Oldfields names first woman in 100 years to head school N.M. administrator to take over July 1

February 12, 1997|By Mary Maushard | Mary Maushard,SUN STAFF

Kathleen D. Jameson, an administrator at the private Albuquerque Academy and a former public school teacher, has been chosen as the sixth head of Oldfields School in Glencoe.

Jameson will take over July 1 at the 130-year-old girls' boarding and day school, becoming the first female head since two members of the founding McCulloh family led the school in its early years. She will replace Hawley Rogers, who is retiring after 21 years as headmaster and 28 years at the school.

"The school will be led by a woman for the first time in 100 years," she said in a phone interview yesterday. "It makes a statement that women are not only good enough to attend the school, but also to lead the school."

Jameson, 47, is director of academic services and chairwoman of the performing arts department at Albuquerque Academy, a coeducational day school with 1,000 students in grades six to 12. Previously, she was head of the academy's upper school, overseeing 450 students and 65 faculty members.

Jameson also taught music, social studies and philosophy in public schools in Phoenix for 13 years and was a public school administrator in Colorado.

She was selected after an eight-month, nationwide search that ended with three men and three women as finalists. The board of trustees unanimously chose Jameson, said Oldfields spokeswoman Lisa A. Wood.

Jameson, who has two daughters, said she "felt drawn to a girls' boarding school. I think these girls' schools play an important role in teaching girls to compete in what is still very much a man's world."

She hopes to be a role model for "independence, competence, empathy and love."

Jameson grew up in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. She is married to Alan Burns, a scientist.

Oldfields has 190 students in grades eight through 12, about 80 percent of whom live on the 200-acre campus. Under Rogers' leadership, the school began admitting day students in the late 1970s.

While many boarding schools have struggled in recent years, Oldfields' enrollment and endowment have grown. Rogers attributes that success to Oldfields' dedication to its mission of focusing on individuals, providing a two-track curriculum and "seeking diversity in all of its aspects."

Pub Date: 2/12/97

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