Ross joins EXPLO Elevate as the Vice President of School Strategy after making significant contributions wherever he has served. Beginning his career with eight years at Providence Day School as a middle and upper school English teacher, he served in significant leadership roles at Asheville School, Hawken School, The Westminster Schools, and St. George’s Independent School.
He serves or has served on the Boards of the National Association of Independent Schools, the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools, and Bridges USA. He and his wife Katie also served as members of the Family Partners Council at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital.
Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, Ross was a thirteen-year graduate of St. Christopher’s School. From there he went to Sewanee: The University of the South (B.A., English), followed with an M.Ed from the University of Georgia. While deeply appreciative of the remarkable gift of education he received at every level, his best learning has resulted from being an educator working with students whether as a classroom teacher or as a school leader.
From founding an integrated Humanities Department to establishing an Honor System at a small, hundred-year-old boarding school (Asheville School), and from reinventing the use of time to creating an urban campus in two schools ready for significant innovation as Upper School Director at both Hawken School and The Westminster Schools, Ross has had the chance to immerse himself in strategic and aligned school cultures. As Head of School at St. George’s Independent School, he mobilized that experience to help a younger school maintain the forward-thinking qualities that make it unique in Memphis.
At the core of his belief in the value of an independent school is this idea: in order to create the education our students need and deserve, schools must mirror the qualities we demand of those we teach; thus, our learning curve should remain steep and our dedication to holding up the values we name as most important should be unwavering. This commitment to match the expectations we have for students in the way we think, act, work together as an institution guides his work.
A widely published poet and photographer, he has completed work on a collection of poetry entitled, The Flood is Not the River, and he provided the foreword and over one hundred photographs for a book entitled, Sacred Views: St. Francis and the Sacro Monte di Orta (Punctum Press, May 2020).
You can find his thoughts on education, as well as anything else he might be thinking about, on his blog—Ross All Over the Map.