As the 2011/2012 school years winds down, Fayetteville Academy is set to welcome its new head of school, Ray Quesnel. In the education business for 23 years, Quesnel has been a teacher and coach as well as an administrator, and says he has loved every aspect of the many roles he’s assumed.
He served at The Asheville School as a teacher, coach and administrator for 11 years before moving to Forsyth Country Day School in Winston Salem, N.C., in 2000. He is currently the athletic director at Forsyth Country Day School and is the president of the PACIS conference and a representative on the Board of Managers of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association.
He wasn’t looking for something new, but when long-time friend Chip Bishop, who was on the Fayetteville Academy Search Committee, approached Quesnel about the head-of-school position, he was intrigued.
“The more I came down to interview and the more I got to meet the people, the more interested I became,” said Quesnel. “We really like the school. In fact, I’ve known of the school for many years. It is an excellent school with a lot of potential to become even stronger and better.”
Of course the academy won him over, but if there was any doubt about whether or not moving to Fayetteville was the thing to do it was the community that sealed the deal for the Quesnel family.
“We really liked the sense of community,” said Quesnel. “We are looking forward to learning about the community and being involved and working with so many different people. Fayetteville is a unique city and community. With the military and international connections there is so much to see and do and learn.”
With a long list of hobbies that include sports, music- and art-related activities, Quesnel anticipates an easy transition for his family and is looking forward to being involved in the community.
As far as Fayetteville Academy goes, Quesnel plans to spend some time getting to know the faculty, staff, administration and parents at the school.
“I can’t say enough how supportive the key administrators have been. I am trying to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can,” said Quesnel. “I also want to be careful because I think it is arrogant to come in and try to change too many things. I don’t want to come in and start making changes before learning the culture and reasons the systems are what they are. I am looking to make decisions in the best interest of the school as a team,” he added.
Quesnel said that he is excited that there are experienced and excellent staff, teachers and administrators who have the best interest of the school and students in mind. He thinks it will make his transition that much easier as he takes the helm and leads the school into the future.
Photo: Ray Quesnel