Maggie Betkowski ’21
On Wednesday, May 12, Head of School Katie Titus announced her resignation from the position, and consequently, Quentin McDowell’s promotion from Associate Head of School for External Relations to the interim Head of School “as the Board determines the next steps in identifying a permanent head,” says McDowell. For that time, he will have the same role that Titus currently holds and “will be operating with all the authority, rights, and responsibilities of the Head of School.”
Many members of the community were moved by Titus’s departure. Sabine Elison ‘21 says, “I am sad to see Mrs. Titus leave. I am inspired by her strength as a woman in leadership.” Elison also said that Titus is always aware of how the community feels, and takes that into consideration when making decisions. Extended community members share these sentiments as well. Kristin Vickery ‘88, parent of Cate Vickery ‘22, says that she is sad to see Titus leave, but, “It feels good to look to the future ‘with great faith’ as our mission encourages us to do, and I have confidence in Mr. McDowell and the team that will be supporting him.”
In commemoration of Titus’s legacy, Vickery says, “[Mercersburg] can honor and remember Katie by continuing the work that she was passionate about – specifically around DEIJ – and by continuing the Courageous Conversations she brought to Mercersburg which have been so important to many students.” She also admires Titus’s strength and grace as she helped the Mercersburg Community navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
McDowell echoes this sentiment saying, “Her confident and capable leadership, among many other things, ably guided us through everything from a historical investigation to a once in a lifetime (hopefully) global pandemic.” He also acknowledges her work to find equity for all, think critically about our roles at Mercersburg, and spread optimism and acceptance.
Titus is adamant about representing her leadership through the accomplishments of the community as a whole. “My hope had been to continue to encourage and nurture an environment where the student voice was empowered, where we created a community that could disagree with respect and kindness, and where we all saw each other as humans whose contributions to this community were valued and important,” she says. She is proud of the way the community was able to navigate the pandemic this past year.
Ultimately, there is no telling what the future will hold. However, in the spirit of Titus’s optimism, McDowell says, “Mercersburg Academy is a strong and resilient place and one that has faced many challenges over its 127 year history. We have an incredible community of students, parents, employees, and alumni that has, and will always, come together in times of need.”