D. Scott Looney joined Hawken School as its 10th head of school in July 2006. Since that time, he has enlivened the campus and inspired the community with the launching of the school’s Readiness Initiative and the development of Hawken’s urban extension campus in University Circle, which places students at the epicenter of the one of the nation's most educationally and culturally rich areas.
It is a move that no suburban independent school has attempted before, and it is central to the school’s mission of “forward-focused preparation” and its promise to prepare students to “navigate a complex and dynamic world with self-confidence and determination; embrace challenges with disciplined analysis and creativity, and engage others with empathy and integrity.”
Scott represents an influential voice in the national independent school arena. He serves as a trustee and executive committee member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Other professional affiliations include current faculty member at the NAIS Institute for New Heads and the NAIS Financing Institute, and former Executive Director of The Midwest Boarding Schools Association. Pat Bassett, former president of NAIS, offers Scott this glowing endorsement: "If independent schools are truly to be 'built to last,' they will have to have leaders who inspire, reassure, and create. No one does those three things better than Scott.”
Prior to coming to Cleveland, Scott served as Assistant Director of Schools at Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a K-12 coeducational day and boarding school with over 1600 students, 280 faculty/staff, and five campuses. It was a position that capped an 11-year career at the school where he also had been the Co-Chair of the All-Schools Curriculum Committee, the Co-Head of the Girls Middle School, the Director of External Affairs, the Director of Admission and Financial Aid, a student advisor and a teacher of a 12th grade course in Public Opinion and American Politics. Before Cranbrook, Looney was Director of Admissions at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois, and Assistant Dean of Admissions at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
In addition to his years as an educator and administrator, Scott is a widely published author and frequent lecturer on the affordability and demographic challenges that independent schools will face in future years. He graduated from DePauw University and earned his master’s degree from Northwestern University.