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HRA Head of School Peter Mertz to retire in 2023

Hampton Roads Academy Head of School Peter W. Mertz announced that he will retire at the end of the 2022-2023 school year after what will be 12 years at the helm of the Peninsula’s only independent college preparatory school.
In a letter to the school community, Mr. Mertz shared what a true honor it has been to serve the school.  He expressed “deep appreciation for the exceptional faculty and staff of HRA and dedicated Board members with whom [he] has worked so closely these last eleven years.”  After more than four decades of service to independent schools, of which 27 years will be as Head of School, Mr. Mertz will leave a lasting legacy in the field of education and at Hampton Roads Academy in particular.

 Reflecting on all that the school community has achieved under Mr. Mertz’s leadership, Mark Sarrett, Chair of the Hampton Roads Academy Board of Trustees, highlighted as “perhaps the singular greatest impact, the transformation of the school's financial health, including the near elimination of the long-term debt.”  Also under Mr. Mertz’s guidance, and with unprecedented community support, almost every part of the campus has been revitalized through building and renovation, from new classrooms and a dining hall to science labs, an auditorium and even a state of the art hydroponics lab.   With the addition of 12 new classrooms in 2020, the school nearly doubled the size of the Lower School.  

Wendy Drucker, HRA class of ‘76, former Chair of the Board of Trustees and past parent said of Mr. Mertz that he “built and nurtured a top-level faculty serving students and families with an innovative curriculum. His leadership led to the greatest transformation of the school in its history, and recently brought us through the most challenging of times.  It is due to Peter’s leadership and passion for HRA that my brother David Drucker, Class of ‘72, and I joined together to financially provide for the building of the Lower School in honor of our parents Rona and Erwin Drucker. ” 

The Board of Trustees is undertaking a search for Mr. Mertz’s successor.  Mr. Mertz will continue to lead the school through June 30, 2023 and states he is “unswervingly committed to facilitating a smooth transition of leadership and to ensuring that the school will be in the best position possible going forward to a very bright and exciting future.”