Armistead Lemon was formally installed as the new head of school at North Cross School in an investiture ceremony held on campus on Friday, Sept. 30. North Cross Board of Trustees Chair Sarah Boxley Beck,‘98 presided and Tim Fish, chief innovation officer at National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), gave the keynote address. Vivian Pickeral, a current junior at North Cross, and longtime North Cross teacher and coach Ed Dickenson also provided welcoming remarks.
Lemon is the ninth Head of School at North Cross, and notably, the first woman and the school’s first alumna to serve in the position. She graduated from North Cross in 1995. Lemon earned her B.A. in English literature from Washington and Lee University and her M.A. in English literature from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She comes to North Cross from Harpeth Hall in Nashville, where she was the director of the upper school. Prior to serving as upper school director, she was the English Department chair and teacher. Lemon and her husband Calvin Stewart have two sons who attend North Cross.
Addressing the 800-person audience comprised of the student body, faculty and staff, class of 1995 alumni, and other special guests, Lemon stated that her heart was full. “I am humbled and honored and overjoyed to be leading North Cross at this exciting time in its history,” she remarked. She went on to say, “the gift of a North Cross education is how to live in this world. I see it in our youngest students who every day practice and model for all of us the importance of play; in our middle school students who are curious and not afraid to try out new paths and possibilities; in our upper school students who are practicing to be leaders in our local and global communities, and whose unabashed school spirit sets the tone for our entire community. We call it Raider Pride.”
Describing the atmosphere on the school’s campus, Beck commented, “There is a real sense of excitement throughout the entire North Cross community surrounding Ms. Lemon’s investiture. Her standards of excellence and strong work ethic will help propel North Cross students as future scholars and leaders in the greater community.
A highlight of the ceremony included a special announcement given by North Cross class of 1995 alumna Caro Thomas Williams, who revealed she and her fellow classmates had established a scholarship in Lemon’s honor for a deserving student at North Cross.
“I am humbled and moved by the generosity of my 1995 classmates who have created this opportunity to support the education of a North Cross student. If they had asked me, this is exactly what I would have wanted – what a perfect surprise,” said Lemon.