N.Y. private school administrator selected as leader of Bryn Mawr

Heffernan will become its ninth head on July 1

February 21, 2002|By Linda Linley | Linda Linley,SUN STAFF

The head of a private coeducational lower school in New York City has been named to head the Bryn Mawr School in North Baltimore.

Maureen Walsh Heffernan, 45, head of the lower school at Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School in Brooklyn, will become the ninth head of the all-girls Bryn Mawr School on July 1. She will replace Katy Dallam, who has been interim head since last year.

Heffernan said yesterday that she worked with Jon C. McGill, headmaster of Gilman School, at Poly Prep for about six years. "Jon was the one who really introduced me to the [Bryn Mawr] search committee. He was really supportive," she said.

Bryn Mawr, Gilman and Roland Park Country School coordinate classes for their students and recently constructed two pedestrian bridges to link the campuses for safety reasons.

"I believe that Jon and Jean [Waller Brune, head of Roland Park Country School,] will be tremendously helpful to me in my new role as head of Bryn Mawr," Heffernan said. "I have mixed feelings right now about leaving. I am really looking forward to coming to Baltimore, but I am also sad to leave."

Heffernan has been an administrator at Poly Prep since 1986. She was director of admissions and financial aid and later served as assistant head for external affairs.

Since 1995, she has served as head of the lower school, with 184 children in nursery school to the fourth grade. She is responsible for curriculum development, faculty recruitment, admissions, fund raising, budget preparation and management.

Poly Prep's middle and upper school has about 750 students so it is similar in size to Bryn Mawr, Heffernan said. Bryn Mawr has about 800 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

David M. Funk, president of Bryn Mawr's board of trustees, said, "The search committee selected Maureen from an exceptionally strong pool of candidates because she is a proven and inspired leader."

"She has both an exciting vision of Bryn Mawr's future and a deep respect for the shared traditions of the school's past."

"There were some wonderful candidates interested in our school," said Anne S. Perkins, who led the school search committee. "We were impressed with the breadth of [Heffernan's] experience in education. She is also straightforward, warm and a gifted communicator and motivator of students, faculty and staff."

A native of Rhode Island, Heffernan is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

She has a master's degree from Columbia University.

Heffernan is married to Peter Heffernan, who is director of tennis at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn. They have two children: Thomas, 6, and Grace, 2.

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