Hargrave Military Academy Appoints New President | Lifestyles
Eric Peterson has been named the next president of the Hargrave Military Academy, the board has announced.
Peterson has decades of independent school experience, including 13 years as a principal at St. George’s School in Rhode Island. He currently serves as the acting athletic director at Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs and previously worked as a senior research consultant in the independent school market.
He taught English, history, government, and ethics, and coached football, baseball, and track and field. He has served as a dorm parent, assistant admissions director, admissions director, associate principal, and high school principal.
While at St. George’s, Peterson led a number of program and program innovations and oversaw the execution of a multi-year strategic plan, accreditation reviews and numerous capital projects. Additionally, at his insistence and direction, St. George’s launched a groundbreaking independent investigation into historic sexual misconduct at school. The investigation attracted attention and became a model for other schools’ efforts to address past misconduct issues.
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The inquest concluded that the school’s efforts and Peterson’s management had created a “very different place” to where the abuse occurred in the 1970s and 80s, and praised Peterson and his management team for having created a “culture of respect”.
“We were drawn to Eric because he demonstrated not only a deep understanding of what it takes to accomplish our mission of educating boys in a spiritual environment and with the benefit of a strong athletic program , but also demonstrated an enthusiasm to share with donors and the wider community the opportunity to join us in this mission,” said Ben Davenport, Chairman of the Board of Hargrave.
“I am drawn to Hargrave’s distinctive and compelling mission, which includes his Christian principles and commitment to educating men of character,” Peterson said of the upcoming opportunity. “I recognize that boys thrive on structure and challenge, both of which are at the heart of military and athletic programs. I see great opportunity for the school as we work to build the future on Hargrave’s impressive history and traditions.
A graduate of Deerfield Academy, Peterson received his Bachelor of Arts in English, cum laude, from Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctor with honors from Northwestern University.
Peterson and his wife, Krista, are also co-founders of Orion Military Scholarships, a non-profit organization that provides boarding school scholarships for children of US military personnel. They have three adult sons.
Peterson is expected to start his service in June. Sloan Gibson will continue as interim president.