List of 1 news stories.

  • Michael C. Wirtz, Parent '29 and '31

    About Michael C. Wirtz

    Michael C. Wirtz became Hackley School’s 12th Head of School, effective July 1, 2016.

    Mr. Wirtz came to Hackley from St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA where he served as Assistant Head of School/Dean of Faculty for 6 years. In this role, he provided strategic advice to the Head of School, and served as Acting Head for the first half of the 2013-14 academic year. Mr. Wirtz also led St. Mark’s STEM education initiative, resulting in the creation of programs, curricula, and the design of a new facility. Prior to St. Mark's, Mr. Wirtz taught at Concord Academy in Concord, MA for 9 years. During this tenure, he served as a chemistry teacher, Science Department Chair, house parent, advisor, and coach. Mr. Wirtz began his teaching career at The Montgomery Academy in Montgomery, AL after transitioning to education from a research position at Pfizer, Inc.
    Read More
About Us

Head of School's Message

Enter Here to Be and Find a Friend. Carved over the school’s entrance, these words welcome and remind us of our commitment to one another. As one of Hackley’s core values, they shape the experience of both students and adults on the Hilltop.
Friendship, as with learning, requires an “all in” approach, words often used to describe a Hackley education. From exploring the breadth of offerings and experiences to building relationships that will last a lifetime, Hackley students are committed to getting the most out of their time on the Hilltop. They do so not to win a prize or to get to the next step. Instead, our culture emphasizes that the development of deep connections in learning are essential to living a meaningful life, transcending individual achievement.

Hackley’s aspirational Portrait of a Graduate guides our K-12 program, which not only develops a student’s intellect, it shapes their character. Emphasizing the importance of creating and cultivating an inclusive community where every member authentically feels they belong, Hackley has committed time and resources to our diversity, equity, and inclusion plan. Never self-satisfied, Hackley continues strengthening all aspects of the school through implementing our strategic plan, Redefining Excellence: Learning Beyond Boundaries. From promoting civil discourse to expanding service-learning to highlighting the creative process, this plan articulates a dynamic vision for a redefined, broad-based liberal arts education that will serve students well for any future. 

Schools are more than their offerings and facilities, they are human institutions united in service of a noble mission. At Hackley, the school is characterized by warmth and energy, an environment where lasting relationships are easily formed. Faculty live on and near campus, raising families and participating in the life of the school. They provide extra help, coach athletic teams, run clubs and extracurricular activities, serve on the boarding corridor, and mentor and advise students. Our unique 5-day boarding program allows Upper School students the chance to experience the best of both a boarding and a day school: living at school during the week and returning home on the weekend. Day and boarding students easily build friendships and benefit from the presence of Hackley faculty well after the last class ends. Parents contribute to and benefit from the community, joining the Hackley Parents’ Association and developing their own lasting relationships. All these factors contribute to the rich fabric of Hackley: an all-in community that fosters deep connections, rooted in a sense of inclusion and belonging.

Although COVID-19 currently prevents visitors from enjoying an in-person campus visit, I invite you to explore our website and join a virtual admissions tour. I think you will agree that our all-in culture shines through, making Hackley a place where your student will flourish and will Enter Here to Be and Find a Friend.  

With all best wishes,

Michael C. Wirtz
Head of School, Parent, Class of 2029 and 2031

Recent Articles:

List of 19 news stories.

  • Michael C. Wirtz, Head of School

    Forward Together! New on Hackley Perspectives 

    Head of School Michael Wirtz’s remarks from Convocation 2020 are now available on Hackley Perspectives. “From social distancing to masks to drooling into a vial each week — and then bringing it to school! — it is clear that 2020–2021 will be a school year unlike any other.”
    Read More
  • Michael C. Wirtz P ’29, P ’31

    From the Head of School

    (Hackley Review Summer 2020) Several months ago, we chose to focus on character in this issue of Hackley Review. In light of the current global state and the new reality we are all facing, that decision seems almost prescient. We are living through what we can only hope is a once in a lifetime moment, one that requires resolve, integrity, cooperation, ingenuity, and the need to act in the collective best interest. Simply put, it requires character.
    Read More
  • A Better New Normal

    As we approach the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we recognize the unrest happening around the country beyond the challenges of COVID-19. Inspired by Community Council President Taylor Robin, Head of School Michael Wirtz reflects on the current climate and his hopes for a better "new normal" in this Hackley Perspectives piece.
    Read More
  • Chapel Talk: Head of School Michael Wirtz

    For the last faculty Chapel Talk of the 2019-20 academic year, Head of School Michael Wirtz addressed the Class of 2020. He spoke about looking through the windows of time and making connections with the past and future. Watch the Chapel Talk video.
    Read More
  • A Message from Hackley's Head of School

    On April 18 2020, Hackley's Board of Trustees met virtually for the first time in the school's history.  Much of the agenda focused on the school's response to COVID-19.

    Even as the Board reflected on the present and helped school leadership anticipate future needs, trustees expressed their profound appreciation for the Hackley community's response to this situation, and recorded this video.
    Read More
  • Mrs. Hackley returning to campus with student assistance.

    Stewarding Our Mission

    What does it mean to be a Hackley trustee?  Head of School Michael Wirtz, in partnership with Board President John Canoni '86, offer this thoughtful reflection on the meaning of Trustee service at Hackley – a timely message as we approach Founder’s Day, when we honor Mrs. Hackley and her many accomplishments, including the creation of Hackley School.
    Read More
  • Find Your Path by Drawing It

    Head of School Michael Wirtz opened the 2019-20 Hackley School year challenging students to face the "blank page" of the year ahead as a chance to create their own paths forward.
    Read More
  • Habits of Accomplishment

    New on Hackley Perspectives, Head of School Michael Wirtz reflects on the values represented by a Hackley diploma.
    Read More
  • Creating Inclusive Community

    "Diversity at Hackley encompasses more than identity (“backgrounds”) and it requires that we embrace the value that arises in a diverse community: differences in experiences, opinions, and thought (“perspectives”) that enrich the learning environment for everyone." Michael Wirtz shared this essay in our blog, Hackley Perspectives.
    Read More
  • At Convocation, Community Council President Zaya Gooding challenged the K-12 student body to make the most of the opportunities offered by Hackley.

    Embracing Courage: New on Hackley Perspectives

    Michael Wirtz helps us kick off the new year in Hackley's blog, Hackley Perspectives, with these thoughts on embracing courage in many forms.
    Read More
  • "And the Award Goes to..."

    Michael Wirtz offers these thoughts in Hackley Perspectives as he reflects on our year end celebrations and the meaning of the awards Hackley bestows.
    Read More
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC (Photo by NPS/volunteer Bill Shugarts)

    The Power of Words

    As children, we are taught a common response to hurtful words: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” As we grow towards adulthood, we learn that “Actions speak louder than words.” While both pieces of wisdom contain an element of truth, we all understand that language has power. One need not look beyond headlines and soundbites to find language that divides, promotes harmful ideologies, and even dehumanizes others. Language has power, especially in an age of rapid and viral dissemination through social media.
    Read More
  • Michael Wirtz Opens Johnson Center Celebration

    On January 8, Head of School Michael Wirtz welcomed the K-12 school community to the new Johnson Center for Health and Wellness and led students in a ribbon cutting. Read his full remarks here.
    Read More
  • In Search of Good News

    The news of the shooting in Las Vegas seems to be the latest in what has been months of tumultuous world events. Like most of us, I learned of this news before heading into school. I find myself struggling to process the scale of the tragedy in Las Vegas, while simultaneously grappling with the other troubling events that fill headlines and news feeds. Many of the events of the day leave me asking the simple question that will never receive a satisfactory answer, “Why?” From there, I go in search of good news, yet am confronted with waves of sadness, violence, discord, and pain.
    Read More
  • Teaching and Learning

    I am an avid golfer. One recent round in particular sticks out for me: my first 9-hole round with my son, just weeks before his 6th birthday. We played with friends, another father and his 11 year-old daughter. Both kids were beginners, yet equipped with the necessary ingredients for success: interest in the game, a positive attitude, and a fearless approach to making mistakes. Hole after hole, I witnessed the same process: address the ball, concentrate, swing, make contact (or not), and advance the ball toward the hole…mostly in the right direction. It was learning in action.
    Read More
  • Michael C. Wirtz, Hackley School’s 12th Head of School

    Convocation 2017 Opening Remarks

    Thank you to Francesca for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us. I am delighted to work with you and the rest of Community Council to continue making Hackley a special place to work, live, and grow for all of us. As we open this year, I wanted to share some ideas with you. More specifically, I want to share some ideas about the idea of ideas just to give you an idea of my idea. Get the idea?
    Read More
  • Head of School Michael Wirtz

    Welcome to Hackley!

    "Good morning and welcome to Hackley!"  The students and teachers filling the Hackley Performing Arts Center to capacity--including the entire Hackley Middle School as well as our Round Square visitors from around the Americas and the world, returned a hearty "Good Morning!" as Michael Wirtz officially launched the Young Round Square Conference dedicated to the theme "Exploring Democracy in the Big Apple."  Read on for his remarks....
    Read More
  • Taking part in the Lower School Building Bridges program.

    Our Mission’s Challenge

    By Michael C. Wirtz, Head of School

    Hackley challenges students to grow in character, scholarship, and accomplishment, to offer unreserved effort, and to learn from the varying perspectives and backgrounds in our community and the world.

    Taped to the base of the computer monitor on my desk are the 29 words that guide Hackley School: its mission statement. I look over these words countless times each day, consulting them as my guiding light in making decisions and in leading the school forward. If forced to distill the mission statement to its essence, I would argue that the final directive—“to learn from the varying perspectives and backgrounds in our community and the world”—lies at the heart of Hackley. Teaching students to see issues through a new lens, gaining insights to different ways of thinking, is evidence of Hackley succeeding at “challenging students to grow in character, scholarship, and accomplishment.” The school’s commitment to a free exchange of ideas as articulated in the mission creates the framework of our learning environment, while also highlighting our greatest challenge.
    Read More
  • Michael C. Wirtz, Headmaster at Convocation 2016

    A Learning Agenda

    Michael C. Wirtz, Head of School: As Hackley begins its 118th year and I start my first, I am focused on increasing my understanding of this special community with an eye towards our future. What do we want the school to be like for our students now and in the years ahead?
    Read More
© Hackley School | Privacy Policy & Terms of Use & Nondiscrimination Hackley School is a registered 501(3)c