Letter to the editor from Head of School

Thomas M. Kelly, Head of School

This morning, the Horace Mann Alumni Council issued a decision – independent of Horace Mann School – on the petition request to rescind the Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Achievement presented to United States Attorney General William Barr ’67 in 2011.  I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Jessica Rosberger ’20 and Kiara Royer ’20 who initiated the petition as well as the alumni members of the Council who served on the Petition Review Committee. I’d be remiss in not recognizing that every member of the Alumni Council serves with the best interest of the school in mind and in unwavering support of the students and employees who consider HM their intellectual home.

While the Alumni Council voted to accept the recommendation of the Petition Review Committee and, ultimately, not to revoke the Award, it is clear to me that the conversations on campus are not over and important issues remain to be discussed. I recognize that many people will disagree with the Council’s decision while others will support their findings. For now, those interested will spend today and well into next week individually and collectively working to understand the lens through which the Petition Review Committee made their recommendation while beginning to think about how many of the important issues raised may or may not have been addressed as a result of the lens chosen. In doing so, we’ll acknowledge the Alumni Council’s responsibility for the Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Achievement while considering what relationship the school should or should not have with the Award.

Doing what we do best, we’ll create the structures necessary for interested students, faculty and staff members to process and discuss our ongoing concerns, through the lens of the Horace Mann School Mission and Core Values. I look forward to sharing more with you about these conversations in the weeks and months to come.


Thomas M. Kelly, Ph.D., P ’18

Head of School