A Message From the Headmaster:
March 23, 2021
Dear Members of the Salisbury Community,
Tracy and I feel so blessed to have had the chance to be a part of the Salisbury family for nearly 30 years, including the last 18 leading the School. Not only have we raised our family on the Hilltop, a truly idyllic and magical place for children, but we’ve also had the opportunity to love and mentor many hundreds of boys we will forever think of as sons. This work has been incredibly rewarding, and we are full of gratitude.
During our sabbatical this winter, we have taken the time to reflect on our lives, and as we think about the future, we believe that it is the right time to pass the leadership mantle to the next leader. With this decision and in partnership with the Board of Trustees, we are returning later this month for the spring trimester to be with the boys and our colleagues, leading to the graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021. While we will be leaving the Headmaster’s House at the conclusion of the school year ready to embark on a new journey for our family, I will be serving as an advisor to the Board for the ensuing 12 months.
In so many ways, the Hilltop has never been better, despite the global health challenges of the last year. We are so proud of the boys, faculty, and staff, and Tracy and I have full confidence that the momentum the School currently enjoys -- a healthy enrollment, talented faculty and staff, a laudable college matriculation list, a gorgeous physical plant, and a sound financial position -- will continue into the future.
Looking back, we believe that we have accomplished more than we could have ever dreamt back in the fall of 2003 when I was appointed to succeed a great friend and mentor, Dick Flood. Ward Dormitory, the Farmhouse and Childs Faculty Neighborhoods, the Flood Athletic Center, two exceptional turf athletic fields, The Curtis Boathouse, The Class of 2018 Belin Student Center, The Dean Family Training Center, the Main Building Atrium and other facilities have renewed and enhanced the campus, which is now the envy of many peer schools.
In addition, important endowed funds such as the Jack Souder Scholarship, Gardner, Lynch, Rutherfoord, and Classes of 2011 and 2016 Teaching Fellowships, the Wachtmeister Headmaster’s Chair, The Maher Family Arts Chair, and The Entrepreneurial Studies and Mandarin Chinese Programs have enriched the lives of all who live, work, and play on the Hilltop. Most significantly, two anonymous charitable remainder trusts have been secured for the future of Salisbury School.
However, our finest work isn’t represented by dollars raised, fresh bricks and mortar, or new curricula. Our greatest satisfaction stems from the relationships we have cultivated with members of the Salisbury family, most especially the boys, but also alumni who graced the Hilltop before our arrival, past and current parents, and of course past and present trustees. We also are extremely proud of the faculty and staff, many of whom we have brought to the Hilltop over the years and in whose capable hands we leave the School. As I have said many times along the way, “schools are people,” and we feel so incredibly blessed to have been a part of the Salisbury family and to count so many wonderful friends through our association with the School.
It has been a great honor serving as Salisbury’s seventh Headmaster. Whether proudly bestowing a That’s a Knight! award for a good deed at school meeting, watching graduating seniors arm-in-arm singing the Sarum Hymn at Knight of the Long Table, listening to a boy bare his soul in a poignant Chapel Talk, or cheering on the sidelines of games along with the most loyal and passionate fans in all of New England, these moments, which help create a deep sense of belonging in our unique Brotherhood, are permanently etched in our hearts. We will fervently support the School, its leaders, and the boys in the years ahead and will always hold most dear all the memories of our time at Salisbury. May the Cupola always shine brightly and may we be forever inspired in our work…For the Boys!
With greatest devotion,
Headmaster Chisholm S. Chandler ’11 (Hon.) P’17, ’24
A Message from the Chair of the Board of Trustees:
March 23, 2021
Dear Salisbury School Community,
One of the greatest honors of my life has been to serve as Chair of the Salisbury School Board of Trustees in partnership with Headmaster Chisholm Chandler. I have admired Chis as we have worked together on behalf of the Hilltop, and we have been close friends over all of those years. In acknowledgment of that special professional and personal relationship, it is even more bittersweet to announce that Chis will be stepping down from Salisbury as its seventh Headmaster after this academic year and will be serving as Headmaster Emeritus through June of 2022. With this decision from Chis, Bobby Wynne P’19 will continue his excellent work as Acting Head of School.
Chis, Tracy, and their family have been on sabbatical this winter, having worked in partnership with the Board over many months to create a long-overdue break after 18 years as Headmaster and 30 years at Salisbury. There are few who have impacted the Hilltop and shaped the lives of young men more than Chis. Legions of boys, families, and alumni have benefitted from his leadership, guidance, and love. It is difficult to imagine the Salisbury experience without Chisholm Chandler.
Indeed, this moment has taken months of planning, made ever more challenging through the COVID-19 pandemic, to help the Chandlers achieve the departure that they deserve. These past few months have allowed Chis and Tracy to reflect upon all that they have done for Salisbury School and to look forward to the next chapter of their family life. As Chis says in his letter to the Community, he wanted to leave Salisbury at its peak, with many profound accomplishments in which we are all able to take tremendous pride, satisfaction, and appreciation.
Now, as we look back at 30 years of Chis and Tracy Chandler’s service to the Salisbury Community, it’s appropriate to take stock of the Chandler legacy. Chis has impacted countless students, faculty, and staff through his unwavering commitment to excellence as a leader, advisor, coach, and as the consummate “Salisbury Gentleman.” Indeed, anyone who walks past his office will see the definition of that unique Salisbury ideal framed on the door. Our school motto, Esse Quam Videri, is defined as “To Be, Rather Than to Seem to Be.” Perhaps better than any phrase, that captures the contribution of Chis. He is the very embodiment of our mission and ideal.
The Board has its work cut out to find a new Head of School with the qualities, dedication, and compassion of Chis. The Board is committed to finding a new leader with many of Chis’ talents to lead Salisbury in the years to come. We have recently engaged the search firm Spencer Stuart to lead us through a Head of School search process and have appointed an initial search committee comprised of trustees, parents, staff, and faculty to represent input from all constituencies. Importantly, Chis will also be a member of the committee. As a fellow alumnus, I am pleased to announce that current trustee Bob Zabel ’85 will chair the search process. We will shortly provide the Community with more details of the search.
I will be forever grateful to have served Salisbury School arm-in-arm with Chis. I have learned many lessons from him through his dedication to excellence, intelligent advocacy for his colleagues, and love and devotion for the thousands of students and their families. All who have been students, parents, faculty, or staff at Salisbury School have benefitted from their relationships with Chis Chandler. Please join me and the entire Board of Trustees as we celebrate in gratitude for all of the Chandler family’s contributions to Salisbury School and as we extend our warm wishes for a life filled with family, friends, happiness, and health.
Richard E. Riegel III ’84 - Chair, Board of Trustees