Lynne Macziewski Steps up as Baldwin’s New Head of School

Lynne Macziewski is just getting started as Baldwin's new head of school.

Lynne Macziewski was just 5 years old when she started playing piano. And while she continued to perform as she got older, her recital days were long over in the winter of 2018, when she was the opening act for the day’s chapel service at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The associate head of school, Macziewski sat on the bench to play “O Holy Night” for students.

“She told everyone she hadn’t played the piano in public in years,” says Autumn Graves, who headed GPS back then and now leads St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

For Macziewski, it was less about shaking off the rust on the ivories than making a point. She followed her performance with a heartfelt speech to her young audience about the importance of taking risks. “She does that with students,” says Graves. “She takes risks with them.”

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It was Graves who recommended Macziewski to a search consultant working with the Baldwin School. This past summer, Macziewski took over as the ninth head of the 135-year-old school for girls. Her daughter, Grace, is now a junior there. “‘Everybody’s friends with everybody,’” she told her mom one day.

Macziewski has noticed a similar scene as she navigates her first year in charge. “We’re a lot less cliquey here,” she says.

Perhaps Grace’s junior class is unique. Her mother would like to think otherwise. “Girls act differently when they’re at an all-girls school,” Macziewski says. “It’s a different environment, and girls feel more free to be themselves.”

Raised near Minneapolis, Macziewski has experience as a teacher and an administrator at public and independent schools—most recently her six years at Girls Preparatory School. In Baldwin, she’s inherited a school without “an enrollment problem … yet,” she notes. One of five private all-girls high schools in the area and 26 in the state, Baldwin recently completed a successful capital campaign, aiming for $25 million and raising $31 million. While unable to expand, its Bryn Mawr campus—anchored by a stunning main building designed by Frank Furness in 1890—requires no significant upgrades or additions.

Baldwin School
Courtesy of Baldwin School

Macziewski and husband Nathan live on campus with Grace and Jack, the latter a freshman at Shipley School. She’s spent much of her first year acclimating to the area. “One of her goals is to build community and connections,” says Pat Weiser, Baldwin’s board chair. “I don’t know when she sleeps. She’s been connecting with every part of the community. It’s great to see and hear the feedback from all the constituencies.”

In Baldwin, Macziewski has inherited a school without “an enrollment problem… yet,” she notes.

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In a family that loved sports, Macziewski took to academics. Aside from her skills on piano, she developed a love of science early on, crediting a high school biology teacher with nurturing her ability. “I went to football games, but I brought my chemistry book,” she recalls.

Macziewski’s aunt was an educator, and though she didn’t enter Saint Paul’s University of St. Thomas with the expressed desire to teach, she did major in biology and secondary education. She figured it out in her postgraduate work, with master’s degrees in educational leadership and curriculum and instruction. Her first teaching job—science, of course—was at the Blake School, an independent coed institution in Minneapolis. During her 15-year tenure there, she became assistant head of Blake’s middle school, moving to Girls Preparatory School in 2017. At GPS, she worked on developing the curriculum—programs to facilitate student growth and help girls gain confidence in male-dominated fields.

When Megan Cover took over as head of school at GPS in 2020, she put Macziewski in charge of hiring and school budgets. “She’s warm and relational, thoughtful and an excellent problem solver,” Cover says. “If anything came up in regard to teaching, behavior, social/emotional issues or any aspect of school life, Lynne would think about it in terms of the mission of the school and how it impacts each individual.”

Moving forward, Macziewski is focused on continuing the evolution of the school’s academic profile and building a community that will attract girls who now have far more say in their school destinations than they did before the pandemic. “We’re thinking about what’s important 10 or 15 years from now,” she says. “That’s where Baldwin is focused.”

It’s about turning out self-assured students with problem-solving skills. Macziewski is convinced that all-girls schools do just that—and she has anecdotal evidence to support it. “I’ve seen my daughter’s confidence grow since she started at an all-girls school,” she says.

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Related: Your Guide to Independent Schools in the Main Line Region

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