Remembering Head of School Pem McCurdy

Pem McCurdyCalhoun is saddened to share news that Philip (Pem) McCurdy, who served as our 6th Head of School from 1969 to 1973, passed away on August 20, 2019 at the age of 84.

Pem's leadership came at a pivotal time in Calhoun's history, guiding the transformation to become co-educational from an all-girls school. Much of his time was also devoted to mapping the plans to relocate into a new building on 81st Street and West End Avenue, which remains our main campus today.

Pem and the Board of Trustees focused on evolving Calhoun's educational program, doubling the enrollment, and getting Calhoun more involved in the broader community.

Pem was born in Boston and spent much of his early life in Brookline and Wellesley, MA. He earned an A.B. (cum laude) from Harvard College in 1956 and a Master of Arts in teaching from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1957. He embarked on a career that included public and private schools, first serving as a biology teacher, science department head, and science education specialist. As an educator, his work took him to New York, Texas, Florida, California, England, Israel, and Nigeria.

Throughout his work, Pem remained dedicated to the educational and social development of young learners. He believed that "young people want help, trust, and humanizing love to get on with the task of independent growth." 

Pem retired in 1999 and moved with his wife, Marla, to Maine. In addition to Marla, he is survived by two daughters, Lisa and Kristina, and three grandchildren.