Get To Know Head of School Gallagher


Head of School Gallagher looks forward to the school year.

This year, Boston Latin School welcomed Mr. Jason Gallagher (‘91) as the 29th Head of School.

Prior to officially assuming the role in July, Mr. Gallagher served as principal of the Harvard-Kent K-6 School in Charlestown for 11 years and has held various positions within the public school systems in Massachusetts. He is also the parent of two BLS alumni. 

Recently, the Argo News editors spoke with Mr. Gallagher to get to know him better.

Argo: What goals do you have for the school year?

Gallagher: We want to make sure that BLS respects its classical traditions, but grows with the times. Under Ms. Skerritt, a lot of wonderful things happened. We want to continue to do things that are going well and take a look at things that need to be adjusted to help our students be more successful. I want our students to have a great experience here at BLS and be ready for college, a career and success after this. The most important thing that we do as a school is to make sure that it feels safe and welcoming so that everyone can be their best selves here.

A: Academic life, especially at BLS, can be very stressful. What do you do to relax?

G: I get up at 5:00 A.M. and go for a run, which gets my day off to a good start with a clear head. At night, I do Sudoku and read some nonfiction and fiction. Giving yourself some grace to step away from everything and do things that you like is so important. 

A: How will you lead differently from previous Heads of School?

G: I’m lucky enough to have known the last few Heads of School.  know that I am different from all of them, and all I can do is be the best me. There are certain things from each of those leaders that I want to take from — Ms. Skerritt was an exceptional communicator, and that’s an important part of her legacy. Mr. Contompasis was incredibly proud of the history of BLS and tried to maintain the traditions we have here. For me, it’s important to be out there and visible. I want students to see me in their classrooms because I want to see what you’re doing and thank the teachers for their work. ISo, I’ll take a little bit from all the past leaders and add my own twist.

A: Will you be using your presence in classes to get student perspectives and inform decision making?

G: Absolutely. If I walk into one class and there’s something really outstanding going on, I’ll think about how other classes could get the same opportunity. If there’s something that students enjoy that we’re not putting enough energy or resources into, that certainly affects decision-making. If students or teachers are talking about a course that’s not available that we’d like to have, what do we need to do to fill that gap? After a few days of school and multiple assemblies, I’ve started to see what has been working and what needs to be better — small adjustments that will make things even stronger in the future.

A: Do you have any concerns about this school year?

G: I’m worried that sometimes there’s noise coming from outside of the school that people listen to. If there are legitimate concerns that students, staff or families bring up, we want to make sure we’re addressing those so we can be better. We’re not perfect, but I want to make sure that our school is protected from people who have no connection to us saying things that make us feel bad about ourselves.

A: If you had to choose a few songs to define your life, what would they be?

G: One of my favorite groups growing up was New Edition, especially “Can You Stand the Rain?” which was big when I was here at Boston Latin. As I got older, I started listening to more rock and roll songs, like “Live Forever” by a band named Oasis. 

A: What’s one thing about yourself you’d like to share with students that they might not know?

G: I was an average student here at BLS — I wasn’t a “top-of-the-class” kid. I was the first person in my family to ever go to college. I worked extremely hard to graduate from BLS. I think the fact that I had to battle to be successful here helps me empathize more with the students who are struggling. 

A: What book(s) are you reading right now?

G: I just finished reading Nice Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum. I’m also reading the fiction book The Island by Adrian McKinty.