June 30, 2019 marked a turning point in Kent School’s Board of Trustee leadership. Chris McClary ‘91, the first alumnus to hold the position and the longest serving Board President in Kent School history, stepped down after nine years in that role. Chris also served as an active member of the Board of Trustees for nine years leading up to his loyal service as President. Megan Bramble Owings’ 93, the first alumna, will take over as Board President beginning July 1.
In remarks recognizing Chris for his service to Kent School, Nancy Mugele, Head of School said, ”Chris has been an incredible leader of the Board and a true partner for me. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Board operates strategically, to allow me to act operationally. I appreciate this more than words can say.”
Under McClary’s leadership, the School has grown in enrollment, financial sustainability has increased, and a state of the art library was constructed, to name just a few highlights. However, the most meaningful work to Chris personally, was the establishment of the Kudner Leyon Memorial Endowment and the Kudner Leyon Visiting Writers Program in 2000. Named for Ariana Kudner and Amanda Leyon, who graduated from Kent School in 1991 with Chris, the endowment was designed to memorialize their lives and their love of the literary arts.
Mugele continued, “We are honored to host such a purposeful program at Kent School, one that Chris has been passionate about for nearly two decades. Today, I am pleased to announce that a group of former and current Trustees who served alongside Chris, as well as Chris and Ellen’s family, have given gifts to the Kudner Leyon Memorial Endowment in Chris’ honor. Ariana Kudner’s sister and brother generously matched these gifts dollar for dollar with a grant from the Arthur H. Kudner, Jr. Fund at the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. I am simply overwhelmed that this effort to honor Chris has grew the Kudner Leyon Memorial Endowment by 16%. This is truly a fitting tribute to Chris.”
One former Trustee added the following comment on Chris’s service, “It has occurred to me often that with his caring and thoughtful approach, along with his positive can-do attitude, Chris demonstrates parts of what a Kent School education can provide to its students – the need for community responsibility and a sense of duty. In my view, Chris has been a fantastic board chair, and I count myself lucky to have served under his leadership.”
In further recognition of McClary’s contributions to Kent School, incoming Board President, Owings ‘93, announced that the full Board of Trustees voted unanimously, effective immediately, to name Chris a Trustee Emeritus, a title reserved for a few extraordinarily loyal Kent School trustees.
Kent School is an independent, not-for-profit school and is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The Board is charged with keeping the school “in trust” and securing the School’s future. It does this by setting basic policies of hiring, supporting and evaluating the Head of School, undertaking strategic planning, and leading the financial management and support of the School
Kent School is located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown and serves boys and girls from Preschool through Grade 8. For more information visit www.kentschool.org or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110.