, one of the many wonderful and unique qualities that makes Oldfields so special is the sense of family that we all share, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for inviting me into the Oldfields family.

In June, I will complete my ninth year at Oldfields, my first five as your Associate Head of School and the past four as your Head of School. During this time, I have had the privilege of leading an extraordinarily talented leadership team. Together, we have fostered the traditions and ideals that are at the heart of Oldfields and nurtured its atmosphere of creativity and achievement. At the same time, we have worked to position the School for its continued and future success. During these years, the student body has grown in number, quality, and diversity. We have increased the School's endowment and strengthened the school finances with a budget that has been in the black for many years. We invested resources and energy to restore, maintain, and improve much of the School's infrastructure, including campus roads, athletic, recreational, and dorm facilities, and the building of the new Garden House faculty residence. Our Spirit Campaign is nearing completion, and we are in sight of reaching our goal. We launched our STEM program and our Academic Strategies Program, and welcomed a new chapter of the National Honor Society. I am especially proud of the new courses we have been able to offer through McColl Grants and faculty support, as well as the School's many technological upgrades, including online access to grades and comments for parents and students. These efforts and accomplishments demonstrate our commitment to each girl's success.

I have been honored to work with incredibly talented and dedicated faculty, staff, and administrators who give so much of themselves to our School. Thank you for your devotion to Oldfields and for all of the help and support you have provided to me during these years. As for the Oldfields girls, I cannot sufficiently express how grateful I am to know each of you and to be able to witness your growth as you continue to mature and become confident and accomplished young women. You brighten every day for me.

Finally, thank you to the extraordinary Board of Trustees to whom I am particularly indebted for the opportunity to lead here at Oldfields. I look forward to this celebratory year and all the things we have still to accomplish with vigor and enthusiasm for Oldfields.


Dr. Parnell Hagerman
Head of School

Dear Members of the Oldfields School Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and myself personally, I offer our sincere gratitude and appreciation to Parny Hagerman for her many years of devoted service to Oldfields School. As an alumna and Member of the Board, I have been privileged to work closely with Parny during her tenure and have formed a close friendship rooted in our love and commitment to Oldfields. Her positive energy, exceptional talent, and extensive educational experience have informed her leadership of the School through some of its most successful years. Thanks to her leadership, the School has thrived and is well positioned to continue fulfilling its commitment to the intellectual and moral development of the young women of Oldfields.

As reflected in the letter above, Parny has advised the Board that she will be stepping down as Head of School in June 2017. We are indebted to Parny for all that she has done for the School and for the many significant accomplishments of Oldfields as a result of her leadership.  From the moment she stepped on campus nine years ago, Parny has been committed to the individual growth and success of each Oldfields student, and it is the personal impact that she has had on the lives of each Oldfields girl that is most remarkable.

Under Parny's leadership, Oldfields has increased and diversified enrollment, strengthened the school's endowment, undergone massive building and grounds improvements, implemented new academic programs and courses, and increased its technological capabilities. Most importantly perhaps, she has recruited and managed an exceptionally talented administrative team and faculty who are well prepared to guide Oldfields through this transition.

I am pleased to announce that Ansley Smithwick, our Associate Head of School, will serve as Interim Head of School during the 2017-18 school year while the Board conducts a national search for its new Head of School.  The Board has appointed a Head of School Search Committee, which will be chaired by Lulu Laubenstein Good '72. Lulu is a member of the Board of Trustees and is the current Alumnae Association President. The remaining members of the Search Committee include select Board Members, long-standing faculty, and alumnae. The search for our next leader will be done thoughtfully and carefully, and we will provide you periodic updates as to our progress.  

We look forward to working with Parny through our current school year.  And we hope that all those that love Oldfields will join us for Alumnae Weekend and 150th Celebration from April 28-30, 2017, during which we will honor Parny for her leadership and service to this very special place we all cherish.


Hilary G. Swain '72
Chair, Board of Trustees

1500 Glencoe Road
Sparks Glencoe, Maryland 21152

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