Letter from David Magill

Posted Jan 16 2013

Dear Laboratory Schools' Parents,

Next year marks my eleventh year as Director of the Laboratory Schools, and these years have been among the most memorable of a career in education that began in 1970. In my life, and the life of these wonderful Schools, it also marks a natural time for a transition. And so, with gratitude and complete confidence in the Schools’ continued eminence, I am writing to let you know that I plan to retire on June 30, 2014.

If all goes as hoped, much will happen between now and that date. Earl Shapiro Hall will be opened, Blaine Hall will be renovated, the new arts building will be rising from the ground, and we will have surpassed the $55 million Lab+ Campaign goal. By announcing my plans well in advance, I hope to give the University and the Schools’ Board of Directors ample time to identify a director who will lead the schools into an exciting new era.

Because we have such a superb faculty and staff, I am confident about Lab’s future. These individuals remain professionally alive, focused on improving conditions for learning, while recognizing the importance of nurturing both the cognitive and affective domains of our students. I am particularly pleased with the outstanding progress that the Schools have made with our understanding of learning differences, including the addition of supports, in order to maintain Lab’s rigorous educational program.

School leadership also makes a difference in educational outcomes, and I will be leaving behind the strongest and most talented team of leaders with whom I have ever worked. Our Board of Directors, chaired so ably by John W. Rogers, Jr. ’76, has consistently and constructively guided our Schools’ improvement. The University’s commitment to the Schools remains a fundamental source of strength—just as Lab adds value to the University, the University indelibly marks Lab as its own.

I will miss the students. I continue to be touched by their kindness to each other. Their enthusiasm for learning, the depth of their questions, and their dedication to causes beyond themselves will forever be etched in my mind. And I will miss their families who have made education one of the highest priorities in their lives. Many of our families have made sacrifices to send their children to us, and many contribute time, talent, and resources to supplement and enhance what we can offer.

I want to thank all of you for the privilege of serving the Schools and getting to share in this important part of your lives. And I would particularly like to thank my loving and supportive spouse, Judy, who easily and intuitively knows how to complement my work. And with an eye on all the milestones and developments we will see between now and 2014, I look forward to working with you through this last chapter of my time at Lab.


David W. Magill

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