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Seven Questions With....            

Kathleen O'Neill Jamieson 
Head of School,
National Cathedral School



Jean Brune
John Lewis
Bill Heiser
Lisa Nagel
Brent Johnson

Kevin Clark

Chrissy Aull
Steve Buettner
Valaida Wise

Paul Barker

AIMS Insights is a newsletter started in the summer of 2016 with the goal to communicate AIMS activities, as well as highlight interesting and exciting AIMS member school events. We also aim to stress the value of independent education overall, as well as the process of accreditation.

AIMS profiles a new school leader in each issue of Insights in our series entitled Seven Questions With...For our current profile, we reached out to the Head of School at National Cathedral School, Kathleen Jamieson.


Tell us how you first got involved in with AIMS. 
I was involved initially through the accreditation process, which is an impressive feature of AIMS work.

What's your first memory of being a Head of School?
Walking around campus on a beautiful starry night and recognizing the weight of the leadership role. The sense of responsibility was--and still is--awesome.

What do you find most challenging about independent education?  
The great challenge is to continually rise to the new challenge before you. Multiple constituencies have varied expectations of the school and its leaders. The challenges never cease and are always worthy.

If you could change one thing about independent schools, what would it be?
They would be accessible to any qualified child.

What do you wish other people knew about AIMS?
While AIMS serves as a supportive organization, I think it’s worth reminding people of the leadership role AIMS plays in school development. We all work toward fulfilling accreditation plans recommended by AIMS. That guiding hand is a collaborative effort of independent school professionals who voluntarily review and guide the future planning for our schools.

Tell us about someone who has influenced your work?
Mr. Archer Harman, a long term head of school, served as the interim head of one of my schools before I took the leap into headship. I saw in him a model of headship that appealed to me. He seemed more the teacher than administrator and was an empathetic and kind school leader.

If you weren't serving as a Head of School, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
If not a school head, I would be a teacher or a doctor. I was a very happy English teacher before becoming a head, and I continue to teach as head of school. The science writing elective I have developed combines my love of writing and science. I can’t imagine a more fulfilling life than the one I’ve enjoyed living—often with my children—in schools.

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