Saying Good-Bye to Mr. Ball

Head of Upper School Stepping Down in June


Photograph by K Davis

Mr. Ball at the start of 2018-19 school year

Last Friday afternoon, at the end of a day-long workshop for the Upper School faculty, Mr. Ball announced what he had been contemplating for a few months: he and his family will be leaving the Miami area and he will step down from his position at the end of this school year. Later that evening, Mr. Connor sent all the faculty and staff an

The Ball Family

email, containing an eloquent note from Mr. Ball as well. The next day, another email was sent to the parents sharing similar themes. Many of you probably heard about this news from your parents or your friends relaying the information. But it probably didn’t feel real until Mr. Ball’s speech Wednesday, when he talked about the characteristics that are so important to our community and what a  “a pleasure and a privilege” it has been “to serve and support the upper school.”

He focused on the values that we hold dear such as “kindness and care” and, with a laugh, “courage over comfort.” He stressed that these are the most important moments and how he is eager to “bare witness to a lot of these moments of care and courage” in his remaining time here. For sure in this year already, Mr. Ball has witnessed some of these moments he holds so dear, whether it be our spirit at Homecoming or our day-in day-out interactions.

There’s no doubt that in Mr. Ball’s time here, he’s already accomplished much in terms of improving our community through the development of an advising program, the design of active learning spaces, and the introduction of understanding by design. Though he will be leaving at the end of this year the values he put at the forefront of his expectations and the ideas he put in place will live on after him.


The full transcript is below:

“Good morning students. I sent an email out to the staff, the faculty, and the parents, and what it spoke to was the simple fact that my family and I have decided to move out of the Miami area at the end of this academic year in June and the school is going to begin it’s search process for an upper school director role. But more importantly the message really was about the fact that we have an extraordinary learning community and it’s full of wonderful moments everyday. These wonderful moments really come from all of us. When we as a community come out and cheer at athletic events or the arts. When we as a community speak up to raise awareness and to make our community strong. And yes, when we choose courage over comfort. But to me the most important moments are when we choose to support each other with kindness and care. So, I know that throughout the rest of this year I’m going to bare witness to a lot of these moments of care and courage and I really look forward to them. I know I’ll carry them with me. And I want you to know that it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to serve and support the upper school. And I know that it’s already been an extraordinary year and I know that it’s going to finish a very memorable year. So I wanted to thank you and I’m going to turn it over to Mr. Turf.”