Head of School Welcome
Announced in November as Antilles’ incoming Head of School, Shannon Harris officially began her tenure on Thursday, July 1. While Antilles was founded in 1950 with Deborah Finch at the helm, Shannon is one of the few women – and the first person of color – to hold this position in the school’s 70-year history.
Ms. Harris began at Antilles in 2006 as the School’s Director of Admission and, over the past 15 years, has held progressively responsible positions in both academic and operational roles, from Advancement Director and Chief Academic Officer, to, most recently, Assistant Head of School.
The New Jersey native with Caribbean roots began her career in education as a classroom teacher and consultant with expertise in whole-school reform efforts before moving to St. Thomas in 2002 as a visiting instructor of Spanish at the University of the Virgin Islands.
“Ms. Harris’ commitment to best practices – in child development, academic pedagogy, financial management, and diversity, equity, inclusion – placed her at the forefront of a crowded applicant field, and her appointment was unanimously confirmed by Antilles’ trustees,” said Claire Starkey, President of the Antilles School Board of Trustees. “We are fortunate to have had such a talented and well-respected independent school professional already in our school community and we are confident that under Shannon’s leadership we will further realize Antilles’ mission.”
In the past year alone, Ms. Harris also: led the School’s re-accreditation efforts; was an integral part of developing Antilles’ three-year Strategic Plan; and helped spearhead the implementation of responsive COVID-19 protocols and practices that enabled safe in-person and hybrid learning.
“When I started at Antilles 15 years ago, I had no idea that this is where I would be today. Even when I decided I wanted to pursue a headship, I didn’t imagine that it would be here - I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the school that I am so passionate about in the community that I love,” Ms. Harris said.
Ms. Harris and her husband Jean-Pierre Oriol have two sons who attend Antilles.