Hilton Head Prep hires headmaster

Hilton Head Preparatory School ended a three-month search for a new headmaster Tuesday when it announced the hiring of Jon Hopman, currently the assistant headmaster of Montverde Academy in Florida.

He will assume his new duties July 1, 2014, according to a school news release.

Hopman, who was unanimously recommended by the school's headmaster search committee, will replace Peter Cooper, who will remain in his position for the rest of the academic year.

Cooper has served as headmaster since 2012, after the resignation of Anthony Kandel.

"The search committee actively sought someone who could provide strong leadership in growing our enrollment, addressing the needs of our aging facilities, managing our finances and contributing to our marketing and development efforts, while continuing our strong focus on academic rigor and leading edge curriculum development," Steve Marbut, chairman of the Hilton Head Prep board of trustees, said in the release.

Hopman has served in various capacities at Montverde Academy since 2001 and as assistant headmaster since 2009. Since starting at the school near Orlando, its enrollment has increased from 250 to more than 1,000, according to the news release.

Hilton Head Prep has an enrollment of 375 students, in kindergarten through 12th grade, according to information provided to The Island Packet at the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Hopman visited the Hilton Head Prep campus three times during the school's search, meeting with members of the school's administration and faculty and with more than 50 parents and students.

"During my recent visits to Hilton Head Prep, I was most impressed that everyone I met with presented themselves as ambassadors with a true love and pride for the school," Hopman said in the release. "I am truly honored to bring my family into the Prep family and serve to the best of my ability."

Hopman studied business management as an undergraduate at George Mason University and earned a master's degree in educational leadership from Stetson University.

Hopman will be joined by a wife, Mindy, and their two children, Hunter and Haylee.

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