Headmaster Dougherty said that Mr. Lehman
was elected unanimously by the Trustees, and that their choice followed a highly competitive national search. “Their choice is both inspired and popular,” he added, pointing out his successor’s many striking characteristics, from his athleticism to his academic excellence (high honors graduate of Phillips Exeter, cum laude
and Phi Beta Kappa at Dartmouth College, and a magna cum laude
graduate of Harvard Law School).
Headmaster Dougherty promised his and the School’s “support and friendship” for Zack as well as his wife, Amy, and their three children, Mitchell, Griffin, and Avery.
“We know you will take very good care of The Hill, and we will take very good care of you,” he said.
Mr. Lehman said it was an honor for him to follow in the footsteps of such an accomplished headmaster, and proceeded to give a presentation summarizing, in his words, “why I’m so excited to be a part of this community.”
With graphic images projected on a screen behind him, Mr. Lehman – a geography major at Dartmouth – talked about how the places where people (and, of course, Hill students and staff) have lived influence who they are, what they value, and how they relate to others.
He interacted easily with the audience, posing questions about where the students were born, where they live, where they come from and – perhaps most importantly – where they most feel at home. He said he has lived in 14 different towns and cities in as many as 26 different places ranging from dormitory rooms to homes, and he has travelled to 32 countries.
However, Mr. Lehman said that he now regards his “home” as the place where his family is, and also the place where he can experience and live his professional passion: boarding school life.
“I love boarding schools….I love all they represent, and their unparalleled sense of ‘place’ and community,” he said.
“When you leave this place,” Mr. Lehman continued, “you’ll learn that there are very few places like this in the world.”
His wish and his plan as The Hill School’s next headmaster is to ensure that all Hill students cherish their experience at the School with the same passion he feels for boarding schools and -- now, especially -- for his soon-to-be home at The Hill.
After receiving enthusiastic applause, Mr. Lehman smiled and sent the students back to class.