A veteran private school educator will become head of Boston University Academy, BU’s private high school, starting with the 2020-2021 academic year.
Christos J. Kolovos comes to BU Academy (BUA) from Westport, Conn., where he has been associate head of school at independent coed day school Greens Farms Academy for the past six years. But he’s no stranger to Boston: a Beantown native, he is a product of Roxbury Latin School and Harvard University (AB in history, JD from its law school), and he has worked for several area employers, including a nine-year stint as a history teacher and director of global education at the private Belmont Hill School.
“It became clear that Mr. Kolovos’ exceptional track record of organizational leadership, his expansive worldview and forward-looking curricular focus, and his talent for relationship-building with students, parents, teachers, and staff are an ideal fit for our needs at BU Academy,” Jean Morrison, BU provost, said in announcing his appointment.
Kolovos says he will make several visits to BUA in the year before he takes over, “getting to know this extraordinary community better and putting us in a position for a fast start next summer.”
“The students are among the most capable, curious, and hardworking high schoolers in the country,” he says. “What impressed me most about these young people, though, is that they are as kind, thoughtful, and empathetic as they are capable.… The faculty members are deep-content experts, who share their passion for their subject with the students and care about each of their students as individuals, understanding that teaching and learning, particularly at this level, are deeply relational.”
At Greens Farms Academy, Morrison said, Kolovos has overseen “a rigorous, innovative, globally minded curriculum that incorporates the surrounding ecosystems, the latest digital tools, and a student-centered approach to teaching and learning.”
Kolovos will move to Boston with his fiancée, child and adolescent psychiatrist Tracey Roiff, who is a fellow Boston-area native. As he starts, Kolovos anticipates a whirlwind schedule that will make him the student—of BUA’s culture—with “one-on-one meetings with every member of the faculty and staff in the early days, open doors and lunches for students, evening and weekend events for alumni, parents, and other members” of the community, along with visits to classes, sports practices, and rehearsals.
One likely initiative grew out of the interview process, where he noticed “a healthy institutional desire for self-assessment and growth,” he says.
“How can we internalize and live our mission? How do we balance tradition with the need for innovation? How does the external community understand the school’s value proposition? How is the school living up to its values around diversity, equity, and inclusion?” Answering those questions, he says, will include examining how the school can benefit from, and contribute to, the University.
Situated on the Charles River Campus, the BUA was founded in 1993 by John Silber (Hon.’95), then BU president, and the University trustees. Today, it has an enrollment of almost 200, educated in classes with an average of 11 students, allowing a student-teacher ratio of 10 to 1. Almost half of the student body hails from multilingual households that, collectively, speak two dozen languages. Of its 18 faculty, 11 hold doctoral degrees. More than one-third of students receive financial aid to help with the school’s $45,000 annual tuition.
In his current role at Greens Farms, Kolovos oversees the pre-K-through-12 curriculum and faculty, advises the head of school on all institutional issues, serves on the board of trustees and several of its subcommittees, and is a member of the admissions committee. He also coaches soccer and teaches qualitative research in a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to his private school jobs, Kolovos has been a law lecturer at his alma mater, an adjunct professor at Roger Williams University School of Law, a legal intern for a US district court judge in Boston, a summer associate with the now-defunct Boston law firm Bingham McCutchen, and an associate consultant for Boston’s Alliance Consulting Group.
Kolovos’ BUA appointment begins July 1, 2020. For the 2019-2020 academic year, Rosemary White will continue to serve as BUA’s interim head of school, a position she has held this past year.