FWCD Head of School Named Lamplighter School Spirit Award Recipient

Eric Lombardi has been named one of two Lamplighter School Spirit Award Recipients. Lombardi, a 1973 Lamplighter School graduate, is in his second year as Head of School at Fort Worth Country Day. Prior to that, he served as Head of Middle School at St. John’s School in Houston for 16 years.
Lombardi grew up in Dallas, where he attended The Lamplighter School and St. Mark’s School. He graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a degree in history (1985) and subsequently earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Duke University (1991), and later a Master of Education from Columbia University (2013), where, in a sabbatical year from St. John’s, he participated in the Klingenstein Program in Private School Leadership.
Lombardi’s career in education began as a young boy when he experienced the exuberance of 5- and 6-year-olds when he worked at St. Mark’s Day Camp at the age of 12, and then as a tennis instructor in The Hockaday School tennis camps. A decade later, he began his career as a teacher and coach at Casady School in Oklahoma before moving on to Head-Royce School in Oakland, California, and later returning to his Texas roots at St. John’s.
When addressing the FWCD faculty for the first time as Head of School, Lombardi invoked the mantra describing his expectations for the best teaching. That mantra now serves as a touchstone for the entire Fort Worth Country Day community: Engage, Challenge, Connect. “At FWCD, students are engaged in their learning through captivating lectures, experiences in our Lower School Collaboratory, in our Middle School 1:1 iPad program and through our Malone Schools Online Network, which provides access to higher-level distance learning courses to our Upper School students,” he said.

The challenge at FWCD happens each and every day inside the classroom and beyond. “We challenge students daily to be the best learners they can be, but we also challenge them to be the best people they can be,” he said. “We focus on the whole person, the whole child.”
Connection is of the utmost importance. “FWCD faculty members are the School’s beacon,” Lombardi said. “All FWCD student experiences take place in an environment of support. Country Day teachers work closely with students helping them manage and navigate challenges. This connection between teacher and student is an essential element of the finest education.”
Ever curious, adaptable and intuitive, Lombardi embodies the spirit of a lifelong learner, saying, “I think you learn the most in education from watching other educators work.” His leadership is “relational,” a style he has honed throughout his 30-year career and is befitting of his subtle demeanor. His “out-of-the-box” thinking is matched by his encouragement to faculty and staff that they take risks and try new things.
A career educator, Lombardi is more excited than ever about his field and profession. “One of the more exciting aspects of being an educator is that our field is simultaneously evolving in so many ways while remaining as traditional as any other endeavor in other ways. Finding the right mix of new and old never ends. The steady component of quality learning experiences is the teacher-student relationship,” he said. “It is incumbent on us as school leaders to identify, hire and support the best people, the best role models, the best kid-connectors. The evolving element comprises what the teacher is teaching and how the student is learning. We need to always be looking for new pedagogies and new curriculum. Education is a communal learning field, and that community in 2017 is global. We have the opportunity and the obligation to learn from others around the globe.”
The Lamplighter Spirit Award was established in 2003 by the Alumni Council during The Lamplighter School’s 50th anniversary. Lamplighter recipients, selected annually by the Alumni Association, exhibit the qualities of a lifelong learner, are willing to take risks and display creativity in their work.
4200 Country Day Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76109
Phone: 817.732.7718
Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a K-12 private, independent, coeducational, nondenominational college-preparatory school located on approximately 100 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The mission of Fort Worth Country Day School is to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of capable students through an academically rigorous college preparatory program that integrates the arts and athletics.