The Board of Westminster Academy is excited to announce that Mr. Ralph Janikowsky has accepted an offer to become the next Headmaster, beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. Mr. Janikowsky has spent the last ten years as the Upper School Principal of Rockbridge Academy, a classical Christian school of 348 students in Millersville, Maryland.
Eighteen months ago, the Board of Westminster Academy established a search committee to identify and hire the next Headmaster. The committee commenced a national search, researched and evaluated numerous qualified candidates, and ultimately narrowed the search down to a short list of finalists in October 2015. This process included an extensive and thorough evaluation of each candidate in partnership with search consultants Laura Coverstone and Ed Poff of JobFitMatters, to determine who best fit the needs of Westminster, both now and in the future. After multiple interviews with the Search Committee and the Board, Ralph Janikowsky was unanimously recommended by the committee and the Board to become the next Headmaster.
Ralph Janikowsky is a long-time leader in classical Christian education. At Rockbridge Academy, Mr. Janikowsky has been instrumental as a teacher, coach, and an administrator. His list of accomplishments at Rockbridge are extensive, including tripling the size of the upper school. Rockbridge has the highest average SAT score of all ACCS (Association of Classical Christian Schools) schools. In the past six years, Rockbridge has had six National Merit Finalists and 27 commended students. Ralph has served on ACCS accreditation committees and spoken at national ACCS conferences. Ralph is a graduate (with distinction) of the Naval Academy. He holds a Masters of Arts in Strategic Studies from the National War College, graduating as the top naval officer in his class. Ralph has commanded a Spruance class destroyer and an Aegis cruiser, having been chosen as one of only twelve from a pool of over a thousand candidates. In that role, Ralph was responsible for over 400 sailors and a $1 billion ship. Ralph finished his naval career as a Captain (O-6) and Director of Navy Program Analysis and Budgeting in the Pentagon. The next step for Ralph was Admiral, but instead he chose to leave the Navy to go to work for Rockbridge, where his daughters attended and wife Linda worked as a teacher. He chose this path out of a deep passion for mentoring young people in the advancement of God’s kingdom. Ralph has been an Elder at Reformed Presbyterian Church of Bowie, MD, for 18 years.
Ralph’s wife Linda has not only been a tremendous support for Ralph throughout his career, but is quite accomplished in her own right. Also a Navy veteran, Linda received notoriety as one of the first group of females assigned to sea duty, and she also taught at the Naval Academy. Linda has a passion for classical Christian education, having worked at Rockbridge for 13 years teaching upper school math and coordinating academic support. Ralph and Linda have two daughters, Kristen who is a student at Auburn University and Leslie who is an RUF intern at Rhodes College.
Westminster Academy eagerly anticipates the Janikowskys’ arrival and is thrilled to have them. Westminster would like to express our sincerest thanks to all who participated in the process. Special thanks to the members of the Search Committee for the countless hours sacrificed over the last eighteen months in service to Westminster. The Committee was comprised of faculty members, parents, and Board members: Bill Martin (Chair), Blakely Fletcher (Coordinator), Brad Johnson, Cathy Boyd, Kelly Wells, Greg Kinney, Vicki Halford, Don Ray, George Wilson, Tim Keith (Board Chair) and Debbie Frazier. Westminster would like to extend a special thanks to Debbie Frazier (Interim Head of School) for stepping up to the helm from her role as Head of Lower School to lead Westminster during this time of transition. She will be returning to the role of Head of Lower School next school year.
We will keep you updated on his transition throughout the coming year. Questions can be directed to Elizabeth Perkins, Director of Admission and Marketing at 901-380-9192.