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Beech Hill School picks first leader



Last modified: Thursday, November 24, 2011
The Beech Hill School, which plans to open next September, has chosen its first head of school.

After a search that drew applicants from across the country, the school's directors chose a local: Rick Johnson, currently dean of student life at the Tilton School.

Johnson will be the Beech Hill School's founding head of school, effective July 1. The school, in the building of the former Hopkinton Independent School on Beech Hill Road, will be open for students in grades six and seven starting in September.

Johnson has been at the Tilton School since 2005, when he left the Sanford School in Hockessin, Del. At Tilton, he has served on various committees related to school safety, enrollment, scheduling, staffing, discipline and internal management. He also taught history and economics and coached football and wrestling.

Johnson has worked at boarding schools up and down the East Coast, but began his teaching career at Cardigan Mountain in Canaan, where he taught social studies, headed a dormitory and coached three sports.

He has an undergraduate degree in public policy from Hamilton College and a master's degree in liberal arts with a social studies concentration from Wesleyan University. He is a graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall and currently lives on the Tilton School campus with his wife and two young children.