Head of School
As Interim Head of School starting July 1, 2022, Mr. Thayer is our latest addition to the Radcliffe Team. Following the inspired leadership of Meg Bamford, who moved to St. Louis to be the Chief Executive Officer of the Miriam School and Foundation, Mr. Thayer is eager to build on the culture of compassionate educators helping children find their way to being their best selves.
Mr. Thayer got into education at an early age, tutoring math to a third grader at West Philadelphia’s Samuel Gompers Elementary School while an 8th grader at Episcopal Academy. He and his sisters then ran an at-home day camp for three summers of high school, and later began his independent school career teaching English and coaching outside Detroit and Denver. He quickly crossed over into part-time administrative roles in college guidance, and then admissions, before becoming the Head of the Middle School at Lancaster Country Day School (PA) where he served for 19 years. Peter and his wife Francie then moved to Galena, Maryland in 2008 when he became the second Head of School at St. Anne’s Episcopal School in Middletown, DE serving until 2019. He also recently completed a six month role as an Interim Co-Director of St. Paul’s Day School, a preschool in Westfield, New Jersey with 200 students ages 2-6. He will not miss that commute!
For Peter, family comes first. He is the 7th of 8 children and his 97 year-old mother is still quite vital in Florida. Peter’s wife Francie serves as the Executive Director at The Retreat House at Hillsboro (MD). Their three children were born in Denver, Colorado and mostly grew up in Lancaster, PA; and they now all teach in independent schools as well, in D.C., Oakland (CA), and Seattle. Peter “loves that they share common school break times, so that they can come to visit us for what they call, “Galena-cation.”
Peter earned his BA from Williams College (MA) with an English major and a minor in Environmental Studies, and played college soccer and squash, “back before you had to be recruited to play.” He went on to get his Master’s from The Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, which he referred to as “Summer Camp for English teachers.”
Peter calls himself a “random organic gardner” casting seeds and seedlings to see what takes, tending a small meadow, turning the compost, and currently harvesting raspberries, garlic, cucumbers and zucchinis with great anticipation for the promise of summer tomatoes and fall squashes and sweet potatoes. When not gardening, he enjoys watching sports, playing pickleball, and staying current.
July 6, 2022