With several spring and summer celebrations that allowed well-wishers to tell their stories and offer thanks, Richard H. Ferguson, an esteemed educational leader in the Mid-South, bid a fond farewell to the St. George’s community at his retirement.
The seventh Head of School for the school, Ferguson was instrumental in the evolution of St. George’s into a more inclusive, three-campus educational model not duplicated anywhere else in the country.
Known for his student-centered approach and quirky sense of humor (as well as his funny hats and colorful bowties), Ferguson transitioned in 2007 from day-to-day administrative responsibilities to shouldering more fundraising activities and developing new student programs. He was instrumental in creating St.
George’s Great Outdoors, a collective program of trips that connects students with the environment.
Since announcing his retirement, past and present members of the St. George’s community have stepped forward to honor Ferguson and his wife, Elizabeth, by endowing the Ferguson Fund for Outdoor Experiences.
“So much of the wonderful and warm school culture found at St. George’s can be attributed to Rick,” said Ross Peters, current Head of School. “His vision is very much the foundation for our current work of shaping engaged students who are risk-takers and fence-menders.”
“My love for the school runs deep,” Ferguson said. “St. George’s has truly been a way of life for me. It’s a special place because of the people involved.”
As a tireless crusader for outdoor education and a staunch believer that kids learn best when learning is fun, Ferguson is responsible for much of the active learning present at the school, including beloved traditions like the Fifth Grade Mud Trudge and Kindergarten Dads Day in the Woods.