Q&A with Brian Yager


Courtesy of Brian Yager

Brian Yager poses for a family photo with his wife and kids. Yager, a California native, is moving to work at the Upper School.

by Meilan Steimle and Rashmi Iyer

The staff of the Winged Post had the opportunity to interview Brian Yager, Harker’s new Head of School starting the 2017-2018 school year. Previously, Yager served as the Head of School of the Keystone School, a private, co-educational school based in San Antonio for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Prior to living in Texas, Yager was also employed at schools in Idaho and California and also visited Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, as a summer school instructor.


Winged Post: What motivated your switch from Keystone to Harker?

Brian Yager: I was contacted in February by the search consultants who were responsible for finding the next Head of School. I went online and checked out some history of the school in the last ten years, and I was amazed by the excellence that has clearly been part of the high school. Everything about the position is really appealing to me. Harker checked all the boxes of the things that are important to me that Keystone does too. It’s a big school and has impact, excellence with a wonderful culture and a vibrant community. [Another] big thing for me is that I’m from California. I grew up in Santa Barbara and so did my wife, so we are at a point in our personal lives where we would love to get back to the Golden State and be close to the family and friends with whom we’ve grew up. It’s hard to leave Keystone because they have a wonderful community, but the job opportunity at Harker made it a no-brainer.

WP: Preliminarily, do you have a vision for where you want to take the school as Head of School?

BY: A big piece of the leadership role for any institution is for the head to help push towards the future and to articulate a vision. For me, it’s really important that that vision be a collective vision, not one person’s vision. To have a good sense of the future of the school and where [to focus] my leadership energy, I’ve got to get to know the place [and the people] better, to understand the history of the school, what we do well and how we cash those profits and build on them in the future. I’m glad education is an enterprise. Through education, we grow individually, but we also grow in advance collectively. I think all schools have the opportunity and the obligation to work to better society at large, not just to better the lives of the kids who attend, but to better the lives of all the communities that those students will impact, those in the short term and long term. With schools like Harker that are at the forefront and have students who are doing incredible things, we have a real opportunity to lay the groundwork and have a huge impact for the future. I would like to nurture or build upon the school as a beacon, as a leader of all the good that is possible [through] education and how we optimize as a school for the benefit of the students who are then transferred to the worlds around them.

This piece was originally published in the pages of the Winged Post on May 11, 2017.