James A. Hamilton Announced as Berwick Academy's 54th Head of School

Berwick Academy is pleased to announce the appointment of its 54th Head of School, James A. Hamilton, effective July 1, 2018. James comes to Berwick with over 20 years of experience in independent school education. Most recently, he is serving as the Associate Head for External Affairs at Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Jim has an extensive background in independent school leadership. A graduate of The Roxbury Latin School, Jim credits his independent school experience with transforming his life. He has dedicated his professional career to creating opportunities for students and the advancement of independent schools. Jim began his career at Brooks School as an admissions officer, dorm parent, and coach. He then served as the Director of Admission and Financial Aid at St. George’s School for nine years before returning to Brooks as the Associate Head for External Affairs, a position he has held for the past five years. In that time, Brooks has planned and executed the $60 million Campaign for Brooks – the largest fundraising initiative in the School’s history. Brooks also has undergone a successful rebranding effort under Jim's leadership, and he has led the School’s strategic initiative to increase financial aid for students by 33%. Well known in the independent school community, Jim serves as an instructor at the Admissions Training Institute for The Enrollment Management Association and has been an instructor and mentor for Independent School Management’s Advancement Academy.

Jim earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Amherst College and holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University. He has extensive governance experience as a trustee, presently serving on the boards of both Shore Country Day School and The Roxbury Latin School.

In a letter to the Berwick community, the President of the Board of Trustees, Jim Jalbert, and search committee chair, Paula Reid, indicated “Students have always been central to Jim’s work in schools. His experiences as a classroom teacher, coach, advisor, and dorm parent have instilled an understanding that positive relationships are essential to meaningful education. Through the search process he articulated his belief in a thoughtful balance between pursuing innovation in the classroom and honoring the traditions of independent schools. This perspective parallels Berwick’s emphasis on both its significant history and its forward-thinking curricular goals.”

“The vision for Berwick is aspirational and clearly developed by a forward-thinking, dedicated and talented faculty, and I am fortunate to be following Greg Schneider’s ten plus years of visionary leadership; it’s clear that the school is well-positioned for success in the next chapter of its rich history.” says Hamilton. “From the joys of learning through discovery in the Lower School, to the cross-disciplinary projects explored in the Middle School, to the authentic love of learning fostered in the Upper School's engaging course offerings, the academic environment gives me great confidence that Berwick Academy will continue to innovate while delivering on its mission of ‘promoting virtue and useful knowledge.’”

This is an exciting time in Berwick Academy’s long history, and the school is incredibly fortunate to have Jim on board to lead the community through the next phase of its evolution.

Jim, his wife Lucy, and their three children will move to campus next summer.


  • Click here for an update from Paula Reid, Vice President of the Board of Trustees – October 6, 2017
  • Click here for an update from Paula Reid, Vice President of the Board of Trustees – September 26, 2017
  • Click here for the Leadership Profile of the Head of School search, compiled by Educators' Collaborative – September 26, 2017
  • Click here for the Vice President of the Board's announcement of the search committee – September 8, 2017
  • Click here for the Educators' Collaborative visit schedule, including parent, alumni, faculty, and staff forums
  • Click here to provide input via an online survey 
  • Click here to read about the selected search firm, Educators' Collaborative, led by former Heads of Schools Deirdre A. Ling and John M. Mackenzie
  • Click here to read the Vice President of the Board's letter to the Berwick community regarding the search committee – August 17, 2017
  • Click here to read the President of the Board's letter to the Berwick community – July 28, 2017
  • Click here to read Head of School Greg Schneider's letter to the Berwick community – July 28, 2017

Berwick at a Glance

Established: 1791
Campus: 72 acres
Total Enrollment: 591
Grades Pre-K-4: 106
Grades 5-8: 170
Grades 9-12: 315
Student-Teacher Ratio: 8:1
Average Class Size: 14
Communities Represented: Students come from three states and over 60 towns
Financial Aid: Approximately 40% of students receive need-based financial aid

Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.  Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.