Upper School Welcomes Mr. Walsh

Nicki Ragan
Mr. Walsh announces seniors for the 2021-22 annual Patriot Buddy kick-off ceremony, and steps into his new role in CDS upper-school traditions.

It doesn’t take long to put a finger to some of the major structural changes we’ve had this year. One change of significance is our new head of Upper School, Mr. Walsh. The Patriot Press wanted to learn more about our fearless leader. We challenged him to a game of 20 questions, to help you learn a little more about him.

Can you give a brief introduction to who you are and your importance here at CDS-
A: “I’ve spent the last 26 years as a teacher and leader in schools in the United States and overseas. I grew up in Rochester, NY as the last of 5 children. My father was a college counselor and ski coach so I spent a lot of time in and around schools growing up. Schools always felt like home to me so it was natural to go into teaching and later school leadership as a career. After spending the last 5 years as the Senior School principal at the International School Base in Switzerland, my family and I were excited for the opportunity to return to the USA and join CDS.”

What is your favorite thing about CDS?
A: “The people of course! When I talk about CDS to others, I always talk about what a warm, friendly and welcoming place this is.”
What is your favorite part about the new building?
A: “My favorite part however, is the feeling of space there is for students. It’s new, it’s beautiful, it’s not crowded and students have a lot of different places to relax, visit with each other and study.”
As a kid, what was your dream career?
A: “I didn’t have a dream job but really liked learning and being in school. “
What were you doing right before this interview?
A: “Buying a grill at Home Depot.”
What is your favorite ice cream flavor and do you have a favorite location?
A: “Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. I love visiting the Baskin-Robbins on Ehrlich Road for ice cream.”
What is better chipotle or chick-fl-a?
A: “Mexican food always wins for me. Chipotle!”
Would you rather be a really good skateboarder or surfer?
A: “Surfer. I love the ocean and being in nature.”
What are 3 things you can’t live without?
A: “#1 My family #2 Exercise each day #3 At least an hour alone each day (I am secretly an introvert!)”
What is the best advice you have received?
A: “ Life is a marathon not a sprint. Enjoy the good times but also value the hard times as learning opportunities.”
If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, which would it be and why?
A: “ I definitely don’t want an exotic animal for a pet.”
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
A: “ I lived overseas and visited many different countries in my lifetime. With those experiences behind me, I can definitively say that Tampa is the place in the world where I want to be living.”
What is your favorite shoe brand?
A: “Asics- I like their running shoes.”
If you could change one thing about your appearance what would it be?
A: “I would be 10 pounds lighter. I need to stop eating all of that Ben and Jerry’s and Baskin Robbins ice cream!”
What is your zodiac sign?
A: “Pisces”
Least favorite color?
A: “Yellow”
Sweet or savory?
A: “ Savory”
A hobby you got into during quarantine?
A: “Long walks with my dog and 1000 piece puzzles. I tried to do whatever I could to stay away from overloading on screen time during quarantine.”
Window or aisle seat?
A: “Aisle. I’m too tall to be squashed in the window seat.”
A good book everyone should read?
A: “The Prophet by Khalil Gibran is one of my recent favorites.”

That’s it folks — Mr. Walsh is clearly a CDS legend in the making. A huge thank you to Mr. Walsh for his participation. We are so grateful to have such an amazing leader this year, and for many more to come. We hope you will all join us in our continued welcome of the Walsh family!