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.