Head of School Lee Hark Delivers State of the School Address


Photo By Ravi Vasan

Head of School Lee Hark Delivering his remarks at the Valdes STEM + Innovation Center Groundbreaking.

Andrew Mann

Nearing the end of his fifth year at Greenhill School, Head of School Lee Hark laid out ambitious goals for continued growth in both academics and athletics in his April 4 State of the School speech.

In a speech delivered three times during the day, Hark described Greenhill as setting off “in some courageous directions” and noted that “the fruits of those endeavors are beginning to emerge.”

During his time on campus, Hark has presided over large institutional changes amid the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his remarks, Hark spoke of the Growing Stronger Together campaign that has been the framework of an ongoing effort to upgrade and expand campus academic and athletic facilities. A visible centerpiece of this effort is the ongoing construction of the Rosa O. Valdes STEM + Innovation Center, which is scheduled for completion later this year. Another project planned is an improved sports High Performance Center, among other athletic facility enhancements.

Greenhill has raised $56 million of its $85 million goal for the campaign, with 170 families contributing so far, Hark said in his speech.

Hark began his remarks by discussing admission statistics, college matriculation results, and a financial overview. In admissions, Hark said that the interest in a Greenhill education is at an all-time high. There were 1,450 applications for admissions this past year, which was a 25% increase from the previous year.

Additionally, the school’s budget this year was $43.9 million. Most of the budget is funded by tuition and supports salaries and benefits for employees, Hark said.

Another development highlighted by Hark was the addition of a fourth director of college counseling. In the last year, Upper School seniors submitted 1,137 applications to 240 colleges in 10 countries.

“No matter where each of our students lands in school, they will be well prepared to succeed in college,” Hark said. “We’ve been traveling around the country this year, talking with our alumni, and they all talk about how well prepared they were at Greenhill to do college work and to make this important transition.”

In the main part of his speech, Hark talked about goals for the future. He described these goals as “strengthening our commitment to academic excellence, developing the whole student, building a more connected community, and planning for and investing in our financial sustainability.”

Hark expressed his gratitude for the people he works with and the ideas they have come up with as a group to improve Greenhill School.

“We need each of those groups to help the school continue to move forward,” said Hark. “The world is evolving rapidly, and it will continue to. And so will Greenhill. We are looking forward. We are future-facing. We are growing stronger together as we continue to prepare our students for the world ahead.”

Reflecting later on the event, Hark expressed fondness for the opportunity to deliver his annual State of the School remarks.

“I look forward to it every year,” Hark said. “It’s an important event. It’s a time for the whole community to pause and take stock in our progress. We’re a learning institution. And my goal is for us to always have that disposition.”