Two Alumni Appointed To Crucial, Student-Facing Leadership Roles
Alumni Darian Reid—member of the Class of 2005, and a member of the faculty since 2010—and Matt McDonald ’85 will be taking on two key roles at the school, focused on supporting the boys of Roxbury Latin, and also on enrolling the next generation of RL students. Darian—who has distinguished himself as an exemplary teacher, classmaster, coach and advisor—will be taking on the role of Dean of Students, as Paul Sugg steps down from a post he has held since 1997. Matt—who has nearly two decades of independent school admission experience—will join the Roxbury Latin faculty as the school’s Director of Admission, taking over for Billy Quirk ’04 who has held that position since 2016. (Both Paul and Billy will remain as members of the Roxbury Latin faculty.)
“Darian has experienced school life from virtually every angle,” says Headmaster Kerry Brennan, “as a superb classroom teacher, as a highly motivating coach, as an attentive advisor, and as Class V Classmaster. He has been a great shepherd of his flock, and he knows this school deeply and well. From the time that he was 12 years old, he’s come to understand and live out Roxbury Latin’s mission. Darian knows our values and priorities and the ways in which we motivate and support boys. In our increasingly complex world, students are needing different kinds of support, and Darian is keenly attuned to kids and what they need. I know that he will be an especially effective Dean of Students.”
Over this past year, Darian has helped to lead the school’s inclusivity and equity efforts as RL’s Director of Community and Culture. As a member of the school’s senior leadership team, he championed RL’s ongoing efforts to know and love every boy; acknowledged opportunities for evolving the curriculum so that all students recognize themselves within it; provided professional development opportunities for faculty and staff related to issues of racism, bias, and creating an inclusive school community; and convened important student-focused discussions on topics of difference, equity, and justice. As Dean of Students he will continue this effort, with the collaboration of incoming faculty member Jackie Salas, who—in addition to teaching in the Math and Science Departments—will take on a role in helping to lead these efforts. Billy will also work closely with Darian as Assistant Dean of Students.
“I think the Dean of Students role is, in part, being a shepherd of the shepherds: helping advisors and classmasters support the students as best they can,” says Darian. “In addition to that, I see this role as helping to set the culture for the students and with the students. The world changes pretty quickly. In some ways the particular topics will present themselves, so—rather than setting the agenda—it will be part of my job to help build an environment in which, whatever presents itself, the students have the tools, and the skills, and the competencies to tackle it.”
“There’s no time in my association with Roxbury Latin that Paul Sugg was not the Dean of Students, so in some ways, it can be difficult to imagine what this role is without envisioning Paul in it,” says Darian. “In all those years, Paul has offered an incredible balance of patience, but also firmness, an ability to build a rapport with students, and an ability to navigate difficult terrain. The thing that I find confidence in, taking this job after Paul, is that he was so thoroughly himself, and comfortable in that way. That gives me the confidence to approach the role as myself, as well. Finally, I look forward to working closely with my colleagues across the school so that I can understand and approach the Dean of Students role from a holistic sense, which is very important to me.”
Since 2015, Matt McDonald has served as Director of Financial Aid and Associate Director of Admission at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut. Prior to that, he served in the admission and financial aid offices of Buckingham Brown and Nichols School in Cambridge for more than a decade. At both schools Matt had proven success in attracting and enrolling mission-appropriate students; driving admission-specific strategic planning; allocating financial aid dollars to support a talented and diverse student body; and ensuring that the entire admission process aligned closely with the school’s mission.
“Matt brings a set of skills that will be extremely valuable to us,” says Kerry. “He is an alumnus of the school, yet he has had the experience and the perspective of different schools—in particular, how they do admission work and honor their respective missions. I know that Matt will be an effective champion of what we stand for in the broader community. We’re lucky to still have with us RL’s last three Directors of Admission—in Tom Guden ’96, Andy Chappell, and now Billy Quirk ’04—to help support him as he steps into this role, and I’m confident that Matt will follow in that strong tradition.”
“Roxbury Latin was a transformative place for me as a student,” says Matt, “and I see my role as identifying students who will take full advantage of the range of opportunities available to them—and, in turn, helping them to see what a remarkable place Roxbury Latin could be for them.”
“From everything I’ve seen and experienced, the people of Roxbury Latin are true to their word when they describe who they are, what they value as an institution, and why. Fundamental to all of that, I think, is that RL really values each individual. I think regardless of your personality or range of interests, if you come to Roxbury Latin as a curious, engaged, caring, and kind person, you’re likely to have a positive experience. And while the school, at its core, remains very consistent and true to its values, there’s still a lot for me to learn. Like any great institution, RL has evolved and changed. I’m looking forward to getting to know Roxbury Latin today, and with that I feel a great responsibility to be sure we’re continuing to find the best kids in the Boston area to grow and learn at this school.”
Both Darian and Matt will assume their new roles as of July 1, 2021. In addition to his advisor duties, Darian will continue as a teacher of Classics and coach of football and basketball. In addition to his role leading the school’s admission efforts, Matt will also advise students and lead RL’s soccer program as Varsity Head Coach.