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Glenelg Country School in Ellicott City hires new head, will start in July

Matt Walsh is the incoming head of school at Glenelg Country School in Ellicott City.
Matt Walsh is the incoming head of school at Glenelg Country School in Ellicott City. (Photo courtesy of Glenelg Country School)

Glenelg Country School announced the hiring of its new head of school on Wednesday.

Matt Walsh, currently the head of school at a private institution in Arkansas, will take over this summer for Greg Ventre, who is retiring.

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Walsh is the president at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas. Before that, he was headmaster at LaGrange Academy in LaGrange, Georgia. He will be the Ellicott City-based private school’s 10th leader when he officially steps in on July 1.

“From the beginning, I was drawn to [Glenelg Country] by the warmth, diversity and inclusivity of its culture and by its unique setting and sense of place,” Walsh in a news release. “The love that people have for Glenelg Country School came shining through.”

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Glenelg Country School’s board of trustees selected Walsh following a search process that began last fall after Ventre announced his retirement.

Greg Ventre, head of school at Glenelg Country School, will retire at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.
Greg Ventre, head of school at Glenelg Country School, will retire at the end of the 2020-21 academic year. (Photo courtesy of Glenelg Country School)

“Matt’s experience and expertise as an independent school head make him an excellent choice for the job,” board Chair Brad Smith said. “In addition, his intelligence, integrity, energy, transparent communication style, thoughtful and collaborative nature, and warm and caring demeanor make Matt a great fit for our [Glenelg Country] community and Dragon family.”

Walsh, 52, is a Georgetown graduate and has a master’s degree from Middlebury College. He is married and has three children, two of whom will attend Glenelg Country next school year.

Walsh will be replacing one of Glenelg Country’s longest-serving leaders. Ventre, who took over at GCS in 2007, will officially end his 50-year academic career on June 30. His 14 years as head of school will be the second longest in the institution’s 66-year history.

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Ventre led Glenelg Country through both the economic recession in 2008 and 2009 and the coronavirus pandemic over the past year. During his term, Ventre guided Glenelg Country through the implementation of the Little Dragons early learning program, the expansion of academic programs, and an increase of diversity among staff and students.

In the past 14 years, the school has also added an athletic stadium and the Dragons’ sports programs have won more than two dozen athletic championships.

“Many of the reasons for my decision are personal,” Ventre, 70, said last August. “The time has come for GCS to hear a new voice, with school leadership that is more contemporary and with a head who will offer a fresh vision and new ideas to move our great school forward.”

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