Ross Peters to move to St. George’s Episcopal School for fall of 2015


The beginning of fall 2015 will welcome a new Head of Upper School, as the current principal Ross Peters has just announced the end of his tenure. Known for his strong passion and dedication to students’ learning, Peters has never ceased to provide leadership and guidance since his arrival in 2011. During his time as principal, his ideas and vision have transformed not only the academic curriculum of the school but also its atmosphere of community.

“When I first met Ross Peters I thought, ‘Wow, what an asset to the school,’” said President Keith Evans. “He is a bright and unique individual who has created such a positive impact not only on Westminster as a whole but also each person here, both student and faculty.”

Peters’ active leadership in the introduction of the 1:1 laptop program and the incorporation of improved student support brought about the beginnings of the Strategic Plan. Last year’s development of the new daily schedule radically changed the pace and style of curriculum and campus life, reducing academic stress while also allowing more time for teachers to delve deeper into subjects beyond the textbook. This transition led to the launch of his brainchild: JanTerm.

As an intensive three-week interdisciplinary experience, JanTerm introduces students to their undiscovered interests by opening doors to the real world through hands-on application. Focused on developing the personal curiosity of students, Peters dedicates his efforts to guide and prepare them for leadership in the future. He also seeks a further objective in how students will transform the world around them.

“Throughout my time here, I have strived to find some different ways for the academic curriculum further evolve,” he said. “When I first arrived, the typical course of study was a little more locked in than it is now. [Through] changes like adjusting the Bible requirement, adding more courses for student selection, and offering more opportunities to travel, we can be more flexible to fully support our students diving into their passions and exploring new interests.”

Even with all these changes, Peters offers a different perspective on the fundamental key to the shift in student learning and life. He attributes the success of the school’s transition into a more contemporary place of learning significantly to a sense of closer community.

“Through exchanging ideas about different exciting plans, the time task force, committees, alumni, students, parents, and faculty communicated abundantly and actively worked together,” he said. “Through our shared connection, it isn’t just about coming out with a new schedule or JanTerm; we came up with a process for change that worked. But most importantly, we came out stronger as a bonded culture and community, and in many ways, that is what’s most important.”

Just after Christmas, Peters accepted an offer to become the next Head of School at St. George’s Independent School in Memphis, Tennessee. He will end his period in office with the close of this school year and begin his new journey in Memphis on July 1, 2015.

“During his four years at Westminster, Ross Peters has never failed to provide his invaluable insight and vision on various ways the school can continually improve and advance,” said Evans. “It will be difficult to find someone to replace such a dynamic leader.”

After the announcement of Peters’ leave, the administration has begun to take action in looking for someone to fill in his position. The administration has decided to use the rest of the spring semester to carefully arrange an interim plan to move forward into the 2015-16 school year. In the fall, it will then commence the search for a new Head of Upper School for 2016-17. In the meantime, the hunt for potential candidates is still under wraps, but Evans assures that more information and details will be released soon.

“We’re looking for someone who has a sort of ‘inside-outside’ focus, dedicating his or her work in building the community of the Upper School and its outside connections to the greater community of Atlanta,” he said. “He or she must develop a close relationship with students, have strong ambition, and be willing to take on new endeavors and their challenges.”

Although Peters will be leaving campus soon, he looks forward to staying in touch and seeing how the school will progress.

“Westminster is a school full of smart, forward-thinking, fascinating people with strong opinions,” he said. “To make a change, you better have a compelling case and include a lot of people in the discussion. However, that makes the challenge also a unique blessing. As people who are remarkable and deeply committed to this school, if they see something better, they will be brave enough to move toward it. I’m excited to see what the future has to offer to Westminster and how this community will work together to use it to its full potential.”