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LFA News

school portrait of teacher Chris Tennyson

March 2, 2022 (Lake Forest, Illinois) – The Board of Trustees of Lake Forest Academy is delighted to announce that Christopher O. Tennyson has been named the thirty-first Head of School, effective July 1, 2022. The Board of Trustees’ vote was unanimous.

Chris has been a member of the LFA community for more than two decades. He arrived in the summer of 1999 as a Mathematics teacher and has served the Academy in almost every way possible. Since 2018, Chris has served in the Head of School Office as Assistant Head of School and, for the last two years, as Associate Head of School in addition to Dean of Students and a member of the Mathematics faculty.

Jessica Douglas ’96, Vice-Chair of Lake Forest Academy’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Head of School Transition and Search Committee, stated on the Head of School search process and selection, “The Head of School Transition and Search Committee developed a thoughtful process to review all internal candidates while strictly adhering to NAIS principals and working with RG 175 search consultant, Robert Henderson. Input was gathered from the broader LFA community through surveys, direct email access, and stakeholder meetings conducted both by RG 175 and the Committee. Individual candidates were thoroughly interviewed and evaluated using predetermined criterion based on the feedback from the LFA community. The Committee unanimously supports Chris as the thirty-first LFA Head of School. The Board of Trustees affirmed the Search Committee’s selection. We are confident that Chris has a deep understanding of the culture and commitment it takes to lead LFA. Chris possesses a clear strategic vision and high emotional intelligence that will unify the LFA community and continue forward momentum as a top tier boarding and day school. Chris is passionate, intellectually curious, committed to DEI initiatives, and exemplifies the pillars of LFA while maintaining respect and support from the larger LFA community.”

Robert Henderson of RG 175 added, “Lake Forest Academy is a great school seeking to be an even greater one, with a secure, ambitious, and inspiring future. The school has a wonderful team of educators, and several of them have the qualifications to run a school. This is most unusual; it is rarely the case that even great schools have such a wealth of leadership talent. It was wise and appropriate for many, many reasons for LFA to make rigorous decisions about that rich talent pool first. The central question was whether one of those gifted people was the right leader for the challenges of LFA at this juncture in its history and progress.”

Chris noted, “Since the moment that I arrived on campus, I can say that I have loved everything about Lake Forest Academy and all of the people here, especially the students. Over the years, I have also loved that LFA is fully committed to its mission. I am humbled and honored to serve as the Academy's next Head of School, and I am extremely confident that we will achieve great things together and do our very best to ensure that every student's experience is exceptional.”

José M. De Jesús P’22, current Head of School, said of Chris’ appointment, “I want to extend my warmest congratulations to Chris on being named LFA’s thirty-first Head of School. Over the last few years, Chris has been my right hand when it comes to all major matters at the Academy. Much of the success our community had navigating the pandemic is owed to Chris and his efforts. I am excited to see where Chris takes the Academy. I look forward to doing all I can to assure a smooth transition.”

John Marlatt ’65, Chair of the Board of Trustees, added, “I am so proud of the entire LFA community in helping us make this most important leadership decision for our school. My heartfelt thanks to the Head of School Transition and Search Committee for their tireless work to understand LFA’s needs and to recommend our excellent candidate. I also offer special thanks to our Board of Trustees for their expedient action and full support of our new Head of School. I am fully confident in Chris’ ability to lead LFA to even greater excellence.”