About Us

Head of School Welcome

Severn School believes in educating the whole person in a student-centered, supportive educational community that values the dignity, self-worth, and potential of each individual. Severn's Head of School since 2006, Doug Lagarde lives this philosophy every day. With Mr. Lagarde at the helm, Severn is a thriving community where every member is known and valued.

Doug Lagarde, Head of School

Every day, I am inspired by our students and their boundless intellectual curiosity, their school spirit, and their passion for an inclusive and welcoming community. They will be the leaders of the world in their time, and they will be ready.

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  • About Doug Lagarde, Head of School

    Douglas H. Lagarde is Severn School’s 9th Head of School, a position he has held since July 1, 2006.

    Mr. Lagarde’s passion for independent schools goes back to his own childhood, as he was literally raised on the campus of Tower Hill in Wilmington, DE, where his father was an Upper School math teacher and coach and his mother was the Lower School librarian.  After graduating from Tower Hill in 1980, Mr. Lagarde attended The College of William & Mary where he earned an A.B. in economics. He later earned his M.Ed. from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

    Mr. Lagarde’s career in education got its start at the Landon School in Bethesda, where he taught math and coached both wrestling and football. After earning his M.Ed., Mr. Lagarde transitioned to the University School in Cleveland, OH. In his 15-year tenure with University School he served as a teacher – teaching two sections of calculus, coach, director of enrollment and financial aid, dean, assistant director of college guidance, head of the Upper School and associate head of school.

    As Head of School, Mr. Lagarde is responsible for both the day-to-day administration of Severn School, and the successful implementation of the strategic long-range plans, in partnership with the Board of Trustees. During his nearly two decades with Severn, Mr. Lagarde has led and implemented numerous campus projects, including the opening of the Edward St. John Athletic Center – to include the addition of two turf fields - construction of the Stine Outdoor Education Center, and the dedication of the renovated Teel Academic Center featuring the Barbara and George ’49 Cromwell Centennial Rotunda and Thomas L. Carter, ’54 Middle School Wing.  

    Other notable projects include the addition of Daiger House, the Graw Innovation Center, and the Century of Service Monument, which was dedicated in November 2013 and honors those Severn alums who served in the military. Mr. Lagarde also championed the Severn Fellows program – now known as the Van Eney ’09 Fellows Program at Severn School – an innovative initiative that invites a select group of seniors to go beyond the traditional academic program and develop a year-long intellectual pursuit that reflects their own personal passions.

    Perhaps most notably, in 2013 Mr. Lagarde led Severn through the successful merger with Chesapeake Academy to create Severn’s Chesapeake Campus, expanding the school’s grades to include Pre-school through grade 5, and growing enrollment from 580 students to nearly 900.

    He currently serves as Board Chair for the Malone Schools Online Network (MSON), and is or has been  involved on the Boards of the Association of Maryland Schools, Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust (BEST), IAAM, MIAA, Landon School, and the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools.

    Mr. Lagarde and his wife, Toby, reside on campus. Their son, Will, was the Valedictorian of Severn’s Class of 2012. He later graduated from Harvard University. When he isn’t conducting Severn business or greeting students by name, Mr. Lagarde can be found in his shop perfecting his wood turning technique.
  • Welcome Letter from Head of School, Doug Lagarde


    Whether you are a current Severn family, an alumna/us, a friend or a newcomer, we hope our site gives you a glimpse into our world and provides information that is beneficial, timely, and informative.

    If you are a prospective family, we hope that as you go about looking for the school that best matches your child’s strengths and interests, you will visit Severn School.

    The greatest gift a parent can provide a child, aside from their love and attention, is an education. It is the most durable inheritance one can pass on. The importance of choosing the right school, then, is vital and involves far more information than a website can provide.

    Schools are living things and while technology allows us to pass on information about our programs and people, nothing takes the place of first-hand experience. We believe that interacting with students and faculty and feeling the excitement that characterizes each Severn day is central to understanding just what is so special about our school. The principles of our mission – character, conduct, scholarship, leadership, service and achievement – are certainly alive and readily evident in the life of our school.
    I thank you for visiting Severn's website. I hope to see you on campus soon.


    Douglas Lagarde

    Head of School
A Legacy of Excellence
In December 2005, Severn’s trustees enthusiastically and unanimously voted to approve the appointment of Douglas H. Lagarde as the 9th Head of School in Severn's history. He succeeded William Creeden on July 1, 2006.

Lower School

Upper School