Reynolds named head of school
Fuqua School has named Chance Reynolds as its new head of school.
He will begin his duties July 1.
Reynolds, who has spent the last 10 years working in education administration, said he was honored and humbled to be offered the position.
Head of School Search Committee Chairman John Gantt said Reynolds was selected from a field of nearly 30 candidates.
“I know there were a lot of excellent candidates,” Reynolds said. “The fact that they chose me was, again, very honoring on one hand and humbling on the other, without a doubt.”
A celebration event for Reynolds had been slated for Friday, March 20, but concerns surrounding the coronavirus mean it has been canceled for now.
Gantt said one of the things that pointed the committee in Reynolds’ direction during the initial interviews was the fact that he was at a school similar in size to Fuqua.
Reynolds is currently the assistant head of school at Greenfield School in Wilson, North Carolina. He has held that position for the last four years.
Gantt said Greenfield is in a rural area as well, and the school’s administration has overseen notable growth in the student body.
The committee was impressed with Reynolds’ leadership style with students, noting he had a personal approach, Gantt said.
“You could really tell that Chance put the kids first and foremost,” he said.
Gantt described what this meant in the context of how Reynolds would handle a disciplinary situation with a student.
“It was very clear that he talked to the parents, he talked to the kid, and when it was all said and done, a disciplinary action was put out, but it didn’t burn a bridge with the kid,” Gantt said. “It was a learning process for the kid through every situation he kind of brought up to us.”
Gantt said Reynolds offered some great ideas for fundraising and also for outreach to help bring in students.
“I think he really grasps better than anybody else that we’re not just recruiting from Prince Edward County,” Gantt said. “We’re recruiting from 11 to 12 counties, and that’s kind of similar to what he’s doing down there in North Carolina.”
The third and final phase of the interview process featured three candidates and involved each of them visiting Fuqua’s campus. Gantt said all three candidates were impressive people and had good visits, but Reynolds stood out in particular as a good fit.
“That third phase of the interviews is really where it all fell into place with us and Chance,” Gantt said.
Reynolds resonated with the teachers, donors and members of the community, Gantt said.
“And then when he met the kids and talked to the kids as a group up at the upper school, it was instant chemistry,” Gantt said. “Honestly, that’s what set him apart.”
Before Reynolds entered education administration, he spent six years as a professional baseball player. He played in the minor leagues in the San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers organizations. He rose as high as the AA level with the Pirates. He also played a year in Europe.
Recruited as a baseball coach by Stratford Academy in Macon, Georgia, he was named Middle School Dean of Students there since he had a Master of Public Administration degree, earned at Georgia College & State University.
He said while in that role, he worked for an amazing mentor.
“Really, I got to watch him every day handle different situations and handle them in wise ways, with the student always coming first,” he said.
Reynolds later went on to become the assistant principal at the high school level at Stratford, where he said another outstanding mentor taught him many things about how to run a school properly.
In addition to his master’s degree, Reynolds has a specialist degree in educational leadership from Liberty University and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Florida.
He said what attracted him to Fuqua was seeing how active the school was, with clubs catering to a variety of interests. He was intrigued and impressed by the outstanding music and theater departments and was particularly pleased with the school’s academics-first approach and core values.