From the Board Chair, Jan. 2, 2023
Dear Tower Hill Community,
I am delighted to announce that Sarah D. A. Baker has been appointed the Head of Tower Hill School, effective July 1, 2023.
Already a trusted member of the Tower Hill community as Head of the Upper School, Sarah has developed valuable experience working effectively with faculty, staff, students and parents. Sarah is poised to leverage that experience to build upon Tower Hill’s many strengths and the successful leadership of current Head of School Bessie Speers.
The Search Committee, composed of parents, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni, recommended Sarah to the Board of Trustees after an extensive and inclusive process yielding an outstanding national and international pool of talented candidates. Based on feedback from the school community gathered through meetings, surveys and interviews, the Search Committee sought a collaborative academic leader with a deep understanding of independent schools and a strategic vision for Tower Hill’s future.
Sarah grew up in Philadelphia, attended Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, PA, where she was class Valedictorian, and went on to graduate summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University. She started her teaching career at Agnes Irwin School teaching both Latin and History to Middle and Upper School students before returning to her alma mater in 2007 to work in the Development Office on the Ever Episcopal campaign, working to raise the capital to finance Episcopal Academy’s new campus. In 2010, Sarah moved to Episcopal’s academic divisions, becoming Upper School Form Dean, and later in 2014, being appointed Chair of the English Department.
Sarah completed her Master’s Degree in Education in the Independent School Leadership Program at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, and she continues to serve as an Associate Instructor and mentor in the program. In 2016, Sarah became the Assistant Head of the Upper School at Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia. After a successful five years in that role, she came to Tower Hill School to serve in her current role, where she leads all aspects of the Upper School. An educator at heart, Sarah has continued to teach each year even as she progressed through her various administrative roles.
In accepting the position, Sarah said: “I am deeply honored to lead Tower Hill into the next phase of its tradition of excellence and to build upon the gains that Bessie Speers has made for the school in her eight year tenure as Head of School. While Tower Hill has already stolen my heart, it will be my great privilege to enter into my leadership of the school with the mind of a learner, eager to listen to students, faculty and staff, parents and alumni to ensure that Tower Hill remains a school where each student is known, seen and fully served. My husband Scott Adams and I greet with excitement and true gratitude the opportunity to raise our children, Cover ’36 and Alice, as Hillers and to devote our family’s full energies to the stewardship of this marvelous school.”
Sarah will be the eleventh Head of School in Tower Hill’s 103-year history. She has a true respect for Tower Hill’s traditions, and will further our commitment to innovation and excellence in the region and nationally.
I would like to thank the Search Committee for their focused and thoughtful work. We are also grateful to the students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters who shared their valuable perspectives throughout the process.
Bessie’s leadership and vision has lifted Tower Hill in tremendous ways to position the school as a school of Wilmington and of the world, celebrating a student-centered culture, academic excellence, inclusion and public purpose. Bessie will continue to lead the school for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year and will work directly with Sarah to ensure a smooth leadership transition. We will celebrate Bessie’s extraordinary leadership later this spring; as was announced last June, the Speers family will move to Concord, MA as Bessie becomes the Head of Middlesex School.
We look forward to welcoming Sarah, Scott, Cover and Alice to Hayward House this summer.
Chair, Board of Trustees