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About the Head of School

Joe Harvey joined Mark Day School in July of 2011. Prior to Mark Day School, Joe served in the senior administrative post of Academic Dean at Marin Academy. In his ten years there he was also Junior Class Dean (2001 to 2004) and athletic director (2004 to 2007); he taught English throughout his time at MA. In 2002, he earned his master's degree from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College.

Joe was born in Joliet, Illinois, where he grew up on a small farm, one of five children. His grandparents lived next door, and they were surrounded by extended family. Although neither of his parents had gone to college, they placed a high value on education, and there was always the expectation that college would be part of his life. Joe attended Harvard University, where he studied political science and was awarded his B.A. cum laude in 1989. It was at Harvard that Joe first fell in love with the sport of rowing—particularly the teamwork, perspective, and commitment it demanded. He was elected captain of the 1988-1989 varsity heavyweight crew team and was awarded the John Reardon Men's Award for Academic and Athletic Excellence.

After college, Joe moved to New York and worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs. After three years, he pursued his interest in teaching and began a career in education at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. Between 1992 and 2000, he served as the Assistant Director of Admission, as an English and math teacher, and as the head coach of the varsity crew team. Subsequently, Joe became Head of Upper School at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Texas.

Joe's son, Jed, is a member of the Mark Day class of 2018. Joe has served as a board member and vice president of the California Association of Independent Schools, has served on and chaired the CAIS Elementary Board of Standards, and serves on the CAIS Data Based School Improvement task force.

Joe shares, "My years in independent schools have convinced me of the importance of elementary education in nurturing a love of learning, engagement in a community, and kindness, compassion, and an ethical framework. Mark Day School focuses on those core values; indeed they are hallmarks of the school." He enjoys leading and continuing to strengthen a talented and committed faculty and administrative team; working collaboratively to shape and communicate the shared vision of the school's future; and leading the process of successful school advancement.