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Head of School Announcement
Dear Friends of HMI,
The Board of Trustees of the High Mountain Institute is honored to announce the selection of Nigel Whittington as the next Head of School. Nigel will begin his role at HMI in July of 2013 to start HMI’s 31st semester and 16th year. He will step in to fill the role of Molly and Christopher Barnes, who, after founding the school in 1995, and having successfully seen HMI through its first 15 years, are leaving to pursue another great adventure of their own.
Nigel will be joining the High Mountain Institute with a long and dynamic history as an educator and outdoorsman. Nigel was educated and began his career as a teacher in the UK. Teaching and a love of the outdoors brought Nigel to the US, where he taught at numerous schools on the east coast before arriving at the Community School in Sun Valley, Idaho, serving 17 years as Director of their middle school. Most recently, he has been the Executive Director of the Prairie Crossings Charter School in Grayslake, Illinois.
In Idaho, Illinois, and beyond, Nigel’s career has been colored by his joint passion for education and the outdoors. His years teaching and running schools are marked by a diversity of experience, adventure, and curiosity. Whether it was coaching rugby and soccer, observing various teaching methods as a Fulbright Scholar in Japan, developing an International Baccalaureate program in the Caribbean, tracing the journey of Lewis and Clark with students in tow, guiding trips in the Swiss Alps, or simply back-country skiing with students in the Sawtooths, Nigel has lived the tenets of experiential education, having proven that some of the best learning takes place far from a classroom.
It is for this background and because of Nigel’s distinctive passion for education – particularly to education founded in the lessons of time spent in nature – that the Board of Trustees asked Nigel to lead the High Mountain Institute into the future. Nigel embodies HMI’s mission and core values, and has the knowledge, foresight, and strength of character to skillfully lead an institution as dynamic as HMI. And with great enthusiasm, Nigel has agreed to take on that responsibility and join our school.
The High Mountain Institute, now entering the second half of its 15th year, remains vibrant and strong, with a growing endowment, constant enrollment with an expanding pool of applicants, a determined strategic plan, and a continued commitment to financial aid. But most importantly of all, HMI continues to give high school students the opportunity of a lifetime. Student outcomes are as powerful and as meaningful as they have ever been, and HMI alumni/alumnae continue to travel out into the world with the strength and vision gained from their time at HMI.
It is with great confidence that the High Mountain Institute will carry forward with Nigel Whittington as its new leader. We all look forward to watching HMI flourish under his leadership.
Chair, HMI Board of Trustees