K-8, Co-educational Independent School


Announcing New Head of Middle School

BJ Ketchem to be next Head of Middle School

Head of School, Scott Baytosh has appointed BJ Ketchem to be ACDS’s next Head of Middle School. BJ has most recently served as the Assistant Principal at Ferdinand T. Day School in Alexandria, where he was recruited to help launch that new STEM-based school. Prior to that, he was the Assistant Principal at Patrick Henry School, where he helped lay the foundation for that school’s expansion from a K-5 to K-8 structure. He also served as Assistant Principal at Hyde-Addison Elementary and taught at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School for many years where he worked with our Head of Lower School, Jenn Street.  Before working in schools BJ served as a counselor for middle and high school aged children. His academic specialty is math, including training in Singapore Math, and he has served as a math coach, where he has gained extensive experience training and supporting teachers in math instruction. As an Assistant Principal, he has also supported curriculum development in multiple subjects and been responsible for supporting faculty growth across disciplines.  An avid athlete, he has significant coaching experience and has worked extensively with middle school, high school, collegiate, and professional athletes.


His former supervisors note his exceptional ability to develop relationships with staff, parents, and students; to coach and support teachers; and to build effective and cohesive teams.  In his various professional roles, he has distinguished himself as someone who can manage the complex and detailed administrative tasks of a school with efficiency, clarity, timeliness, and attention to detail. He is a learner by nature and has conveyed a true passion for joining the ACDS team and fulfilling our unique independent school mission.


The search committee reviewed over 60 applications, conducted numerous phone screenings leading to seven committee interviews, and ultimately invited four finalists to campus for day-long interviews.  We were very fortunate to have a number of strong candidates to consider, each of whom brought different assets to the table. In the end, however, BJ stood out for the breadth of his experience; the depth of his knowledge and skill in curriculum, teaching, supervision, management, and team-building; his grasp of the middle school years; the strength of his communication skills; and his enthusiasm for and sensitivity to the culture and community of our school.


BJ will assume the role of Head of Middle School on July 1, 2019.
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