Nick Ragland ’88, P ’21 has viewed Canterbury from many different lenses over the years. He is a 1988 alumnus of the School. He is a parent—daughter Sydney ’21 is a recent graduate. He has served on the Board of Trustees since 2013. And now, Nick brings all of these perspectives and more to his new role as President of the Board.
At last fall’s Board meetings, Nick was unanimously voted as the successor to Bob Steers ’71, P ’11, who left an enduring legacy of success and growth at Canterbury during his 20-plus years as a Trustee—the last 16 as Board President.
When Nick returned to the hilltop this past weekend to convene his first official Board meeting as President, he took the time to address students and the entire campus community at School Meeting. “This is a role and responsibility that I am looking forward to and am humbled to take on,” Nick shared. “We have numerous Board members here today. Many of them are alumni; not all. Many of them, like myself, have sent their kids here; but not all. But we all have a passion and love for the School. Just like you are here to learn and grow, so too are we as a Board. And one of our goals is to have a school that continually gets better.”
Head of School Rachel Stone P ’23, ’24 is exceedingly grateful for Nick’s commitment to the School and its students. “Nick's love and passion for Canterbury have been evident since the moment I met him,” she said. “To know that his commitment will further strengthen as President is beyond exciting for Canterbury generally and for our leadership team specifically. I am thrilled!”
For his part, Nick is eager to work with Rachel and her team to help continue the School’s remarkable momentum. “While one of the roles of the Board is to oversee what happens on this campus, we have no operational responsibility,” he told the students. “What goes on day in and day out has to do with Mrs. Stone and all the talented faculty and staff.”
Nick’s “day job,” as he put it, is serving as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of The Gorilla Glue Company in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he spent more than 20 years guiding the organization’s operations and growth. “A few years ago, my brother and I stepped back from day-to-day responsibilities, and we have a role that is somewhat similar to what I will be doing now with Canterbury,” he explained. “One of my guiding principles is that I take my work—at Gorilla Glue, at Canterbury, and in other things I am involved in—very seriously. But I don’t take myself that seriously. I like to have fun!”
Nick showed that side of himself when he challenged Math Teacher Francis Foley, Jr. ’64, P ’91, ’93, ’95, ’99, GP ’27—whom he credited with helping him decide to attend Canterbury—to a game of Ping-Pong on the Maguire Auditorium stage. Fran instead sent his grandson, current student Franny ’27, to play. After several friendly volleys, Nick then called up Trustee Nicole D’Amour Schneider ’93, P ’20, ’22, ’23 to grab a paddle. By the end of the meeting, he had the entire room cheering and laughing.
We are so fortunate that Nick is leading the School forward as we advance our mission to provide transformative experiences for students. With his guidance, expertise, and love for Canterbury, the future is bright!
Please see Nick’s message to the Canterbury community here.