Shane Foster will assume post

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 13, 2005

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy President Douglas C. Naismith, who has guided the school’s development for 16 years, will retire June 30.

On Wednesday, the board of trustees of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy announced the appointment of Shane A. Foster as the new president of NSA, effective July 1.

Naismith joined NSA in 1989.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;It takes quite a while to go through the process of finding a head of school,&uot; said Naismith, who broke the news to the board in January 2004.

&uot;The prime time for conducting a search is the summer and fall, so it has been customary in this business to give the board at least 18 months notice.&uot;

Before taking over head Saint duties, Naismith ran his own John Deere agricultural implement dealership.

&uot;I’ve been at NSA for 16 years, and it just felt that the time was right to move on and do things that are important to me, primarily spending time with my family,&uot; said the father and grandfather of five.

Last November, the school dedicated a 24,000 square-foot building for grades 5-7, as well as an enlargement of the upper school and new science complex and library media centers. It was the last in a series of improvements that Naismith has seen, as the school has almost doubled in size during his tenure.

Naismith is most proud of

&uot;certainly keeping the school on course,&uot; he said, &uot;including increasing our academic and moral standards, and establishing a financial aid program, which we didn’t have when I started.

&uot;Our teacher-ratio has been much improved, our teacher benefits and salaries have improved. We are providing many more resource personnel than we were when I arrived. From teachers who can help students with learning disabilities to nurses to coaches, trainers, and classroom assistants, all of these have been strengthened&uot;

Foster brings several aspects of leadership to NSA.

Foster has a master’s degree in educational administration and has been headmaster of the NSA upper school for the past seven years.

Prior to NSA, he worked in both day and boarding schools in Australia and the United States and thus brings a unique perspective on international and domestic educational trends. He also has coached girls volleyball and boys soccer. A search is underway to find the replacement for Foster as the upper school headmaster, the position for which Naismith hired him.

&uot;I’ve been a strong supporter of (Foster) since the go,&uot; Naismith said. &uot;I feel that he’s well-qualified, and that NSA is very fortunate to have him in this position.

&uot;I’ve worked with him for seven years, and have been more than pleased with his performance. He’ll do a great job.&uot;