Riley announces new head of school

By Stephanie Grinnell | Jan 14, 2014
Courtesy of: Rebecca Clapp Riley School Head of School Rebecca Clapp

Rockport — Rebecca Clapp, recently named Head of School at Riley, wants people to know the school is continuing "the legacy of founder Glenna Wade Plaisted forward with the integrity and love that has always been at the core of the Riley School."

"People think Riley School is for sale and it's not," Clapp said, adding the school owns nearly 21 acres of property on Warrenton Street.

For sale signs cropped up near the property this summer and many people have continued to ask if the school is for sale or closing.

What is for sale is the former home of Plaisted, which was placed in a trust upon her death in March 2013. The private home and barn — part of the original school — sits closer to the road than the school and signs were placed very close to the property line. While Riley trustees were originally excited at the prospect of purchasing the property, the original asking price of $1.7 million was deemed out of reach for the nonprofit school, Clapp said.

Long a part of the Riley community, Clapp has a background in education, administration and fundraising. Before joining Riley staff in 1988, Clapp previously developed programs at Milton Academy in Milton, Mass. — including A Personally Planned Learning Experience, aka APPLE — and taught at Foundation School in Orange, Conn.

She is active in charitable organizations and in 2011 launched her own business called Greenleaf Educational Consulting, which offers Midcoast families assistance in searching for independent schools.

"We are proud and fortunate to have Becky on our staff and feel certain that Riley and its children will benefit in many ways from her presence," the board of trustees said in a press release. " ... Becky is well-known to the Riley faculty and holds a deep respect for the traditions and vision of the school. Her own passions are for holistic education, environmental awareness and global citizenship. Among her first responsibilities will be shepherding the school through its self-study in preparation for the New England Schools and Colleges re-accreditation process."

Other recent changes at Riley include the creation of a scholarship named for school founder Plaisted and a new board member.

The Glenna Wade Plaisted Scholarship Fund was established by the board and is now accepting applications. Building this designated fund will open the world of Riley to those who might not otherwise be able to attend. Tuition assistance decisions begin in March.

Riley’s newest board member is Brian Morgan. Morgan served as director of Putney School in Putney, Vt. and head of White Mountain School in Bethlehem, N.H. and is now engaged in recruiting students from Asia for a number of educational institutions.

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