When a University High School search committee started to look for its next head of school, it found that the best candidate was already on campus.
The school’s board of trustees unanimously voted to name Assistant Head of School Alicia LaMagdeleine to the school’s top post. Chuck Webster begins his final year as the founding head of school in 2019-20, the school’s 20th year.
LaMagdeleine will assume the head of school role July 1, 2020. She will transition into a head-elect role for the 2019-20 school year.
“As University High School’s head of school, Alicia will be our chief storyteller,” Board of Trustees Chairman Jeff Lewis said. “She will be a passionate, persuasive and powerful voice for our school. She will be a guardian of our culture and our values. And she will be an articulate voice for the advancement of pedagogy in the service of our students.”
LaMagdeleine has been at the school for 15 years, including seven in her current role. She previously was director of diversity and an English teacher. She started as the executive assistant to Webster.
“The school is in a really good place. We’re at our enrollment capacity at about 330 students,” LaMagdeleine said. “What I’m most excited about is the school has done great work in its first 20 years thinking how to build relationships and how to help students feel like they are at the center of their school experience. Our mentoring program does that. The sizes of the classes develop the relationships between teachers and students. The work we are looking at as the school goes for its next 20 years is how we continue to get that community spirit and student-centered spirit in every aspect of the classroom and the academic program of the school.”
LaMagdeleine, an Indianapolis resident, said Webster has set an excellent example as head of school.
“I’ve learned a lot from how Chuck focuses on relationships and focuses on the community,” she said.