Dear Members of the Allen-Stevenson Community,
For over three decades, I have been incredibly fortunate to serve as the leader of our beloved community. I am writing today to let you know that I will be retiring as of June 30, 2022, the end of the next academic year. I have made this decision with the utmost confidence in our School’s promising future and also with deep gratitude for your generous support and strong commitment to our mission "to educate boys to become scholars and gentlemen."
Allen-Stevenson binds us all together with shared values and a common purpose. Over its 138 years, our School has been blessed with a succession of faithful, foresighted leaders. It has been my honor to be the seventh Head of School in this distinguished history, so I am proud and humbled by what we have accomplished together. I thank you.
Years ago, I wrote, "At Allen-Stevenson, we believe that life is intrinsically interesting and that a good education unlocks its mysteries." It was a sentence that just came out whole and suggested what we mean today when we say that we aim to develop Passionate Learners and Compassionate Achievers. For our boys, this transformative process of growth accrues through powerful opportunities in Academics, Athletics and the Arts, woven together in the daily life of every boy.
For each boy, his singular combination of transformative learning experiences is utterly unique. These experiences create the foundation of resilience that students need to develop, not just for high school or college, but for almost everything that lies ahead in life. I firmly believe that our "younger, longer, better" approach protects those foundational opportunities that are afforded only in childhood and before adolescence—to play, to explore, to discover, to wonder. Especially in today’s troubled, anxious world, it has been especially important to me to encourage a happy, joyful atmosphere for deeper learning at Allen-Stevenson.
The key to this remarkable journey is the guidance that comes from dedicated teachers and wise administrators who understand the importance of what I am describing. I am truly grateful to work with my superb colleagues at Allen-Stevenson, who extend themselves continuously for the benefit of the students and families in their care and on behalf of all of you. For the good of the boys, we have developed a mutual partnership of trustees, teachers, parents, alumni, administrators, and members of the staff.
The pandemic circumstances of the last year have certainly tested our collective resolve, and I believe that Allen-Stevenson will emerge from this period even stronger than it is today. The strange beauty of this COVID time is the paradox that we have been forced to recognize and affirm what is really important and to reimagine what best learning for boys can mean. Throughout its venerable history, Allen-Stevenson has evolved to meet the changing needs of New York families and the challenges of the world around us. As new leadership is identified, this special community will certainly continue to do so.
During the next fifteen months, there will be much to do to prepare for a smooth transition to the eighth Head of School. You can be assured that I will continue to lead our community with energy, gratitude and optimism because, for me, this work is a vocation, a calling, and not just a job. With your help and support, I have learned, led and loved so much of what it entails.
There are so many people to thank for their good counsel, faithful stewardship and steadfast support over my years at Allen-Stevenson. When I began to make a list, it was understandably quite long, and I would not want to omit a single one of you. Please know that I am very appreciative of your generosity to me and to the School over the past three decades.
By the time I finish my work at Allen-Stevenson, I will have spent 52 years in schools, of which exactly 32 will have been here. Furthermore, when I retire, I will be just a month short of my 76th birthday, and it will indeed be time to pass the baton to new leadership. What a blessing this school community has been for me, and what a great deal of gratitude I most deeply feel for each and every one of you. Thank you.
Fortiter et Recte!
David R. Trower