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Adrianne Finley Odell

Head of School

Our mission: To inspire and nurture excellence and prepare each student for success in higher education and in a dynamic and complex world.

Biography

As Roycemore’s 12th Head of School in its 102-year-old history, Adrianne moved to Evanston, Illinois from St. Petersburg, Florida where she served as the Assistant Head of School of Shorecrest Preparatory School, a PK-12th grade independent school with 960 students. Her move marks a return to the Midwest as she grew up in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio and attended The Ohio State University, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies with a minor in Economics. She began her working career in Hawaii after obtaining her Masters degree from The University of Hawaii at Manoa in Political Science.

Deeply grateful for the formal foundation that she gained through these institutions, she leveraged her education to pursue a variety of opportunities. Her first professional position was working for the state of Hawaii as an economic development specialist at a unique facility on the Big Island of Hawaii—The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, which she parlayed into non-profit work. A few years later she served as part of the start-up team to bring the Battleship Missouri to Pearl Harbor to turn it into a memorial-museum. She is proud to have been a part of the small team of dedicated individuals who helped raise funds to restore the USS Missouri. After successfully completing the first phase of a nationwide capital campaign, Adrianne relocated to Washington, D.C. to serve as the Vice President for Development of The Worldwatch Institute, a global think-tank that focuses on environmental sustainability. It was while she was at Worldwatch that she enrolled her daughter for kindergarten at an independent school in southern Maryland, The Calverton School. Before her daughter even started kindergarten, she received a call from the Head of School who convinced her to come work for the school. That decision was a pinnacle one for her as she fell in love with the field of education and the joy of seeing mission in action every day in the eyes of children. Soon realizing that this was her “calling,” she took on every opportunity she could to learn about the work of schools. She participated in the NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring Heads and accepted a variety of leadership roles at the school. Her move to Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg provided many opportunities to continue to learn and grow. While there, she participated in a variety of professional development opportunities including one at The Harvard Graduate School of Education. Over a course of many years, she learned a great deal that have all contributed to her preparation to become Roycemore’s Head of School.

When she isn’t at Roycemore, Adrianne enjoys taking in all of the great things that Evanston and Chicago have to offer. You might see her jogging or biking around the town and waterfront of Evanston. She also enjoys dining out, and attending theater and sporting events with her husband, Rich. Adrianne and Rich have four children between them, the youngest daughter is a student at Vassar College, a son who lives in Los Angeles, a daughter who lives in Lausanne, Switzerland with her husband, and a son who lives in England. In her spare time she finds opportunities to support her concern for the environment, recently serving as an Education Liaison for the non-profit, Circle of Blue, as they hosted a conference and workshop at the Vatican to bring global leaders together to address the world’s water crisis. Living adjacent to the largest source of fresh water in the world, the great lakes, is a poignant reminder that water is one of the most important, if not THE most important, resource of our time.