Bullis Announces Next Head of School

Bullis Announces Next Head of School

Boarman to step down at end of academic year

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Christian Sullivan

Courtesy of Bullis School

Bullis announced its next head of school on Monday, capping a nearly year-long search for a replacement for Gerald Boarman, who has led the private school for a decade.

Christian Sullivan was chosen out of a pool of more than 100 candidates and will take over at the helm of the K-12 school in Potomac on July 1.

Sullivan is currently head of the Annie Wright Schools, a co-ed, pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade school with more than 600 students in Tacoma, Washington.

Sullivan was born and raised in London and has lived in Kenya and the United Kingdom, according to a message Bullis sent to families. Sullivan has a bachelor’s degree in education from University of Durham, a master’s degree in educational management from University of Bath and a master’s degree in independent school leadership from Columbia University.

Sullivan could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday afternoon.

In an interview on Monday afternoon, Paula Widerlite, a member of the Bullis Board of Trustees and co-chair of a search committee for the new head of school, said Sullivan felt like a natural fit when he visited for an interview.

“He has a very strong track record of independent school leadership and is a good fit with our culture,” Widerlite said. “We’re really excited for the future of Bullis.”

Boarman announced his resignation, effective at the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year, in December 2018.

Hired in 2010, Boarman’s greatest successes during his tenure at Bullis were expanding available programs for students, leading the charge on a project to build a new science center on campus and increasing the school’s enrollment, Widerlite said.

In 2017, Bullis opened the Gerald L. Boarman Discovery Center, a 70,000-square-foot building with science labs, a terrace, a digital media studio and offices.

“We have the utmost respect for him and what he’s done,” Widerlite said of Boarman. “We’re extraordinarily grateful to him for his leadership.”

Bullis enrolls about 800 students this school year.

Sullivan will be Bullis’ seventh head of schools in 90 years, according to the school’s website. He will likely visit campus prior to beginning as head of school in the summer, Widerlite said.

“A high-energy, experienced Head of School, Christian is ‘all in’ when it comes to school life — simply because he enjoys it so much,” a Bullis message to community members on Monday said. “He is a strategic thinker and a big-picture visionary with a strong focus on and passion for student-centered education and organization.”

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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