Ford Jones Dieth ’89 has been named Assistant Head of School at St. Martin’s Episcopal School, beginning in the 2019-20 school year. Dieth will serve in this new capacity concurrently with performing his duties as the head of Lower School.
“Ford's strengths as a leader are diverse,” said Sorrells. “He excels in connecting with people, constantly improving curricula and teaching, and serving as a role model for not only our students but our faculty and staff as well. His personal and professional experiences demonstrate his love and commitment to St. Martin’s. Ford embodies the ideals of Faith, Scholarship, and Service that continue to be exceedingly important to St. Martin’s as we look to the future.”
Dieth currently serves St. Martin’s in numerous capacities. He is in his sixth year as head of Lower School and is a member of the Leadership Team. Dieth has helped lead St. Martin’s focus on campus safety as the head of the Safety and Security Committee. In addition, Dieth is the lacrosse coach.
During his tenure in the Lower School, he has overseen the selection of a new math curriculum, revamped report cards, and worked with a team to develop and implement a proprietary early childhood literacy curriculum. As a result, various objective benchmarks show stronger academic achievement by Lower School students.
A St. Martin’s alumnus of the Class of 1989, Dieth graduated from Shenandoah University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1995 before going on to receive his Master of Education in 2006 from the University of New Orleans.
Prior to joining St. Martin’s as head of Lower School in fall 2013, Dieth held a variety of roles at Christian Brothers School, Holy Rosary Academy, Haynes Middle School (all in the New Orleans area), and Grafton School in Berryville, Virginia. At Christian Brothers, he was a fifth-grade teacher, head lacrosse coach, and school counselor/learning specialist. At Holy Rosary, Dieth served as a teacher and physical education coach. At Haynes, he was a special education teacher.
Dieth recently completed the Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads program sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). The program includes a year-long mentorship with a current head of school and one week of intense summer coursework with faculty at Emory University. Fellows are placed in five-person groups and spend the year researching and collaborating on topics to present at the NAIS Annual Conference. Dieth was one of roughly 100 candidates who were considered for the 50 spots in the fellowship program.
Dieth and his family have strong connections to St. Martin’s. Dieth’s wife, Meredith, serves as the Director of Performing Arts at St. Martin’s. His children, Trey (third grade), Kelly (kindergarten), and Lee (kindergarten) are all Lower School students. Dieth’s brother and sister-in-law, Edmund ’93 and Suzanne ’92 Dieth, are also St. Martin’s graduates. His mother, Julie, was an StM kindergarten teacher for 31 years, and his father served as president of the Dad’s Club.
“I love our St. Martin's families so much, and I am excited to have the opportunity to continue my relationships with them while serving our community in a new capacity,” said Dieth. “I have been a part of the St. Martin's family since 1976, and I can't imagine being in a more special place than this.”