Cape Fear Academy names next Head of School

A message from the CFA Board of Trustees:

Dear CFA Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Cape Fear Academy, I am pleased to announce that Ed Ellison has been selected as our next Head of School beginning July 1, 2020.

Ed Ellison

A graduate of Tufts University and Harvard Business School, Ed brings 17 years of independent school experience as a teacher, coach, and administrator. Ed’s prior experience as Head of St. Johns Country Day School in Orange Park, Florida, a PK-12 independent day school with 640 students, will serve CFA well. He brings a fresh perspective on ways CFA can support our faculty with training and professional development to enhance an already robust curriculum. His mission-driven, values-based leadership style will help CFA continue to grow enrollment and improve student retention. His experience in strategic planning and his understanding of the independent school business model will ensure future success for generations to come. Ed’s energy, loyalty, and respect for others will cultivate relationships with faculty, staff, students, and parents as well as broaden relationships throughout the greater community. The Board of Trustees is confident Ed will move our school to the next level of academic excellence! When I spoke to Ed he said, “I am humbled, honored and thrilled CFA chose me to be the next Head of School.”

Empty nesters, Ed and his wife of 35 years, Kathy, will be moving to Wilmington next summer. Kathy is also a graduate of Tufts and Columbia Business School. She is the Marketing Communications Specialist at MelroseWakefield Healthcare in Boston. A fitness and yoga enthusiast, Kathy also enjoys walking, exploring new areas, and chatting over coffee with friends and family. An All-New England runner as a collegiate athlete, Ed stays fit by competing in triathlons. He also enjoys golf, travel, reading non-fiction, and following pro sports.

The Ellisons have two children, twins Matt and Emily. Matt, a graduate of Georgetown University, is a Cyber Research Associate at the Hoover Institution in California. Emily, a graduate of Stetson University, is the Director of Marketing for Setfive Consulting and Head Coach of the Matignon High School varsity swim team in Boston.

The selection of Ed as our next Head of School is the culmination of a comprehensive search process lead by Sandra Williams ’82. Sandra’s diligent, tireless, and steadfast leadership helped the Search Committee navigate through many resumes, philosophy statements, references, semi-finalist interviews, campus visits, behavioral assessments, and community surveys with grace. The process included valuable input from our community through meetings with Wickenden Associates last spring to create the Opportunity Statement and again this fall with surveys completed after the finalist visits. A tremendous thank you to Sandra, the Search Committee, and everyone who participated in this thorough process.

I also want to thank Don Berger for his leadership as Head of School over the last seven years. Don has served CFA with distinction, ensuring our students have excelled in classrooms, laboratories, on stages, and in athletics. CFA graduates are prepared for college and life! I am grateful for Don’s professional approach, innovative ideas, and commitment to excellence and look forward to honoring him before his tenure ends in June.As always, thank you for your continued support of CFA.


David Sprunt  ’85

Chair of the Board of Trustees