We are excited to announce that the Board of Trustees unanimously supported the recommendation by the Head of School Search Committee to appoint Mr. James (Jay) Lasley, Jr. as Hampton Roads Academy’s tenth Head of School, beginning July 1, 2023.
Jay is an exceptional leader who cultivated his experience at premiere independent schools on the East Coast. He is currently the Director of Admissions at Berkeley Preparatory School, a PK-12 school of 1,400 students in Tampa, Florida.
Through Jay’s tenure at Berkeley, the school’s academic profile has continued to strengthen, and programming continued to expand alongside the modernization and selectivity of its admission and financial aid practices and record-breaking enrollment growth. He has assisted in key leadership hires and led initiatives enhancing faculty innovation and well-being. As a member of the school’s leadership team, Jay has collaborated on curriculum design and development, co-curricular and community service offerings, school calendar, strategic planning, finance, and budget, as well as campus redesign and improvements. He has been a strategic part of revitalizing the school’s marketing and branding concepts, resulting in a 51% increase in admission applications and 97% student retention. Jay also has co-chaired diversity/inclusion committees and serves on the Board of Trustees' Finance, Strategic Planning, and Development Committees.
Prior to Berkeley Preparatory School, Jay held the role of Director of Admissions at Norfolk Academy as well as being a key member of the Headmaster’s Senior Leadership Team. He led all aspects of the admissions process, from inquiry to enrollment, resulting in a 20% growth in application volume. As an experienced teacher and basketball coach, and a member of both the Board of Trustees’ Strategic Planning Committee and Education Committee. Before Norfolk Academy, Jay was the founding Director of Admissions at The Elon School, a grades 9-12 day school in North Carolina, and also served as a teacher, coach, and athletic director during his time there.
Jay comes to Hampton Roads Academy prepared to take on the role of Head of School after having demonstrated that he is an inspiring leader with a deep understanding of the multiple facets of independent school management and leadership. His varied and deep proficiency as a an educational leader have helped shape his belief that empathy, connection, and collaboration are the greatest ingredients in successful relationships and flourishing schools.
“I am thrilled to have been selected as Hampton Roads Academy's Head of School, and am so proud to help lead this vibrant, committed, and passionate school community. I am grateful to Tasha Rose, Mark Sarrett, and the entire Search Committee for entrusting me with this tremendous responsibility. My family and I consider Tidewater home, and we are looking forward to returning to an area so dear to our hearts.”
Mr. Lasley holds a BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an M.Ed. from Elon University. He and his wife, Emilly, have three children, Jack (18), Kate (16), and Sam (14).
We are thrilled to share this news with you and delighted with the passion and excitement that Jay and his family have for joining the Hampton Roads Academy community. To all the parents, alumni, faculty, students, and Trustees - past and present - who participated in and supported this vigorous process, we are grateful to you for your time and feedback. Finally, we would like to thank the Head of School Search Committee for their time, commitment, and dedication ensuring that Hampton Roads Academy is positioned for the best possible future.
Mark Sarrett ‘79
Chair, Board of Trustees
Tasha Rose ’98
Chair, Head of Search Committee