Head of School

It is with great joy that we announce our next Head of School: Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson, who will take on the role in July 2019. Dr. Edmondson is currently the Chief Leadership and Program Officer at the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA); in that role, she oversees the development of a vision for Catholic school education in the United States.

“Barbara not only possesses the many skills required by this role, but also embodies the very traits that we seek to imbue in our students and our community. She is a woman of faith, vision, and purpose,” said Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan '48 & '50, President Emerita and Monastery Superior.

Dr. Edmondson has spent her entire career in Catholic education. She earned her BA in psychology and an MA in educational psychology from Montclair State University before attaining her EdD in human development at George Washington University.

We are deeply grateful to all the members of our community who took the time to complete a survey or join an in-person listening session last spring to help us discern the essential skills and qualities of a new Head of School. All facets of our community, from teachers and students to parents and alumnae, shared their wisdom and insights and we listened. You clearly articulated the need for a visionary leader who understands the unique challenges and opportunities facing young women in today’s morally complex world; a seasoned educator with both classroom and administrative experience; someone who embodies our Salesian values and respects Visitation’s unique heritage and traditions. Guided by the strong, sure hand of Board Vice Chair Beth Eck Olchowski ’89, our Search Committee and search firm reviewed a large and diverse group of candidates before meeting and selecting Dr. Edmondson.

Dr. Edmondson, who will be the eighth Head of Visitation since 1900, will begin on July 1, 2019. She follows the 33-year tenure of Dan Kerns, who joined Visitation as Assistant Head in 1986 and became Headmaster in 1989.

As a community, we are indebted to Dan for his leadership and dedication. In the coming months, we will celebrate his tenure here and his many accomplishments.

To see the full letter introducing Dr. Edmondson to our community from Sister Berchmans and Board of Directors Chair Marguerite Conley '86, click here.