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Holderness School Officially Inducts Head of School John McVeigh
Greg Kwasnik

On Thursday, October 19, Holderness School celebrated the Induction of Head of School John McVeigh.
In an evening ceremony on Livermore Common, Mr. McVeigh was officially inducted as the 10th person to lead Holderness School since its founding in 1879. He was joined by the school’s students, faculty, Board of Trustees, family, and friends.

“My job, this job, is about what they call fruitful continuance - working day in and day out to help us all live with meaning and purpose - and I am thrilled that I get to do it,” Mr. McVeigh said during the ceremony. “I'll do it inspired by the example of these giants before me - their words, their values, their actions - to continue to make sure that Holderness puts people first; to keep using our mission, vision, and values as our north star; to ensure that this is a we school, not a me school.” 

Mr. McVeigh comes to Holderness School from Brooks School, where he served as a beloved and integral member of that community for 18 years. During that time, he served as Dean of Faculty, Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, and Director of College Counseling. He was also a classroom teacher in Science, Math and Oratory, an advisor, and Varsity Boys Basketball Coach. Prior to his time at Brooks, John worked as an engineer for Intel, having graduated with a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University. He also graduated Magna Cum Laude as a dual major in Biology and Chemistry from Merrimack College, where he was an Academic All-American basketball player and the recipient of a scholarship from the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence.

During his Induction remarks, Mr. McVeigh recognized the previous two heads of school in attendance, the Rev. Brinton W. Woodward P ’87 ’91 ’93 (1977-2001) and Phil Peck P ’08 ’09 (2001-2022). He thanked his two predecessors for the example they set, and for the mentorship they’ve provided since he became head of school in July 2022.

“Both cared deeply about mind, body, and the spiritual life of our school. Both woke up each morning dedicated to this idea: how can I help others, students and adults alike, live with meaning and purpose through my role?” Mr. McVeigh said. “Their leadership and care are huge, huge reasons that we're here today, and they're both inspirations to me.” 

Mr. McVeigh promised the two former heads of school – and the rest of the Holderness community – that he would do everything possible to ensure a bright future for the school.   

“I look out here at this school and campus and I think to myself: I get to do this. I get fired up thinking about what we might accomplish together,” Mr. McVeigh said. “I am happy and proud and honored to grab the torch from the two of you. And I know someday I'll pass it off. In between, you will get my very best.”

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