February 28, 2020
Dear Gilman Community,
It is with pleasure that I announce the appointment of Armond T. Lawson as the next Head of Middle School, beginning July 1, 2020. After an extensive search that produced a very strong pool of candidates, Armond emerged as the one to lead the Middle School into the future.
Armond is well known here at Gilman and in the Middle School, having joined our faculty in 2006. Before assuming his current role as Assistant Head of Lower School in 2018, he served as the Middle School counselor for twelve years. During this time at Gilman, he has earned the respect and admiration of colleagues, students, and parents. Known for his authenticity, insightfulness, and genuine care for students and faculty alike, Armond embodies the right mix of joy and seriousness of purpose that have made our Middle School such a special place. Over the last few years, Armond has chaired two important schoolwide task forces: one on gender identity and equity and another on student emotional health. He is also a member of Gilman’s Academic Council. Prior to Gilman, Armond worked as a counselor at Landon School in Bethesda and The Blake School in Minneapolis. Armond began his independent school career at Crossroads School in St. Louis, where he worked in admissions and was the Middle School Director. His personal traits, breadth of experience, and understanding of Middle School life position him well to lead with success.
This announcement concludes an extensive search that began with Peter Kwiterovich’s appointment from the Middle School to his new role as Assistant Head of School. I want to thank everyone involved in the search process, including the many faculty, staff, students, and parents who met with candidates. I especially want to acknowledge the work of an excellent search committee—Joe Adams, Bryn Holmes, Andrė Jones, Leah Lucania, Cheryl Nkeba, Matt Tully, Mark Wachtmeister, and Faith Ward—that helped me to screen and interview candidates and that provided me with valuable, thoughtful feedback throughout the process. Because of the time needed to work as thoroughly and thoughtfully as possible on this important hire, this search took longer than I had originally anticipated, and I appreciate everyone’s patience during the process.
I cannot write this letter without acknowledging the work of Shonique Alexander, who has led the Middle School admirably during this year of transition. I am extremely grateful for her leadership and look forward to our continued work together. Let us be sure to thank Shonique for her continued dedicated efforts on behalf of Gilman and the Middle School.
Please join me in congratulating Armond.
Henry P. A. Smyth