Alex Curtis, Ph.D.
Head of School, Choate Rosemary Hall
Since coming to Choate Rosemary Hall in 2011, Dr. Curtis has made it his mission to support and advance the School, combining a forward-thinking approach to learning with the traditions that honor Choate’s history. Guided by the School’s foundational documents and strategic plans, Dr. Curtis has established Choate as an innovative leader committed to transformational student experiences.
Collaboration and community serve as the cornerstones for several capital projects undertaken during Dr. Curtis’ tenure. Through the construction and renovation of LEED-certified buildings across campus—each of which support collaborative learning spaces and communal gathering spaces—the School has demonstrated a tangible commitment to educational best practices and ongoing sustainability efforts. Projects include the Kohler Environmental Center (opened in 2012), the Cameron and Edward Lanphier Center for Mathematics and Computer Science (opened in 2015), St. John Hall student center (opened in 2017), Ann and George Colony Hall (opened in 2020), and the renovation and expansion of Hill House (opening in 2021).
Under his leadership, the School has also made tremendous strides toward becoming more technologically adept and accessible. The full adoption of a one-to-one iPad program for faculty and students, for example, has had a widespread effect on the success of on- and off-campus learning. Cultivating an ethos of experimentation, students and faculty are encouraged to use technology in a variety of ways across course work, activities and personal pursuits. By providing tools like the iPad and spaces like the i.d.Lab, technology is not just adopted, but adapted throughout a 21st century curriculum that highlights multidisciplinary opportunities in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
This beneficial and intentional growth is echoed through Dr. Curtis’ work with community and campus initiatives. Upon his arrival in 2011, he established the Task Force on Community to identify opportunities to strengthen the Choate experience for all constituents. In 2016, he established the Department of Equity and Inclusion, and he subsequently initiated a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force in 2020 as part of the School’s commitment to fighting racial bias and inequality. Task Force work has provided a structured framework for Choate to build community, heighten community awareness, and recommit to the equity, inclusion, support and success of students, faculty, staff and alumni. This dedication to a culture of integrity, respect and compassion is highlighted in the School’s Statement of Expectations, created in 2013 as a campus-wide set of standards to be reviewed and committed to each year by every member of the community. Such attention to integrity and intentional growth in all initiatives has led to an increase in diversity for both the faculty and student bodies, and has also resulted in Choate’s strengthened presence in current Admission markets and expansion into new ones. Beyond campus, Dr. Curtis is an active member of the boards of TABS (The Association Of Boarding Schools), CAIS (Connecticut Association of Independent Schools) and Fay School.
Dr. Curtis earned his doctorate from Princeton University's Department of Art and Archaeology. A lifelong teacher and learner, he still teaches Architectural History every spring term and is a constant presence on campus for students and adults alike. He can often be found on the paths on campus, walking with students or talking with faculty and staff. He is married to Dr. Elizabeth Fecko-Curtis and is the father of two sons, Morgan '17, and Sam '20.