Wednesday, May 22, 2024


GFA Head of School Announces Retirement

Greens Farms Academy’s Head of School Janet Hartwell says she will retire from the Westport-based independent school in June 2018. Image
Janet Hartwell: GFA years “so deeply rewarding.” Contributed photo

“These years at GFA have been so deeply rewarding for me, professionally and personally,” she was quoted as saying in a school news release. She is now in her 14th year at the PreK-12 co-ed day school on Beachside Avenue.

Last year’s graduating class named Hartwell as an honorary “lifer” — a term for students who attend the school from kindergarten through to 12th grade — having started with them back in 2003. 

“One of the great joys of working with our students is to watch them grow and develop at GFA, finding their voices, passions, and their sense of self,” Hartwell said.

“Of everything that I will miss, it is the students most of all. I am immensely proud of them, and they reach me in profound ways through their energy, honesty, and authentic ways of being.”

The school said in her 14 years, she has invigorated the curriculum, creating three signature programs that weave through the lower, middle, and upper schools, culminating in possible graduation concentrations in STEAM, Human Ecology and Sustainability, and World Perspectives.

She has also overseen the campus transition from fewer than 580 students to now 715 students in a space that has expanded to include more state-of-the-art classrooms and athletic fields, a Performing Arts Center, a Global Studies Center, and a squash court facility, among many other innovative campus changes.

“GFA is in a position of real strength according to every metric: board leadership, faculty, program, students, and facilities. I am confident that the next chapter in GFA’s history will be successful and exciting, building on the strengths of our remarkable and extraordinary school,” Hartwell said.

While Hartwell has announced her retirement to the community, it won’t go into effect until the end of the 2018 school year, giving the school’s Board of Trustees time to find her replacement.
Leading this process is Educators’ Collaborative, an educational search and consulting firm.

Hartwell is married to John Hartwell, a member of the Westport Board of Finance and a former chair of the Westport Democratic Town Committee.

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