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Reflections on 40 years as an independent school headmaster

Reflections on 40 years as an independent school headmaster

January 11, 2024

In this episode of The Beacon Podcast, Lighthouse Counsel Senior Consultant Martha Ross talks with longtime independent school leader Brad Gioia about some of the changes he’s seen in the independent school landscape over his 40-year career.

Martha and Brad talk about topics including:

  • How both students and parents have changed over 40 years in what they expect, what they want, what they need
  • How finances and fundraising have changed in independent schools
  • Changes in school culture and how important culture is to the longevity and success of a school

About our guest

Brad Gioia was the headmaster at Montgomery Bell Academy for 29 years and at Darlington School for 17 years. He also was director of admission and financial aid, as well as an instructor and coach at Darlington. 

He’s been an educator in residence at Belmont University since August. As such, his contributions encompass teaching, advising and leading professional learning opportunities. He actively fosters connections within independent schools, both locally and on a national and international scale.

In addition to teaching and advising, Brad is engaged in university-wide efforts around student formation, character and purpose as well as spearheading special projects, like coordinating a high-profile and mission-aligned lecture series to further strengthen Belmont’s commitment to academic innovation and community engagement.

Brad recently was honored by the Tennessee General Assembly for his exceptional dedication to the students of Tennessee.