July 28, 2011 at 3:29 am

Meet Mr. Perkinson


Portrait by Drew Cleveland

Unless you haven’t been paying attention at all, our new headmaster’s name is Paul Perkinson and he looks somewhat like the above portrait; maybe you’ve seen him in the halls, maybe he even glared at you for texting during assembly.  He may not be punctual at the bus entrance (somebody’s forgotten to inform him that rain or shine he’s supposed to be there in the morning, was that not in the job description?) but as a student he had perfect attendance. He was a three sport athlete with a knack for math and an older sister who pushed him onstage for school plays. He says he loved school, and that his years spent there are full of happy memories.

He describes his young self as a “sheltered, southern episcopalian”. As a child with a blue teddy bear, he thought all bears were blue. He sang in a boy’s choir, but although singing was one of his great joys, he left the choir to play sports in high school. He was fascinated by European History, and the Holocaust, which he studied in college.

Mr. Perkinson loves to read and wisely states that a good book “invites you into a life you’ll never live” or “changes you”. Sophomores, you’ll be reading one of his favorites in Brit Lit, Heart of Darkness. Some of his favorite movies are Memento, Casablanca, and Saving Private Ryan. He also watches The Wizard of Oz annually.

As a new headmaster, there are many things he doesn’t know about the way things are done at GSA. In response to the disintegrating class barriers in the bleachers he says that his own close friends in high school were in grades above and below him, and that he encourages such mingling and has no intention of re-establishing the old custom. One of the disadvantages of being new is that all recent changes in policy are attributed to him. If something’s weird, point it out to him, he’s interested.

When he arrived on the peninsula by plane, the ocean was his favorite color. He described the color of the water after a storm as being an opaque and turgid green. He knew upon his arrival that Blue Hill was the right place to be.

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