Derby Academy Welcomes New Leadership

  • Campus News

Dr. Colleen M. Ramsden Named 35th Head of School

Derby Academy is thrilled to welcome its 35th Head of School, Dr. Colleen M. Ramsden. Colleen joins Derby from Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she spent the last 18 years of her career. Colleen and her husband Jason arrived on campus in late June and she officially took on her role as Head of School on July 1. This is Colleen’s first appointment as a Head of School after a rewarding 28-year career as a teacher and school administrator.

“I am passionate about working with students in their formative years and it is clear to me that Derby is a child-centered school with a nurturing environment where exceptional and experienced teachers support and guide each of their students with warmth and respect,” said Dr. Ramsden. “The School’s environment provides a foundation upon which we can build the Derby Academy of tomorrow.”

Colleen earned her undergrad in Business Administration and a master's in Elementary Education, both from Fordham University, before becoming a teacher in 1993. She began her career in the public school classroom in New York City’s Upper West Side at PS (Public School) 199. During her time at PS 199, Colleen went back to school to receive a second master's in Administration and Supervision in Education. After a decade teaching in various public schools, Colleen moved to North Carolina to pursue a career opportunity at Ravenscroft, an independent PK–12 day school. She spent three years in the classroom before moving into the role of Assistant Head of the Lower School. Within two years, she was promoted to Head of the Lower School and in 2010, she became the Assistant Head of School for Academics. After several years in that role, she realized her desire to become a Head of School one day, prompting her to pursue her Doctorate in Education, an Ed.D. in educational leadership, from North Carolina State University.

When asked what she considers the most important qualities in a leader, Colleen emphasized relationships, transparency, and empathy. “Leadership is always about the people, making meaningful connections, and inviting others into the conversation."

Colleen and her husband Jason have been married for 26 years and have two grown children, a son Connor, 23, and a daughter Kaitlin, 21. Colleen is incredibly proud to be Derby’s next Head of School and is looking forward to working with her leadership team and the community as a whole to move the School forward. 

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Derby Academy is a Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8 independent day school located in Hingham, MA. Since 1784, Derby Academy has remained true to its motto, “Improve Both Mind and Heart.” Our small class sizes, dedicated faculty, innovative curriculum, inspired arts, competitive athletics, and an array of community and leadership opportunities ensure students are challenged to learn and supported in their development.