published Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Baylor welcomes new headmaster


by Kelli Gauthier
  • photo
    Baylor Headmaster and President Scott Wilson speaks to students during convocation in this file photo.
    Photo by Angela Lewis

By his own admission, Scott Wilson wasn't exactly the ideal Baylor School student.

And at the preparatory school's first convocation of the year, its ninth headmaster and president -- a 1975 graduate of Baylor -- set a light tone as he spoke Wednesday morning before hundreds of students, faculty, alumni and community members.

He told stories of getting in trouble as a seventh-grader for throwing butter on the ceiling of the dining hall. And Mr. Wilson spoke of his shock at seeing his first scheduled appointment as Baylor headmaster: a meeting with President Barack Obama.

Turns out his secretary was only testing his online calendar.

"Barack Obama would be lucky to visit us, and I hope one day he will," he joked from the podium.

Mr. Wilson worked at Baylor in various positions from 1981 to 1990, but he spent more recent years teaching at and leading several private schools in Georgia and South Carolina. He called it an honor to be invited back to his alma mater.

"The last 19 years have been a bit of a walkabout for me," he said. "I found faith in God, found my wife, and became the person I am today."

Chattem Chairman and CEO Zan Guerry, a 1968 Baylor graduate and the school's board of trustees chairman, said the school had "negative momentum" five years ago. He said he was excited to see Mr. Wilson continue the work that former headmaster Dr. Bill Stacy had begun.

Mr. Wilson's close friend and fellow 1975 alumnus Tom Paden drove from Nashville to hear him speak Wednesday.

"This is the best thing ever to happen to Baylor," he said, clapping Mr. Wilson on the back. "Baylor is in his soul."

Personal Glance

Name: Scott Wilson

Family: Wife, Susan; son, Ben, 25; daughters, Sara, 20; Georgia, 13; and Jane, 10

Most recent job: Headmaster, Brookstone School, Columbus, Ga.

Alma mater: Baylor School 1975; B.A. University of Georgia; master's in educational administration from the University of South Carolina; 2006 Klingenstein Fellow at Columbia University's Teachers College

about Kelli Gauthier...

Kelli Gauthier covers K-12 education in Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She started at the paper as an intern in 2006, crisscrossing the region writing feature stories from Pikeville, Tenn., to Lafayette, Ga. She also covered crime and courts before taking over the education beat in 2007. A native of Frederick, Md., Kelli came south to attend Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Before newspapers, ...

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