In the midst of simultaneous events—the COVID-19 pandemic, the college application process for seniors, and the U.S. presidential election—the Head of School of Concord Academy decided to step down. The  Board of Trustees sent out an official announcement via email to the CA community on November 2, Rick. The note read, “After much reflection about the best path forward for himself and for CA, Hardy Hardy has made the decision to step down from his position as Head of School, effective immediately.” 

“Over the last eleven years, Hardy has dedicated himself to furthering CA’s mission and elevating the school on many levels,” said Fay Lampert Shutzer ’65, the President of the Board of Trustees. According to Lampert Shutzer, CA has made meaningful strides towards living its mission during Hardy’s tenure, ensuring that every member of our community can contribute fully for the benefit of all.

It is mournful to witness Hardy stepping down at this critical time of the year and before next year’s Centennial celebrations of Concord Academy. At school, he implemented CA’s mission in every interaction with the community. I clearly remember Hardy warmly welcoming every student to CA on my first day of orientation, and his smile made me feel like I have belonged to the CA community forever. He greeted every student when he walked on campus, even if he had never spoken to them previously.  

As Hardy’s advisee, I have observed all the efforts Hardy has put into safeguarding the health and well-being of every member of the CA community during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from the weekly advisory meetings that happened during the school year, Hardy continued to meet with me every week throughout the summer. He took student voices into deep consideration. For instance, when I explained the level of difficulty it would take for many international students to return to campus, Hardy immediately modified his plan for reopening and offered virtual learning for non-domestic borders who are unable to return to campus. 

Rick Hardy dedicated his whole summer to the learning plan for the 2020-2021 academic year. We met every Wednesday morning from 7:30 to 8:00 EST in summer, and every time the time neared eight o’clock, Hardy had to bid me farewell and rush to his first meeting of the day. His daily routine was to have meetings from 8:00 in the morning till 4:30 in the afternoon. Despite the heavy workload and some dissenting voices regarding the school’s plan for distance learning, Hardy never stopped striving to assure all students’ quality education, health, and safety. He is a thoughtful and responsible educationalist. 

While the school initiates the formal search for a new Head of School, Hardy will remain involved as Concord Academy Emeritus Head of School through June of 2022. I genuinely appreciate Hardy’s contribution to Concord Academy in the past eleven years and am thrilled to see his continuous engagement in the community.