Chair of The Out-of-Door Academy’s Board of Trustees Mr. Tom Murphy led the Search Committee through this process alongside Educators’ Collaborative, an executive search firm. “As Out-of-Door prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2024, this transition of leadership creates a wonderful opportunity for our next Head of School to guide us to new levels of academic, athletic, and artistic success while never forgetting our core values of Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence, and Responsibility,” Mr. Murphy said. “This search–for an individual of outstanding character and professional experience, demonstrated ability to inspire and encourage faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and support the forward momentum of the school’s growth–resulted in the appointment of Mrs. Debra Otey.”
Mrs. Otey holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education (English), a Master of Science in Secondary Education (English), and is currently completing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She has taught Middle School English, and held positions as an elementary school principal, Head of Middle School, Assistant School Superintendent, and most recently as the Head of Upper School at Cannon School in North Carolina.
Mrs. Otey will lead the prestigious school starting in the 2022-23 school year. “I am excited to join a Pre-K–12 community that emphasizes character education and student wellbeing,” she explains. “Building on established programs while maintaining Out-of-Door’s traditions will create opportunities for inspiring growth and development. As we move into the next phase of ODA’s educational and community impact, we look forward to a bright and impactful future filled with student-centered, engaging experiences inside and outside of the classroom.”
The Board of Trustees is dedicated to continuing to expand the school’s college preparatory program with Mrs. Otey at the helm. The School’s curricular, programmatic, and physical expansion has set a precedent for academic, artistic, and athletic excellence, establishing The Out-of-Door Academy as one of the top independent schools in Florida.