American Australian Association (AAA)

Reopening Schools: Meet Australian Educator Adam Lewis, Principal of Boston College High School

Event Description

“Constantly recentering on our deeper purpose, never losing sight of who we are at our heart. In a strange way, the experience has crystalized this for us.” –  Adam Lewis, Boston, August 2020


A death by suicide of a student immediately prior to moving to remote learning due to the pandemic and heightened racial tensions have had an enormous impact on the community at Boston College High School. The school is reopening this month under a hybrid model, with many staff who have serious trepidation about returning onsite. Principal Adam Lewis recognizes his is a community that is based on relationships and that they have felt not only dispersed, but fractured at times.


Please join Adam as he discusses leadership and his role in keeping his community connected, bringing students back while ensuring the community’s safety and listening and respecting the amalgam of contexts in an immediate community of almost 2000 individuals.


If you have a question you would like to ask Adam, please submit in advance to [email protected].

Speaker: Adam Lewis
Principal, Boston College High School


Adam Lewis is the Principal of Boston College High School, a Jesuit high school for 1400 students from grades 7-12. Prior to this, he served as Principal of Loyola School in Manhattan, New York, as Director of Senior Campus at Xavier College, Melbourne and Deputy Principal at Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview, Sydney. He has also taught and held leadership positions at Clongowes Wood College, in Ireland and at Sacred Heart Catholic Secondary School, in London.


Adam completed his undergraduate course of study at the Australian National University in History and Psychology, and his post graduate studies in Education and Developmental Psychology at University of Canberra and Boston College respectively.


He is married to Eadaoin and they have three children; Isaac (10), Paddy (8), and Elsie (6).

Moderator: Dr Leoni Degenhardt AM
Emeritus Dean, AIS Leadership Centre, The Association of Independent Schools of NSW


Leoni has taught in government, independent and Catholic schools in rural, urban and suburban areas; held regional and head office positions in the Catholic Education Office, Sydney; was deputy principal of a multicultural inner-city Sydney school, and the first lay principal of a large co-educational Catholic school in the multicultural southwest of Sydney, before her appointment as the first lay principal of Loreto Normanhurst, a long-established day and boarding school for girls in Sydney’s North Shore area. She held this position from 1994 to 2008.


Leoni has worked with the University of Sydney, where she was a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, Faculty of Education and Social Work; the University of New South Wales, where she taught in the Master of Educational Leadership program; and she was an Honorary Fellow of Australian Catholic University.


In the 2020 Australia Day Honours, Leoni was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her work in education.


Leoni is now semi-retired, remaining connected with education especially through her role as Professional Companion to senior leaders in a wide range of schools. She lives with her husband in Gerroa NSW.


Tuesday, September 22 6pm EDT | 3pm PST
Wednesday, September 23 8am AEST | 6am AWST