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History of PBS

First incorporated in 1961 as Trinity Parish School, the school was founded originally as a needed adjunct to the church, namely a coeducational elementary school for the children of its parishioners in this suburban community. In September 1978, the School separated from the church, reincorporated as The Phillips Brooks School, and moved to its current campus on Avy Avenue.

Jack Towner was the Head of School during the transition from Trinity Parish School to the Avy Avenue campus. In 1982, Elizabeth (Bitsie) Root became Head of School. Bitsie headed PBS until June 1997. During Bitsie’s tenure, PBS grew to a school of over 200 students in grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, one class per grade. The School adhered to its Episcopalian roots and followed a traditional academic program. In the mid 1990’s, the School made the decision to increase enrollment in preschool through fifth grade and to phase out sixth grade.

Beth Passi became the third Head of School in 1997. Beth came from The Blake School in Minnesota and brought with her a strong belief in progressive education. During her tenure at the School, the academic program morphed from traditional to progressive with the Early Learning Center’s program inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. The spiritual practices in chapel became more inclusive of the many faiths represented on campus. Beth created the first ever Associate Head of School position, which was held by Clair Ward from 2000 until 2008.

In 2005, Kristi A. Kerins became the fourth Head of School. With over 30 years experience in independent schools, Kristi had most recently been Head of School of Lake Forest Country Day School in Chicago, IL and Sanford School in Wilmington, DE. In Kristi’s first three years as Head of School, the Avy Avenue campus was completely rebuilt and renovated. A Task Force engaged in strategic planning and determined that the School would focus on issues regarding Program, Identity and Long Term Sustainability from 2008 through 2011.

In July 2011, Dr. Scott Erickson became the fifth Head of School. Scott came from the National Cathedral School in Washington, DC, where he served as the Director of the Middle School. During his first year at PBS, Scott led the school through a strategic planning process and successful accreditation. Now in his third year as head of school, he is eager to continue to build on and enhance great PBS traditions and the school’s reputation for excellence on the Peninsula since 1978. To read Dr. Erickson's welcome letter, click here.


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