As Head of School for Rolling Hills Prep, Palos Verdes resident Peter McCormack did a stellar job bringing the school to prominence. He has recently been appointed Head of School at the Episcopal School of Los Angeles (ESLA), where it is expected he will continue his success with students and faculty alike.
McCormack initially came to ESLA as Interim Head of School in 2018 from Rolling Hills Preparatory School in San Pedro, where he served as Head of School for 25 years. In addition to leading RHP (and teaching physics, robotics, theater, and coaching soccer as needed from time-to-time), Peter led the Renaissance School, a unique “school within a school” serving bright students with learning differences. He was chosen unanimously by the Board of Trustees.
“I am humbled and look forward to leading this growing school as it continues to serve a truly diverse cross-section of Los Angeles families, and educates the next generation of ethical leaders.”
Peter’s passion in education is for classrooms that engage students through outreach to all learning styles. He loves lessons that include plenty of student interaction, collaboration, and physical movement, and a variety of methods to develop and assess understanding.
When asked about the current COVID-19 crisis, McCormack added, “The Coronavirus has created new challenges for students and teachers. The best educational tool for any young person is the collaboration and camaraderie of peers from different backgrounds—peers who have stories and perspectives to share, the stuff of life that simply cannot be gleaned from a textbook. That process of teaching has now taken on a virtual element.”
A former soccer, rugby, and squash player, Peter also enjoys music, the theater, and travel, especially to France. He is a welcome addition to the ESLA family.
Incorporated in 2009, ESLA began by providing tuition-free afterschool programs that offered playful, project-based learning in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). In 2012 ESLA opened its doors to 28 full-time students in the Middle School—its first brave group of scholastic pioneers. Since then its community has expanded to include over 200 students in grades six through twelve, and the school has developed one of the most vibrant liberal arts curricula in the city. ESLA has proudly graduated three senior classes, with graduates attracting well over $5 million in college scholarship offers, and will grow to include 360 students—its target capacity—within the next five years.
ESLA’s focus is on broad access, spirited study, and the most forward-thinking pedagogical practices. Its emphasis is on community-building, social justice, and the highest academic standards. ESLA is dedicated to raising young people who understand the value of ethical self-reflection, rigorous inquiry, and generous civic engagement.