Zach takes over headmaster seat for the day

Zach Fowler went from being a typical sixth-grade student to running the show on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, when he became headmaster for the day. The opportunity is a Collegiate tradition made possible through the school’s annual auction, during which the school opens the role of headmaster for the day to the highest bidder. The funds raised go to the Annual Fund, which supports almost every aspect of a Norfolk Collegiate education. 

Open to a middle or upper school student, the day allowed Zach a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a headmaster on a day tailored for him. His day included meetings with school officials, an ice cream party for his class, lunch from Moe’s with his friends, a personal tour of the Meredith Center for the Arts and the Hackney Theater (including a view from the rafters), a concert at the lower school and more. 

The biggest surprise to Zach was just how much it took to the run the school. 

“I did not know (my parents) were going to get me this,” he said, “but I was really excited because I heard it was really fun. They were pretty excited that I got to be a part of it. I didn’t know that I would be in a lot of meetings with people behind the scenes. I’m really glad my parents did this for me.” 

As part of the day, Zach asked to meet with headmaster Scott Kennedy and his Destination Imagination (DI) teacher Erin Smyth. As it turns out DI is Zach’s favorite class and the one thing that he missed about his normal routine on his special day. 

“It’s a lot different than the lower school,” Zach said of being in middle school. “At the lower school, there is always someone there to tell you what to do; you’re in the same room and with one person. In the middle school, you have more freedom, and you get to walk around. Each teacher has his or her own style with how he or she teaches and his or her own expertise.” 

At the end of the day, Zach was glad to have had the experience and a new appreciation for his school and its leaders.