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Pennfield’s Next Head of School, Paul Amadio

By April 19, 2023News

After a nationwide, in-depth search, we are thrilled to welcome Mr. Paul Amadio as our next Head of School, beginning on July 1, 2023. Paul grew up in Central Massachusetts, graduated from Roger Williams University, and even worked as an actor one summer at Astor’s Beechwood Mansion in Newport. He’s “wicked” excited to return home to New England, where his career in education began.

Paul will be joining the Pennfield community from Verde Valley School, an International Baccalaureate independent, boarding and day high school located in Sedona, Arizona, where he has been the Head of School since 2015. Paul brings exceptional educational and professional experiences which will serve the community well as he leads Pennfield into its next chapter. Through his work as the Head of two independent schools, in addition to his other roles, and experience as a consultant to over fifty schools, Paul has gained a unique understanding of the ways in which schools can meet the needs of students, today, and in the future. He believes, “Schools must provide a culture of inclusivity and belonging, an ethos of self-efficacy and self-discovery, and be student-centered. Project-based learning that creates opportunities for collaboration and innovation, a dedicated social-emotional curriculum, and a call to embrace service opportunities, wherever possible, are all essential components of this work. Throughout their education, it’s critical to ensure that our students know it is cool to be expressive and creative, and to make sure students know and understand their responsibility that they must take care of our planet through sustainable practices. I am looking forward to building on the existing foundation that exists at Pennfield towards these critical endeavors; Pennfield has a bright future and I am thrilled to be a part of its story.”

During his tenure, he has been at the forefront of implementing programs and curriculum which advocate for social justice, promote belonging, and bolster adolescent mental health. A founding member of the Green Schools Alliance, Paul helped design experiential and innovative project based programs. A particular focus of his has been to enhance curriculum by preserving academic rigor in traditional academic disciplines, while also introducing new pedagogy that ensures that students are equipped with the skills and capacities for jobs that do not yet exist, on methods and technologies that have not yet been developed.

While visiting campus Paul noted, “Pennfield is a school that is clearly filled with joy, and the learning that I saw, both inside and outside the classroom, was profoundly inspiring. It is clear that Pennfield students are confident, academically prepared, and excellent ambassadors for the school.”

We are grateful to our current Head, Rob Kelley, for his 18 years of leadership, support, and for the profound impact he has had on our community. As current Board Chair, Ted Karousos, states, “He has left an indelible mark on Pennfield, and for that we are forever grateful. Rob continues to lead our school, and I cannot thank him enough for the time he has committed to this process and for making sure our school has a seamless leadership transition.”

Although he won’t officially begin until July 1, Paul meets regularly with the current Administration and Board of Trustees transition group, and recently began individual meetings with Faculty. He and his wife, Donita, cannot wait to get to Pennfield and Portsmouth.


Follow this link for the full press release.