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University Liggett School announces Thomas W. Sheppard as new Head of School

Tom Sheppard Headshot

The University Liggett School Board of Trustees has appointed Thomas W. Sheppard as its next Head of School. He will begin his role on July 1, 2023, replacing outgoing Head of School Bart Bronk.

"Our search led us to three highly qualified finalists, each with specific and extensive expertise leading an independent school and the education of students," said Rebecca O’Reilly, chair of the Head of School Search Committee of the Board of Trustees. "After all was said and done, it was clear to us that Tom was absolutely the right leader to take the helm of University Liggett School."

Sheppard will transition to ULS from his current role as Interim Head of School at the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes Peninsula, California. At Chadwick, he was successful in bringing together the school community to create a foundation for future success.

"Every step of the highly comprehensive search process reinforced my commitment to serve as the school’s Head of School. Through that process I came to appreciate the degree to which my beliefs about education are aligned with the school's mission, its remarkable evolution in recent years, and the compelling educational journey made possible by the Liggett Approach, leaving me eager to begin the transition process in the months ahead," Sheppard said. “I am thrilled to join the University Liggett School community.”

Sheppard has more than 30 years experience at independent schools. His career began in 1991 teaching and coaching at Perkiomen School in Pennsylvania. After Perkiomen, Sheppard spent 22 years in lead admissions and enrollment roles at Trinity-Pawling School in New York, Stevenson School in California, and The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. His time at these prominent schools was marked by achievements in enrollment, and marketing that earned him a national reputation.

Sheppard assumed his first headship in 2018 at the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Jackson, Mississippi, a PK-12 co-ed day school with 1,041 students. While Head of School at St. Andrew’s, Sheppard led a community-wide strategic planning process and oversaw a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign to support educational innovations, including investment in technology opportunities and early education.

Sheppard and his wife, Jennifer, have a son attending Davidson College and a daughter who is a high school senior.