Gretchen Larkin is the Head of School at Charles River School (CRS). Since joining the community in 2014, Gretchen has shared both her expertise as an educator as well as her own love of learning with faculty, staff, and students; she passionately believes in the school’s mission to nurture children by igniting their curiosity, encouraging creativity, and cultivating intellectual engagement.
Under Gretchen’s leadership as the school’s 10th Head of School, CRS has seen remarkable growth and success in recent years. In 2015, the school created an on-campus Wetlands Laboratory to give students of all ages hands-on, STEM learning opportunities. In 2019, the school wrapped up a record-setting, comprehensive campaign, surpassing its goal and raising $10.8 million to strengthen the endowment, boost the Annual Fund, and allow for the construction of a state-of-the-art middle school building and Media and Design Lab. Gretchen also led the administration in work to increase diversity among CRS faculty and students; reduce attrition to the lowest level in five years; and increase enrollment.
In 2018, Gretchen received the Division I Chief Executive Leadership Award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), an award traditionally given to leaders of colleges or universities.
With nearly three decades of teaching and administrative experience in elementary and secondary schools, Gretchen has worked in independent schools in the Boston area for much of her career including Dedham Country Day School, The Fay School, and The Advent School. She served as the K-8 Assistant Principal and Head of Lower School at Milton Academy, where she also worked as the school’s founding K-8 Curriculum Coordinator overseeing curriculum design. Gretchen began her career as a middle school math, English, and history teacher, and also worked as a Lower School Reading and Learning Specialist and a PreK-8 Educational Coordinator.
Gretchen serves on the Board of Directors for the Association for Independent Schools of New England (AISNE) and as co-chair of Greenwich Academy’s Boston Alumnae Chapter. She also serves on the advisory board of CCS Fundraising, a Boston-based consulting firm that partners with nonprofits. Previously, Gretchen chaired the Education Committee for St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church and served as a board member for the Northeast Association of Learning Specialists.
A graduate of Greenwich Academy, Gretchen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lake Forest College and a Master of Arts in teaching from Manhattanville College. Outside of CRS, Gretchen enjoys reading, running, hiking, and traveling with her family – husband Bill, daughters Maisie and Lucy, and two dogs.