Dr. Margarita O’Byrne Curtis, Deerfield’s 55th Head of School, was born in Cali, Colombia, and raised in New Orleans, where her father was a member of the Tulane University faculty. She did her undergraduate work at Tulane, spent her junior year at the Sorbonne, and then earned her doctorate in Romance Languages and Literature from Harvard University. Her award-winning dissertation on Benito Perez Galdos was published in Spain in 1996. Before her appointment at Phillips Academy Andover, she taught at Harvard, and for four consecutive years from 1982-1986, she won the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. She is married to Manning Curtis, a cardiologist, known to be an avid sports fan and a great host who enthusiastically engages in all aspects of school life.
She was named the 55th Head of School at Deerfield Academy at the winter 2006 meeting of the Board of Trustees. At Deerfield she has demonstrated the highest qualities of leadership, character, and intellect, and led the Academy through a formal strategic planning process. Her educational philosophy begins and ends with the welfare of students. She leads with ideas, common sense, and eloquent language.
Dr. Curtis has attended numerous conferences worldwide on the topics of educational leadership, globalism and comparative literature. She has also served on reaccreditation committees and participated in coaching with members of her leadership team.