True to the Maret sisters’ precedent, our school has thrived under consistently strong leadership that fosters sound growth and advancement while preserving Maret’s traditions and ideals.
By 1950, Principal Margaret Williams was on board; she led Maret School for the next 18 years, building upon the solid foundation laid by the Maret sisters and her direct predecessor, Alice Parker Carson. Under Mrs. Williams’ direction, Maret continued to flourish, earning praise for its high standards in linguistics and a renowned reputation for embracing international cultures.
In 1952, burgeoning enrollment compelled the School’s Board of Trustees to secure a larger campus on the historic DC property known as “Woodley,” at 3000 Cathedral Avenue, NW. With the move, a French Baccalaureate option was incorporated into the curriculum. In 1953, boys were admitted to the Upper School, making Maret a truly coeducational school. By 1966, enrollment had reached 375 students.
The late 60s and early 70s were turbulent times in US history; Maret, like many schools, experienced significant change and was led by three headmasters: William Lanxner, William Layton, and John Francis. Mr. Francis introduced Maret’s Intensive Study Week, when students and faculty embark on special activities outside of regular classes; it is now a mainstay of Maret.
The mid 70s marked the beginning of what many would call “the Sturtevant years” -- the tenure of Peter A. Sturtevant, Sr., who would lead Maret for the next two decades. Under his leadership, a new level of intellectual creativity was woven into the fabric of Maret. Mr. Sturtevant instituted cross-curriculum teaching well before the pedagogy was nationally embraced. He advanced the notion that high achievement and risk-taking were symbiotic, a belief that is now integral to Maret’s mission and philosophy. The innovative six-week Subtropical Ecology program in Sanibel, Florida, a 20+-year tradition, started during Peter Sturtevant's tenure.
Through his guidance, Maret remained an environment in which all ideas could be examined openly. To accommodate an ever-growing enrollment -- 508 students by 1989 --the campus was enhanced with additional facilities for athletics, arts, and academics. Maret’s athletics program was strengthened and enlarged…and along with it, Maret’s reputation as a competing force among league schools.
In 1994, Mr. Sturtevant passed the baton to his successor, present Head of School Marjo Talbott. Over the years, Maret had developed a profoundly rich and important tradition as an innovator in college preparatory education. Ms. Talbott's task was to cultivate that legacy while preparing Maret for the new millennium.
During Ms. Talbott's tenure, Maret has come-of-age, making significant strides in many directions. Under her leadership, an overarching two-phased Master Facilities Plan was implemented; the $30 million program was completed in 2005 with the dedication of Talbott Hall. Ms. Talbott also oversaw the creation and implementation of two 10-year strategic plans and spearheaded the Second Century Campaign to expand Maret's endowment during Maret’s Centennial year. Her commitment to Maret's legacy – a school that embraces different cultures, interests, perspectives, and talents – is evident in the makeup of our student body. Enrollment now stands at 635 students – 40% of our students identify as students of color, parents hail from more than 45 nations, and 24% of our students receive financial aid, ensuring economic diversity.
Ms. Talbott has made service more than a concept at Maret, instituting the Service Learning program and engaging the school community in wide-ranging public-private partnerships. True to the Maret sisters’ motto of continually “moving forward,” the Case Institute for Curricular Innovation & Excellence and the Library & Center for Inquiry foster creativity, best educational practices, and the effective teaching of essential skills.