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BU Academy headmaster to resign

Search committee includes faculty, staff, and parents

Jim Tracy, the headmaster of BU Academy, will resign at the end of the academic year. Photo by Vernon Doucette

After six years as the headmaster of Boston University Academy, James Tracy will resign at the end of the academic year to become the leader of Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass.

David Campbell, provost of the University, informed the academy’s faculty and staff of Tracy’s decision in early January.

“Jim’s years at the academy have seen robust growth in every respect, most particularly in excellence and reputation,” Campbell wrote in a letter to the school. “He leaves us with an institution blessed with an outstanding faculty and staff, gifted and diligent students, and a supportive group of alumni, friends, and parents. We are all in his debt for his outstanding service.”

A six-person search committee has been appointed to find a new headmaster for the school; it is chaired by Douglas Sears, dean of the School of Education, and includes Bennett Goldberg, an academy parent and a College of Arts and Sciences physics professor and department chairman; Kathleen Healy, the chairperson of the BU Academy board of visitors; Kristine Kiesman, a science teacher at the academy; Manuel Monteiro, the University’s associate vice president of human resources; and Christopher Ricks, William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities and a CAS Core Curriculum professor.

“They were chosen because of the diversity of viewpoints,” Campbell says. “We want to hear from the constituencies, and then we will fine-tune that and go forward.”

The search will be nationwide, and Campbell plans to have someone in place when Tracy formally leaves on July 1.

The next headmaster will arrive as BU Academy augments efforts to further integrate its programs into the overall structure of the University. Campbell points to the academy’s robotics team, which has collaborated with other Boston-area high schools on several projects, as “an example of BU Academy helping us in our important outreach role.”

Other plans include establishing an endowment for the academy and increasing the diversity of its student body.

“I think this should be an interesting opportunity for an able person,” says Sears. “We’re looking to build an institution in which there is a high quality of teaching and learning. We want to build on the great things that have been done.”