St. Martin’s-in-the-Field Episcopal School is saying goodbye to Head of School Jamey Hein after seven years of loving service and steady leadership.
St. Martin’s became an accredited independent school in 2012 under the then head of school, the Rev. Frank Sawyer. After two years, Sawyer departed and Hein interviewed for the position.
“The board of trustees was eager for an experienced administrator who could help the school in its trajectory as a preschool-through-eighth-grade school,” said Hein. “I came in and was given significant latitude, support and responsibility to help create a future vision for St. Martin’s as an independent Episcopal school, which is what we have been doing for the duration of my tenure.”
Hein and his family relocated from Michigan, and he quickly got to work strengthening the school. One of the first improvements he made was putting a sign outside of the building, visible from Benfield Road. He helped bring the school into the 21st century with new science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) education programs, and an innovation lab that was established in the school’s basement. During his tenure, Hein also oversaw the construction of a new wing, a playground renovation. He also restructured the school’s administrative operation by creating a leadership team, and has worked hard to improve teachers’ salaries and to promote overall diversity efforts.
Most recently, Hein was challenged with creating a plan to send students to school in-person during the 2020-2021 school year, when many schools remained virtual. He said that although this was a challenging year, he learned many important lessons.
“We're stronger together, when we can be together learning as one community,” said Hein. “We've learned a lot about how by being a small school we can be really responsive to kids' needs. We've learned that kids need school and kids need the caring relationships that exist within school.”
While his last year may not have been what he was expecting, Hein will cherish the memories of school events, preschool readings and enjoying time outside with classes this year. What he will miss the most is the students.
“We allow kids at our school to be kids and to truly enjoy their childhood. Each child here is genuinely known, valued and loved for their unique potential,” said Hein. “I'm going to a place that ends in 12th grade, and so I'll miss the atmosphere where everything is centered around young kids.”
He will also miss the collaboration with the staff, of which Hein has hired over half, and the tight-knit school community.
“I'm incredibly proud of what we've been able to accomplish here and that it's been a truly collective and collaborative effort,” said Hein. “I often remind my teachers that a lot of my job is working for the future and to ensure it remains sustainable.
“We've truly taken something from one place to a much more elevated place, and that there's a lot to be proud about here.”
Hein accepted a position as the interim head of school at the Calverton School in Huntingtown, Maryland, where he will be for at least two years. The position will offer a new challenge for Hein, as the campus is large and offers education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Charlie Sachs will take over as interim head of school at St. Martin’s. Hein is confident that Sachs will build upon the foundation he built as the head of school.
“My greatest hope and aspiration for the school is to remain truly child-centered and to keep moving forward in its evolution,” said Hein, “and that it remains a place that teaches kids how to be compassionate, how to have character and how to be confident.”