St. Paul’s School in Concord has hired one of its former math teachers to serve as interim rector for 2018-19 school year.
Amy C. Richards has been hired to replace current rector Michael Hirschfeld, who retired a year earlier than originally planned. Hirschfeld told the St. Paul's community in May that he was leaving early because it had been "an usually painful time for the entire School community and also for my family."
The elite boarding school is currently facing at least two lawsuits over sexual abuse.
For the last 14 years, Richards has been head of the Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, California, a private college prep middle and high school. Before her time in California, Richards spent many years in New Hampshire: She attended Concord High School, studied at UNH and taught math at St. Paul's from 1984 to 1994. She also ran St. Paul's Advanced Studies Program for a year.
In a statement, Richards said she recognized that her hiring comes at an "important time for St. Paul's School."
"[I] will work to provide steady and transparent leadership for the school year. My priority will be on ensuring that our current students recieve the best possible education while continuing the excellent progress the school has made in strengthening its residential life and academic curricula in recent years," Richards said.
Richards will start on campus in August and her term runs through June 30, 2019. The school said it plans to name a permanent rector by the beginning of the upcoming school year.
Meanwhile, St. Paul's faces at least two lawsuits regarding the sexual abuse of students in their care. One comes from two former students in the 1960s and 1970s who say they were sexually abused by St. Paul's faculty. The other lawsuit is from an anonymous student who said she was sexually assaulted by male students in 2013-2014.
The boarding school is also currently being investigatived by the New Hampshire Attorney General's office.