Groton Assistant Head Chosen to Lead Colorado Boarding School

Groton congratulates Assistant Head of School and Director of College Counseling Megan Harlan, who has been named the new head of Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Mrs. Harlan has contributed in numerous ways during her nine years at Groton; four years ago, she was appointed assistant head, in addition to her position in college counseling. Among her proudest accomplishments: shepherding Groton students through the college process, working as one of four senior administrators on the schools’ COVID-19 task force, overseeing counseling and wellness, executing a new faculty evaluation process, advising the Black/LatinX student group, and “serving as support for faculty so they can do their best work.”

"Megan is a consummate professional, and I assigned her challenging tasks—from revamping our evaluation system to having her at my side during the most difficult conversations," said Headmaster Temba Maqubela. "Her contribution towards the safe opening of school during COVID was critical to the school, and as a college counselor, she is legendary."

Her impact has spanned numerous facets of the Circle: she co-headed the recent NEASC accreditation process; has served on numerous committees, including Diversity & Inclusion and Curriculum Review; currently oversees girls athletics and has coached varsity field hockey; led numerous student trips to Tanzania; and has taught a tutorial in gender studies for seven years. 

Mrs. Harlan is at least the thirty-fifth Groton faculty member to become a head of school, and the third in the last seven years. Brewster Academy Head of School Craig Gemmell and Dana Hall Head of School Katherine Bradley, both former assistant heads at Groton, left the Circle in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Small boarding schools, said Mrs. Harlan "have the ability to teach skill, leadership, and character, and can help students find their voice and tell their stories.” 

Mrs. Harlan said she will miss Groton’s unique community, especially the students she has come to know so well. She noted the opportunities for growth provided by Headmaster Temba Maqubela and all she has learned from him about diversity and inclusion. “It is easy to bring groups of people together, but it is something totally different to have the members of that community feel welcomed, valued, and respected,” she observed. “Inclusion comes from leadership that is rooted in thought and courage.”

Never one to shy from adventure (she has been a wilderness firefighter, a backcountry park ranger, and has traveled extensively to remote regions), Mrs. Harlan said she is looking forward to “the exciting opportunity to run a school and create an educational vision.”

At Fountain Valley, she will replace William Webb, a 1993 Groton graduate who will be moving on to head Salisbury School. Mrs. Harlan will remain at Groton through the end of the 2021–22 school year. ""Her commitment to children is total," said Mr. Maqubela. "In every interaction, she put students first. Our community’s loss is Fountain Valley’s gain."

We wish Mrs. Harlan and her family all the happiness and success as they head west to Colorado.