A new head of school has been named at All Saints Episcopal School.
After a months-long nationwide search, the All Saints Board of Trustees announced it is honored and excited to welcome Dr. Mark D. Desjardins as the next person to fill the role.
“I am deeply impressed with the commitment, passion and dedication of the faculty, staff, parents, students and trustees at All Saints,” Desjardins said. “I am thrilled to be joining the All Saints community as the next head of school.”
Desjardins said he and his wife, Maro, are looking forward to moving to Tyler and becoming involved in the All Saints community and Tyler community as a whole.
“Our goal is to strengthen existing relationships and create new partnerships in order to help further the mission of this outstanding institution,” he said.
Desjardins is a career-long educator, serving schools, students and families for more than 30 years, 23 of those as a sitting head of school at TMI in San Antonio, Holland Hall in Tulsa, St. John’s School in Houston, and Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California.
Quality education continues to be the centerpiece of Desjardins’ professional life, the school stated in a media release.
As a seasoned educator, Desjardins was attracted to All Saints because of the strong and resolute values alignment between the school’s mission and his own educational and leadership philosophy.
“I find a deep need to be a part of a place where I can add tremendous value and make a discernible difference,” he said.
J.P. Davis, board of trustee member and head of school search committee leader, said this selection came after an extensive search.
“His 20+ years of experience as a Head of School at ISAS and NAIS schools shows his dedication to education and his passion for leading premier educational institutions,” Davis said. “We feel blessed to have him join us here in Tyler.”
Desjardins holds a ME, B.A in East Asian Civilizations from Bates College, a M.Ed in Secondary School Administration from University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and a PhD in History of American Education from University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
In 2008, he was a Klingenstein visiting Heads Fellow, Teachers College, Columbia University; one of 20 school heads around the world invited to participate in the intensive 14-day program focused on researching and writing about best practices in educational leadership for Independent Schools. In addition, Dr. Desjardins has served on numerous professional boards, also serving as President of Southwest Association of Episcopal School (SWAES), Southwest Preparatory Athletic Conference (SPC), and Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS).
Desjardins believes that to “serve is to lead” and says, “As heads we are called to be good stewards of the institutions under our care and guidance. There is no higher calling than using the gifts to make those around us better. There is no act more noble or worthy than to simply be in service to others.”
Desjardins and his wife have four children, Daphne, 29; Chloe, 26; Elias, 23; and Lucas, 20. They also have a granddaughter, Georgia, who was born earlier this year.
Maro is a former teacher specializing in French. She also enjoys writing a cooking blog. They are excited about the new opportunities Tyler offers and getting involved in the community.
Desjardins will begin his role on July 1.
In May, All Saints trustees accepted the resignation of Head of School Mike Cobb, who had served in the role for six years. The board then selected Kathy Wood as interim head of school.
She previously worked at All Saints for several years before leaving for administrative positions in New York, Michigan and Tennessee.