Vance Wilson served as the seventh headmaster of St. Albans School from 1999 to 2018.
Born in North Carolina and raised in Tampa, Fla., he attended Berkeley Preparatory School and earned his B.A. in English from Yale University, where he was a student-athlete and was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship. He went on to earn a diploma in Anglo-Irish literature from Trinity College, University of Dublin, and a master’s degree from the University of Virginia. He began his teaching career in 1974 at the Lovett School in Atlanta, where he was quickly promoted to head of the Upper School; subsequently, he worked as a teacher and administrator at Asheville School in Asheville, N.C, Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Del., and Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, where he was the associate head. He also taught English at Madison Area Technical College.
In 1999, Mr. Wilson was named the seventh headmaster of St. Albans School, a position he held until his retirement 19 years later, in June 2018. At St. Albans he founded the School of Public Service, conducted the two largest campaigns in school history, quadrupled the school’s endowment, watched over the construction of an Upper School academic building, and oversaw the reconstruction and expansion of the athletic fields—all while continuing to teach English.
Mr. Wilson has served on the boards of the Asheville School and Roxbury Latin, and served as president of the International Boys’ School Coalition's board of trustees.
Mr. Wilson has pursued a second career as a writer: he has co-authored two books on curriculum issues and an account of integration in Southern private schools. In 1986 he published a novel, The Quick and the Dead. Continuing a tradition started by Headmaster Lucas and carried on by Canon Martin, who published his Letters from a Headmaster’s Study in 1961, Mr. Wilson frequently wrote letters and spoke to the community about school life, education, and the lives of boys. Several of these writings were published in 2017 in Each Day: A Veteran Educator's Guide to Raising Children.