Tam Matthews was appointed Head of School of West Point Grey Academy in August 2013. He was previously Head of Ashbury College, an IB World School in Ottawa, from 2001 to 2013. While at Ashbury, Tam introduced a new Leadership Team management structure; expanded the boarding program, with students from over 30 countries; and led the school through two strategic planning processes and three major capital expansions, including a master campus plan renewal project.
At WPGA, Tam actively supports the school’s vision to be leaders in future-focused learning, with a focus on empowering entrepreneurial thinkers who are adaptive, altruistic and globally-inspired. His collaborative, inclusive style of leadership models the school’s mission and reflects his commitment to learning innovation, student and staff wellness, teacher professional advancement, a robust school community and best practices in governance. In 2014, Tam led a strategic planning process, building on the school’s exceptional reputation and culture to advance its many opportunities for innovation and partnership.
A graduate of independent schools, Tam studied at the University of Nice after graduating from Trinity College (University of Toronto). Following five years in international banking, he began his teaching career at Upper Canada College, as a history teacher and then as Associate Director of Guidance. In 1989, he became Director of Admissions at Lakefield College School, where he and his wife, Jan, were houseparents for the school’s first girls residence. In 1996, he was appointed Head of Albert College, where he opened the school's Junior School.
Dedicated to furthering the growth of independent schools at large, Tam has served on numerous educational and community boards. He is a past Chair of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) and is currently Chair of the Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC). He is a past Board Member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.
A former member of three Canadian Olympic sailing teams (1980, 1984, 1996), Tam enjoys keeping active and plays tennis, skis and cycles whenever he can. He and Jan have two children, Geoff and Alison, who both reside in Vancouver.
In July 2019, Tam will retire from WPGA
after six years of exceptional leadership at WPGA and a 35-year career in education, which includes three headships. He will continue to live in Vancouver and work as an educational consultant for ISABC and CAIS schools.