Paul Horgan was hired in October 2021 to be the eighth head of school at Hilton Head Preparatory School.

Hilton Head Preparatory School students will return to classes Aug. 10 with a new head of school. Paul Horgan has joined the staff as the eighth head of school at the private school. He was hired last October, with a start date this year of July 1.

Originally from Northeast Massachusetts, Horgan was born into a family of educators. His father was a guidance counselor at a public vocational school, and his mother was a librarian at a small Catholic school.

For the past 27 years, Horgan has worked as an independent school educator in one capacity or another. He has been a teacher, a department chair, a coach, a college counselor and a principal over that time.

When Horgan began searching nationwide for a position as head of school, Hilton Head Prep immediately stood out to him.

“The feel of the school, the people, the size and the coastal environment felt like the right fit from the first conversation,” Horgan said. “There are so many great things already in place and even more opportunities ahead for this school.”

Horgan comes to Prep from Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he served 11 years as Head of the Upper School at Cape Henry Collegiate.

Horgan completed his undergraduate work at Villanova University, and his Master’s in Education at the University of Virginia.

Horgan’s first goal at Prep is to assess the short-term and long-term needs of the school. He said he will do that by listening to what the students, faculty and families have to say. He has already met with student council leaders, his leadership team and summer staff.

Horgan hopes to build relationships and create a foundation for years to come. He promises to have an open-door policy for anyone in the community who wants to meet with him.

“I’m especially excited to get to know our students,” Horgan said.

Student mental health is a priority for Horgan, who wants to make sure the school continues to foster a joyful environment. He promises to ensure the safety and security of his students.

“What has been evident in my short time here is that Prep has a faculty and staff that cares deeply for the children in our school,” Horgan said. “They are passionate educators and come to work each day with the goal of serving each student well. It is a wonderful place to grow up, with adults who are here to have positive impacts on the lives of their students. Kids at Prep are known.”

Amy Coyne Bredeson of Bluffton is a freelance writer, a mother of two and a volunteer with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.