Q & A with Dr. John Patterson, FPD’s New Head of School

Dr. John Patterson will join First Presbyterian Day School after the completion of the 2019-2020 academic year as FPD’s next Head of School. Below are his thoughts on joining the FPD family and his vision for FPD.

What impresses you most about FPD?

No question about it…the people!  As I initially engaged with Chairman Danny Smith, Mr. Dwight Jones, and the FPD search committee, I was astounded by their humility, energy, and love for FPD. Furthermore, as I connected with the school board in the interview process, I was thoroughly impressed by the depth of their questions and again, their devotion to FPD. My interaction with the leadership of TEAM FPD has also been very impressive. And certainly, the students at FPD. I cannot wait to get to know each of them. FPD is a flagship Christian school in the Southeast region and is well respected nationally for its Christ-centered community, exceptional reputation, well-rounded curriculum, and excellence in all areas. It is my honor to be part of Viking Nation.

Why do you believe a Christ-centered education is important?

A Christian worldview (based on the narrative of Creation – Fall – Redemption) is the only chance young people have to navigate the current culture, which bombards students daily with mixed messages on what brings true happiness. A Christ-centered education teaches young people to find true joy in Christ and have an “others-focused” servant mindset. Humble, Christ-like leadership is the only way to change the world, and this is our mission at FPD.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Servant. I seek to follow Jesus’s example as He served those around Him. I also enjoy the visionary component of leadership and excel at empowering others to execute with excellence.

Why should parents be excited about choosing FPD as their family’s school home?

While FPD will maintain its academic excellence coupled with its well-rounded extracurricular opportunities in fine arts, STEM, and athletics, we will also place a strong emphasis on organizational health and school culture. FPD is currently viewed as an example in Christian education, and a focus on organizational health and school culture must be a focal point for any successful organization. To further cast this vision, we will focus on creating a culture that is so engaging and contagious that prospective families will no longer wonder, “Should we go there?” Instead, they will say, “How can we go anywhere else?” Students will look forward to coming to school because of the mission-oriented, servant mentors who intertwine Christian worldview with a passion for their content. Ultimately, FPD will continue to build young champions for Christ, equipping them to change the world.

What are you most looking forward to as part of the FPD family? 

Just being part of Viking Nation!  I look forward to listening and learning from students, families, and team FPD members regarding what is great about FPD and what we need to do to improve. This enjoyable and transparent dialogue will teach me a great deal and give me the unique perspective needed to effectively lead FPD.  I look forward to attending the many things FPD students are part of, from the theatre performances and band concerts to the athletic events and tailgates. It is my honor to be part of the FPD Family.

Fun Quick-Answer Questions:

Favorite Food?  Bacon and eggs with ketchup

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor?  Butter Pecan

Favorite Sports Teams?  St. Louis Cardinals

Dogs or Cats? Grew up with chocolate labs…love dogs

Beach or Mountains?  Beach…I am a northern boy turned southern.  I have an affinity for Vineyard Vines ties and the St. Simons sun.

Favorite way to spend a Saturday? Extra time in God’s word.  ESPN College Game Day.  College Football!


Read more about plans for Dr. Patterson to meet with Faculty, Students, and Parents when he visits in January.

Read more about Dr. Patterson’s selection as FPD’s next Head of School