IBSC Ideas Lab

Professional Conversations for Heads of Boys’ Schools

Guest Presenters

Byron Hulsey

Byron Hulsey

Topics Facing Heads of Boys’ Schools

Byron C. Hulsey, a 1986 graduate of Woodberry Forest School (United States) and a former member of the faculty, became the school’s ninth headmaster on July 1, 2014. An experienced educator and leader, he possesses a love of learning, a passion for excellence, and a deep and abiding respect for the culture and traditions of Woodberry Forest School. Before returning to Woodberry, he served as head of school at Randolph School in Huntsville, Alabama, for eight years.

As a Woodberry student, Hulsey served as senior prefect; he received the Archer Christian Memorial Medal, the school’s highest student honor, in 1986. He was a Jefferson Scholar at the University of Virginia, where he earned his undergraduate history degree in 1990. Following graduation, he taught for two years at Bryanston School, a boarding school in Blandford, England, before returning to his native Texas to earn master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin as a Patterson-Banister Fellow in American History. He is the author of Everett Dirksen and His Presidents: How a Senate Giant Shaped American Politics, published in 2000 by the University Press of Kansas.

Hulsey joined the Woodberry faculty in 1998. He served as assistant director of college counseling, taught history, coached basketball and baseball, and lived on dorm. He returned to the University of Virginia in 2000 as associate director of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation. Three years later, his deep interest in secondary education called him to Norfolk Academy, where he served as assistant headmaster. He moved to Randolph School in 2006.

Hulsey met his wife, Jennifer, in graduate school. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in American history there, later working for the National Endowment for the Humanities and for Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home. Together with their children, Ben and Claire, they live in the historic residence on the campus of Woodberry Forest School.


Hal HannafordHal Hannaford

The Head and the Heart

Hal Hannaford began his educational career as a student at Lower Canada College (Canada) in Montréal, and has spent his entire professional life in education, now completing his 31st year as a headmaster. He studied at Queen’s University (economics), Concordia University (B. Comm.), University of Toronto (B. Ed.), and The European Institute of Business Administration (M.B.A.).

Hannaford served as director of Kilcoo Camp from 1982–84, and as a teacher. He has experience at both an elementary and high school level in Canada (Crescent School) and at university where he was a member of the Faculty of International Business at the American University in Paris. He was the founding headmaster of Kingsway College School in Toronto in 1989. He joined Royal St. George’s College (Canada) in 1996 as headmaster, and remained until December 2008. In January 2009, he become headmaster of Selwyn House School (Canada) in Montréal. Hal was a founding influence of the Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Leadership Institute where he created and taught the Faculty Culture Module for 20 years.

Hannaford has a keen interest in athletics, public speaking, auctioneering (raising over CA $30,000,000 for charitable causes), landscaping, and drumming—with a musical passion for the Blues. He and his wife Susan, an author, live in Montréal and have two children: Alisse, a medical doctor doing her residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Reid, a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and a filmmaker in New York.


Tom Batty

Tom Batty

Write a New Narrative for Boys’ Schools

Appointed in 2008, Tom Batty is the ninth principal of Scotch College, Melbourne (Australia). Previously, he served as a house master at Eton College (United Kingdom). Educated in the UK, after a flirtation with financial services, Batty headed south to commence a teaching career, first in New Zealand and then Australia.

Founded in 1851, Scotch is home to 1,880 boys and 330 permanent members of staff. Batty sees his role as harnessing the resources of Scotch to best advance the development of each boy, so that he might do his bit in building something better for those to come. He is interested in the relationship between the micro and the macro, the judgement that rests between awareness and action, and parallels to mathematical pattern in the social world. Batty chairs the IBSC board of trustees and is a lifelong supporter of Brentford FC. At a time of instant and continual flow of information, he seeks ways by which the resources of an institution might best align to connect interests and talents, and drive social and economic enterprise.