Dear Advent Episcopal School Family,
It is with a heavy heart that we write to you today. Our beloved Head of School, Palmer Kennedy, has accepted a job as Head of a much larger school, Jackson Academy, in Jackson, Mississippi. We are excited for Palmer and offer him our heartfelt congratulations on this new opportunity; at the same time, we acknowledge that his departure is a significant loss for all of us here at Advent.
Palmer was recruited to Advent in 2013 and came with a wealth of experience. In his prior roles, Palmer served in Mobile as the Principal for St. Paul’s Upper School for ten years and seven years as Head of School for St. Luke’s.
For seven years, Palmer has served our school in extraordinary ways, leading a successful transition following the 43-year tenure of Una Battles. Palmer led us through the retirement of a number of key faculty, finding brilliant new faculty to keep the school operating at a high level. The essential foundational elements of Advent were honored and preserved, following the school mission to “provide students a superior education in a caring, Christian environment to prepare them for a life of continued learning, leadership, and service.”
Along the way, Palmer launched PantherNet communication systems and online assignment and grade support, drawing parents, students, and teachers closer using technology. This laid the groundwork for what has made the HyFlex program the front-line tool in distance learning required by the COVID-19 challenges.
The new Student Services department provides better support for students, families, and faculty, and systematic study and standardized test scores to advance all academic programs.
And most importantly, he promoted an environment where hard work and academic excellence are recognized. Advent was named the state’s top AISA K-8 school for the last five years in a row and was awarded titles in math, spelling, writing, and French.
We are grateful to Palmer for his years of dedication to Advent. In the months ahead, we encourage you to take time to thank him for his many contributions to our school.
The Board of Trustees is committed to the mission of our school and has already begun the process of searching for a new Head of School. A search committee will be announced soon to seek out and find a new leader that is equally committed to that mission and will build on the unique foundation of our school. Our goal is to have a search firm selected by the end of 2020 and a new head in place during the summer of 2021. There will be meetings with parents, faculty, and other stakeholders during the search process. And of course, Palmer will continue to provide leadership to the school until his departure next June.
Chairman, Board of Trustees
President, Board of Trustees