The ceremonial investiture of Jonathan Downs ’98 as seventh headmaster of Millbrook School took place in front of a gathering of students, faculty, friends, family, and members of the board of trustees. After the chapel bell tolled seven times, longtime Millbrook employee Andy Skold performed a specially composed banjo tune followed by a reading from Tony McKinley ’98, a classmate and dear friend of Mr. Downs. Later in the ceremony, Bizzy Katz ’21 performed Ben E. King’s classic Stand By Me, backed by Millbrook Singers. Board Chair Bill Menard ’78 spoke about the collaborative relationship between the board and school head. Former Headmaster Drew Casertano praised Mr. Downs’ ambitions for Millbrook present and future.
After sharing gratitude for the love and support of family, friends, and colleagues, Mr. Downs addressed the assembled, extolling the virtues of the community and outlining a path forward:
“Millbrook is no prep-school snobatorium or bastion of elitism. We are as humble and hungry as we are privileged and proud. We are confident, not arrogant. We are stylish, not brazen. Substantiative and not pretentious. Millbrook is a warm, welcoming, and intentional institution that believes in the potential of people.”