published Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Longtime GPS headmaster to retire

GPS headmaster retirement announcement
GPS headmaster retirement announcement

Trustees will undergo a national search to find a successor for Girls Preparatory School Headmaster Stanley R. "Randy" Tucker Jr., who will retire in two years.

Tucker's upcoming retirement after 25 years at the helm of the all-girls prep school has been known to many within the GPS community. School leaders formally announced his departure Friday through mailings and online posts.

In a letter online, Tucker said he's been planning his transition to retirement since 2006. His retirement is effective June 30, 2014.

Since starting at GPS in 1987, Tucker said he is inspired by the commitment of teachers, administrators and board members.

"I can never adequately express my appreciation for having been given this incredible opportunity. As my last years here pass, I will move through each day knowing I was given a gift greater than I can repay," he wrote.

In a time when many heads of schools serve only five- to seven-year stints, Tucker noted that the GPS board values stability in leadership.

GPS board of trustees Chairman William Pat Conroy Jr. said the headmaster has maintained a balanced budget despite the national economic downturn. Because of Tucker's efforts, contributions to the school's annual fund have risen and GPS is a financially stable institution, he said.

"His stewardship of school resources has produced a program that is more comprehensive than that at many competitive schools with much larger budgets," Conroy said in a letter.

Tucker has overseen three major capital campaigns, including construction of the C.G. Mills Complex in 1990, the Elizabeth Lupton Davenport Middle School in 1999 and the addition of a new dining hall and the C. Ben Harnsberger Student Center in 2008.

Lizzer Bright Graham, a 1977 GPS graduate, will lead the search committee that will look for Tucker's replacement. Officials hope to name a new headmaster by fall 2013.

"Our goal is to ensure a seamless and effective transition," Graham said.

about Kevin Hardy...

Kevin rejoined the Times Free Press in August 2011 as the Southeast Tennessee K-12 education reporter. He worked as an intern in 2009, covering the communities of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Collegedale and Lookout Mountain, Tenn. A native Kansan, Kevin graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism and sociology from the University of Kansas. After graduating, he worked as an education reporter in Hutchinson, Kan., for a year before coming back to Chattanooga. Honors include a ...

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