In an unnoticed, unpublicized meeting, the Pacific Collegiate board named Archie Douglas, former headmaster of the Montgomery Academy, a private school in Montgomery, Alabama to lead the public charter school into its second decade. It will be interesting to see how Douglas’ experience in private school administration translates to the very challenging and decidedly different climate of public education in California. First steps might include a gentle suggestion that his board members study the requirements of the Brown Act concerning the conduct of public meetings.
In an email sent to parents late last night, PCS board leadership made their announcement:
Dear PCS Community –
We’re writing with some wonderful news this evening. After an extensive and competitive search, the Board of Directors voted tonight to appoint Archie Douglas as the next principal of Pacific Collegiate School. Archie is an accomplished administrator with a strong record of success in independent schools. He brings experience from some of the most academically distinguished college preparatory schools in the country and his own academic background is equally distinguished. We are thrilled to hire a principal of his caliber to lead PCS into its second decade.
Archie recently completed eight successful years as the Head of School at Montgomery Academy, an independent K – 12 school in Montgomery, Alabama. At Montgomery Academy, he was instrumental in moving the school forward in several notable ways, including:
- Raising the profile and impact of college advising, which resulted in college scholarship offers to seniors growing in value from approximately $500,000 in his first year to over $5 million in 2007-2008;
- Increasing AP course offerings and overall enrollment in AP classes while maintaining historically high levels of AP performance;
- Increasing the non-white student population from 5% to 12.9%, which brought essential shifts in awareness and understanding to the student body and entire school community;
- Creating core change through the development of a strategic plan, campus master plan and long-term financial plan, which increased the school’s sustainability and aligned student outcomes around the pursuit of academic and civic excellence;
- Helping administer the largest capital improvement campaign in the school’s history (approximately $10 million), which included the construction of state-of-the-art science, theater and athletic facilities.
Archie’s previous positions include Upper School Director at the Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland and College Counselor and History Teacher at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. At both Landon and Montgomery Academy, Archie was a key player in developing innovative models for teacher evaluation. He brings to PCS considerable experience in improving teacher performance and enhancing professional development for faculty and staff.
He has spent the last 24 years in education – as a teacher, coach, college counselor, admissions officer and head administrator. In all of his roles, he has demonstrated a genuine dedication to students, an ability to inspire those around him and a clear commitment to high standards.
Archie has an undergraduate degree in history from Yale University and a graduate degree in education, with a concentration in administration, planning and social policy, from Harvard.
Currently, he lives with his family in Monterey where he is enjoying a brief sabbatical and working as an educational consultant. His wife Michelle is a California native with a J.D. from UC-Davis. They have two sons, one a sophomore at Reed College and the other a high school senior.
The Board anticipates a transition period with Archie working closely with Interim Principal Chris Mercer through January and moving formally into the position in February, 2010.
We are very excited to have Archie and look forward to an official welcome soon. As we move forward with this transition, we offer a huge and heartfelt thank you to Chris Mercer for her steady leadership. We deeply appreciate all that Chris has brought to PCS and we hope you will join us in celebrating her contributions before she leaves.
All the best,
PCS Board of Directors