0

Wesleyan's longtime headmaster to step down

File Photo — Wesleyan headmaster Zach Young, right, will step down at the end of the 2013-14 academic year. Current Assistant Headmaster for Advancement Chris Cleveland, left, will take the helm.

File Photo — Wesleyan headmaster Zach Young, right, will step down at the end of the 2013-14 academic year. Current Assistant Headmaster for Advancement Chris Cleveland, left, will take the helm.

PEACHTREE CORNERS — With shifts in administration on the horizon, it’s a time of change for Wesleyan School.

Chris Cleveland said he’s enjoyed working at Wesleyan for the past 11 years, and he looks forward to his continued employment next year as the Christian school’s headmaster. Meanwhile, current headmaster Zach Young who for 18 years led the school has announced he will step down at the end of the 2013-14 academic year.

Cleveland, who currently serves as assistant headmaster for advancement, said it’s “a very exciting time for the school. We all have mixed emotions about Mr. Young leaving, but he’s done a phenomenal job here. We’ll have an entire year to celebrate what he’s done here.”

According to a recent letter from Wesleyan School’s board of trustees, “(Young) informed the board earlier this year that he believes the timing is right for him to pursue other passions and to pass the baton to new leadership.”

The letter stated that Cleveland will take the helm July 1, 2014, at the private K-12 learning facility. Cleveland was described as “the ideal candidate to replace” Young.

“Zach has entrusted Chris with increased responsibilities ... and he has shown remarkable passion and leadership within his ever increasing roles serving in Zach’s administration,” stated the letter, which was written by Board of Trustees Chairman Robert E. Binion.

In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Young said he hasn’t yet decided what’s next career-wise.

“I’m not calling it retirement,” said the Buckhead resident. “We’ll see what God has in store for me. Whatever it is, I’m ready for it.”

As to the timing of his departure from Wesleyan: “It was just time for a change in leadership, and we’ve been working on a succession plan for some time. I’m grateful that the board decided to affirm a succession plan and promote from within.”

Young added that he “was glad that Chris (Cleveland) was the board’s choice.”

Cleveland has served as the middle school principal, the high school principal and currently works as assistant headmaster for advancement. “His evident love of God and our children will serve to enhance and protect our mission and steer us forward strategically in the coming years,” the letter stated. “He has been instrumental in the success of our current capital campaign, Shared Blessings, and in the development of our new strategic plan.”

Binion’s letter described Young’s tenure as a “wonderful journey.”

“His hand print is all over Wesleyan,” the letter stated.

Cleveland agreed.

“I don’t think there’s any way of replacing Zach,” Cleveland said. “His shoes are way too big to fill. My focus will be on continuing to move the school forward and serving the families and faculty of Wesleyan and continuing to make it a great place.”

Young took the position of headmaster in 1996 shortly after the Christian School moved from Sandy Springs, where it was established in 1963.