Year in Review

Letter from the Headmaster

– Vance Wilson, Headmaster

“I am deeply fortunate and blessed to be this school’s headmaster.”
Dear Friends:

We began the year suffering the loss of Ben Hutto, the director of Performing Arts at St. Albans and National Cathedral School from 1999 to 2016. Without question Ben perfected the art of teaching school while at the same time being a first-rate church musician. He could corral squirmy elementary school boys during the day and at night perform in front of presidents. When I sing certain hymns or hear certain grand choruses or attend special services at school, I will remember and give praises for Ben Hutto’s life well lived in service to God and for the benefit of generations of children and singers.
How fortunate for me that David Baad ’83 is our associate head. His wisdom, insight, and work ethic allowed me a fall sabbatical. I also thank Jeb Boasberg ’81, chairman of the Governing Board, who in support of and admiration for David joined him in making decisions neither might have anticipated when they sent me off to my home study and points abroad. In that very study, I revised and finalized the drafts for Each Day, a book Rowman and Littlefield will publish in the fall of 2016. I could not have finished this collection without such uninterrupted time. Thank you to the Governing Board, David, the entire senior administrative staff, and the community for supporting me in this writing venture.
At the other end of the year, May ushered in the retirement ceremony for Paul Herman, after his forty-four years of service to this school. Once again, we gathered in the Cathedral to honor the last of the “Three Pauls” to retire—Paul Piazza, Paul Barrett, and Paul Herman—the foundation of this school for more than a generation. How blessed this community is to hold such events in the Washington National Cathedral, where the music was sweet delight, the talks powerful and witty, and the atmosphere pitch perfect for the kind of school St. Albans is.
In April we gathered beneath a tent on the right field line of our new baseball field, one of the great additions the newly completed athletic complex has given us—along with the Steuart Field and a football-soccer-lacrosse stadium, an Olympic track, the two practice fields that in the spring become the baseball stadium, the Parents’ Association field nestled about the incredible tennis center, and, to welcome all, the Herman Entry Plaza beside the new pool built for Beauvoir. Awesome, to say the least.
The schedule allowed new coordinate work on a social curriculum with NCS. The Rev. Dan Heischman, executive director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools and former head of Upper School, and Demetra Lambros, an attorney at the Department of Justice and a school parent, gave powerful talks about moral and ethical issues in the lives of our boys now and on college campuses, and this year we begin some serious curriculum work for our AIMS mid-term review. And I am not marking 90% of the highlights, any number of which occur nearly every day of the school year. Finally, Fred Chandler returns to St. Albans to become the head of the Lower School.
The rest of our reports cite strong finances and a campaign for $50m going well and already giving us the new fields. We have renovated great portions of our part of the Close. The faculty works tirelessly as mentors of boys’ lives and in teaching and coaching them. They demand much of themselves also, in the evaluations they hold themselves to and the work they do with generous grants from the Parents’ Association and our endowment devoted to faculty growth. Many of them are at work in the summer, either teaching at our schools or camps or attending conferences around the country or studying new lessons for the upcoming school year.
I am deeply fortunate and blessed to be this school’s headmaster. I work with wonderful and inspiring people, and I continue to marvel at the generosity and support of this community.


Vance Wilson
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.