Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 17, 2020

GPS welcomes interim head of school for 2020-21

R. Kirk Walker Jr., retired headmaster of McCallie School and former Girls Preparatory School trustee, will serve as interim head of GPS for the 2020-21 school year.

Walker’s nameplate has graced the headmaster’s door at several schools, including Bright School and McCallie School in Chattanooga and Ensworth School in Nashville.

He served as president and executive director of the Southern Association of Independent Schools until 2019 and is currently the mayor of his community, Ridgeside.

Walker also serves as a School of Advanced International Studies trustee, a Southern Lit Alliance trustee, a sustaining trustee for Chambliss Center for Children and president of The Worth Foundation, which reviews and awards grants to community-based youth development programs.

Walker earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.

“Both through observing my daughter’s experience as a student at GPS and through my work with the school while at McCallie and Bright, I have appreciated the breadth and quality of the program,” Walker says. “I’m honored to be part of a school community for which I have much admiration.”

Walker’s goals for the 2020-21 school year are to advance the vision of the school and to pave a smooth path for the next leader.

Together with the faculty, staff and board of trustees, he is navigating the changes and workarounds for issues caused by COVID-19 – a situation not present when he accepted the role.

“The year ahead will have unique challenges for the nation and for all our schools, but I’m hopeful it will also be an opportunity for rediscovering the values that matter and for clearer understanding of our dependence on each other,” Walker says.

Source: Girls Preparatory School