Announcing Our Next Head of School
Penny B. Evins Appointed as Holton's Eighth Head of School
A Letter from the Board of Trustees
Dear Holton-Arms Community,
On behalf of the Holton Arms Board of Trustees and Head of School Search Committee, we are thrilled to announce that Penny B. Evins has been appointed by the Board of Trustees as Holton-Arms’ 8th Head of School. Penny was unanimously recommended by the Search Committee to the Board of Trustees who then unanimously approved her appointment to succeed Susanna A. Jones on July 1, 2023.
Penny is a seasoned school leader who brings deep experience working collaboratively with faculty, staff, trustees, families, students, and alums to strengthen school communities—always keeping the needs of the students front and center. With nearly a decade of experience serving as Head at two other prestigious independent schools–including Collegiate School in Richmond and St. Paul’s School for Girls in Baltimore–Penny has an exceptional record of building strong, lasting relationships and motivating those around her to be the best versions of themselves. In addition to her depth as a leader, she has a breadth of experience across school divisions and functional areas, including: division headships, admissions, counseling, and fundraising.
Perhaps a result of her New Orleans roots, Penny is a straightforward and warm communicator–a real connector and people person. In making this choice, we have selected a leader who fully shares our community’s strong commitment to–indeed, has dedicated her career to–nurturing a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive school. We are excited and energized by the promise and potential of Penny’s appointment as our next Head of School.
Selecting a new Head of School is perhaps the most consequential duty of the Board of Trustees. We extend our deepest gratitude to our fellow Search Committee members for the diligence, care and effort they have invested throughout this process. We are also appreciative of our alumni, faculty and staff, parents and guardians, and students who gave so generously of their time to engage with the finalists and share their many insights with the Search Committee along the way.
We look forward to welcoming Penny along with her husband, Sam, and two children to our community in July. We will share more details about opportunities to meet and greet them soon. In the meantime, as Susanna continues to lead the School through June, we look forward to celebrating her extraordinary legacy.
Stay tuned for updates on the many festivities ahead!
Cathy Johnson Butz ’87, P ’18, P ’21, Trustee, Search Committee Co-Chair
Mark Israel, P ’20, P ’22, Trustee, Search Committee Co-Chair
Holton Board of Trustees
Adrena Ifill Blagburn ’87, Chair
John Klick, President
Marcia Johnson Bateson ’75
Clara Brillembourg ’97
Cathy Johnson Butz ’87
Blake Keeley Doyle ’99
Sandra Engle Gichner ’84, Secretary
Bobby Gitenstein ’66
Miriam Herman ’84
Anne Keiser ’66
Jen Cornfeld Schenker ’98
Tucker Sowers, Faculty Trustee
Jessie Holladay Sterchi ’99
Mariama Vinson, President of Parents Association
Mollie Klurfeld Williams ’99
Bethany Young ’05
A Letter from Penny Evins
Dear Holton Community,
I am honored and humbled to be named Holton-Arms’ next Head of School. For decades I have known Holton-Arms as a School community that puts the holistic development of young women at the center. My nine years as Head of School at two nearby peer schools afforded me a front-row seat to the clarity of purpose and mission-driven priorities that Susanna and the dedicated employees of Holton have refined over this last decade-plus. In particular, Learn Well, Live Well, Lead Well, Holton’s signature education philosophy, resonates deeply with my own personal and professional beliefs about supporting students to become the best version of themselves.
I look forward to honoring Holton’s enduring foundation and partnering with all constituents to nurture the joy, intellect, resilience, and diverse experiences of our students as leaders for a better world. Holton-Arms’ dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is a clarion call for us all, and I look forward to listening and learning from this eclectic community as I discover more about the people who make Holton-Arms such a special place.
During my visit to the School in October, I was inspired by the students, employees, parents, alumnae, and Board members with whom I met in person and on Zoom. Each conversation invigorated my interest and budding excitement about the prospect of serving such a remarkable community and renowned School. Cultivating the unique potential of young women through the “education not only of the mind, but of the soul and spirit” was a throughline in my interactions. Whether touring with inquisitive and impressive seniors, who could not wait to proudly show me their School in action, or answering questions from energizing Lower and Middle School student leaders, or engaging with parents about my commitment to ensuring their children are known, valued, and cared for, or my promising conversations with faculty and staff about how to balance academic excellence and well-being–it is clear to me that Holton-Arms is brimming with people who are devoted to doing their best for the greater good of the School and the world. I can’t wait to return to campus again and meet more of you!
Holton does not rest on its laurels. Rather, it is a place devoted to continual improvement. Living up to your full potential is what my own parents expected of my sisters and me upon graduating from our independent schools. It is a true honor to be a steward of Holton’s mission and culture of growth. I view everyone who works in a school as an educator and from my entry into the building as a candidate, it was clear that all adults on site see themselves in this way too.
I would be remiss if I did not share my deep admiration for Susanna Jones. As colleagues, her counsel, friendship, wisdom, and leadership have been and will remain of great importance to me. I look forward to working with her during the months ahead to learn from her sixteen years leading this community. That being said, this year is about your students’ experiences, the good work currently in progress thanks to Holton’s remarkable faculty and staff, and honoring the incredible legacy of both Susanna Jones as your Head of School and the Class of 2023 as the next graduating class of fierce and formidable leaders of tomorrow.
And finally, I am immensely grateful to the Search Committee and the entire Board of Trustees for their commitment to a process that was thorough and specific to Holton-Arms. My husband, Sam, and I look forward to knowing the community better and visiting in the months ahead. Our children, Sam VI and June Friend, are equally excited to support the Panther community and have already asked me to get them some great spirit wear!
With deep respect and appreciation,
Head of School Search FAQ
- Who led the search process?
- How was the Holton community involved in the search?
- When will Penny B. Evins become Head of School?
- How will the community get to know Penny and her family?
- How will we celebrate Susanna Jones?
Who led the search process?
How was the Holton community involved in the search?
When will Penny B. Evins become Head of School?
How will the community get to know Penny and her family?
How will we celebrate Susanna Jones?