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.
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About Us

Head of School's Message

Enter Here to Be and Find a Friend. These words, which are carved over the school’s entrance, welcome and remind us of our commitment to one another. They are emblematic of our core values and they shape the experience of both students and adults on the Hilltop.

As a K-12 independent school on a single campus, we believe deeply in the importance of a diverse community: as learners, artists, athletes, and thinkers; as friends and peers; and as a school focused on developing personal character. At Hackley, students build lifelong relationships with one another and with faculty members, whether they enter in Lower, Middle, or Upper School. Relationships lie at the heart of the school, enriching the educational experience, and ensuring that students “learn from the varying perspectives and backgrounds in our community and the world.”

From curricular to extracurricular offerings, our program supports our aspirational Portrait of a Graduate, a mission-driven articulation of the skills, habits, and mindsets that are developed through every aspect of a Hackley education. Hackley’s new strategic plan, Redefining Excellence: Learning Beyond Boundaries, is the vehicle that brings the Portrait of a Graduate to life. I encourage you to explore Redefining Excellence, which demonstrates the continued evolution of the school’s program with an unrelenting commitment to our core values.

While exploring the website is helpful, nothing replaces a visit to campus. Visitors frequently remark on the beauty of the Hilltop, yet they are nearly always more impressed by the warmth of the school, a characteristic that stems from the genuine sense of community present here. Faculty live on and near campus, raising their families and participating in the life of the school throughout the day. They offer extra help, coach athletic teams, run clubs and extracurricular activities, serve as dorm parents, and are present to serve as mentors and advisors. Additionally, our unique 5-day boarding program allows Upper School students the chance to experience the best of both boarding and 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. All of these factors create a home-like feeling on Hackley’s campus, because for many of us, it is.

I invite you to learn more about Hackley and to visit us on the Hilltop. I am confident that you will leave with an appreciation for our values, our program, and our people.

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.”
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • Habits of Accomplishment

    New on Hackley Perspectives, Head of School Michael Wirtz reflects on the values represented by a Hackley diploma.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • "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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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?
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  • 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....
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  • 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.
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  • 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?
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