Chronicle Fall Winter 2021 Cover

From the Peddie Chronicle.

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Michael McKitish to retire

Assistant Head for Finance and Operations Michael McKitish will retire in December 2021.

Michael McKitish stepped down as The Peddie School’s assistant head of school for finance and operations on September 1. McKitish remained at Peddie this fall to support his successor, Sanjeev Puri, in the job transition and oversee the arts center expansion. He will retire in December.

“Peddie’s core values of respect, honesty, scholarship, balance and courage drew me to this wonderful place many years ago,” said McKitish. “The hallmarks of the highest level of citizenship and character, curiosity and excitement of Peddie students and employees make Peddie a special place in my heart.”

McKitish said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family, including his two grandsons.

As a longstanding member of Peddie’s senior management team over the last 14 years, McKitish has significantly impacted the school's strategic direction, growth and financial strength. He supervised a host of capital improvements, including the renovation of the athletic center, and the current construction of a new performing arts space and renovation of Swig Arts Center. McKitish also supervised the construction of Kaye and Green Dormitories and Armellino Quad, and renovations to the Caspersen Student Center. His influence has touched everyone in the Peddie community. 
 

1

Focused on our mission
Mike made Peddie’s mission and philosophy a fulcrum on which to make financial decisions. Throughout the creation and management of the budget and his financial leadership of the school, he always focused on what served Peddie’s mission.
Peter Quinn P’15 ’18 ’21 
Head of School

 

2

Emotionally present
CFOs are often thought of as emotionally distant money managers, but Mike always, always cared deeply for Peddie and for all of the people, students and adults who make Peddie extraordinary. He managed with compassion and empathy, and more often than anyone knows, he was there to help people when they were most in need. Peddie will long benefit from Mike's legacy.
Catherine Rodrigue 
Associate Head of School

 

3

Paving the way for excellence
I had the good fortune to work closely with Mike on the arts expansion project, and each time we met, I came away having learned lessons about strategy, detail and paving the way for excellence. I concluded early in the planning stages that the project and I would be best served by simply following Mike’s masterful direction. 
Alan Michaels P’11 ’13 ’17 
Chair, Peddie Arts Department

 

4

Baseball's No. 1 fan
Mike served as the baseball program's No. 1 fan. If he wasn't at his desk or wearing a hard hat at a construction site, he could be found helping baseball players at the batting cage or practice mound behind our dugout. Here, the campus sage behaved like a kid, helping others play a kids' game. 
Peter McClellan ’90 P’19 ’21 ’25
Assistant Head for Student Life
Assistant Baseball Coach

 

5

Our silent cheerleader
We worked together to reimagine the food service department and, after much effort, brought food services up several notches. Throughout the process, Mike was supportive and always our biggest silent cheerleader. He would remind us that food services is the only department that gets evaluated every day, three times a day. He would check in with me every day and always had time to hear about the current status of the kitchen.
Robin Wojcik 
Director of Food Service 

 

6

Our moral compass 
Mike has been the mainstay of Peddie’s operational stability and financial health. He has a remarkable depth and breadth of experience and understanding, clear vision and attention to detail that has enabled him to keep his “eye on the prize” through the most difficult financial challenges — and with great success. Perhaps above all, Mike has brought his strong moral compass, sense of teamwork, high standards and unwavering determination and commitment to always do what is best for Peddie.
Doug Davidson ’64 
Chair, Peddie Board of Trustees


Sanjeev Puri P'25

Welcome Sanjeev Puri P’25

Puri most recently served as the chief operating officer at Woodstock School in northern India. Before joining Woodstock School, Puri was based in California and worked for 15 years at Cognizant, an international management consulting firm.

“There is much to be said about an institution that traces its roots back over 150 years and still holds on to the principles upon which it was built,” said Puri. “Peddie’s emphasis on a culture of kindness, acceptance, integrity, courage and leadership showcases a community where passions and aspirations are shared across the community and are demonstrated by word and example.”

Puri earned a bachelor’s degree from G.B. Pant University and an MBA from the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, both in India. 

“It was an essential goal for me to find a person whose intellect, experience, management skills and moral compass would continue Peddie’s excellent management and stewardship philosophy and practices,” said Head of School Peter Quinn.