Vail Christian excited about new headmaster
EDWARDS — A new hand will be on the helm at Vail Christian High School.
Steve O’Neil will replace outgoing headmaster Jeremy Lowe, who is headed to Dallas to take over Prince of Peace Christian School.
O’Neil will oversee all operations beginning in August, for the Edwards-based school, which serves 160 students in grades 9-12.
“Steve is the perfect selection to direct the notable academic and enrollment trajectory of Vail Christian,” said Deborah Worley, chair of the school’s six-member search committee. “His visionary leadership, appreciation of our school culture, and exceptional ability to inspire students, parents, and staff will ensure our stature as a premier Christian high school.”
O’Neill’s experience and education
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Since 2008, O’Neil has been the head of school at Westminster Schools of Augusta, Georgia, a college-preparatory day school serving 603 students in grades kindergarten through 12. Prior to Westminster, he held school leadership positions at Haven of Peace Academy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, Minn.
In East Africa, O’Neil led a large international Christian college-preparatory school with a student body representing over 30 nationalities. While at Minnehaha Academy, he served as director of curriculum for preschool through 12th grade and later as upper school principal.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Wheaton College, where he also met his future wife, Denae. Steve received his master’s degree in school administration from the University of Colorado and is currently a Ph.D. student in organizational leadership at Eastern University’s College of Business and Leadership.
O’Neil began his career as a history and social studies teacher at Denver’s Regis Jesuit High School and Denver Academy. Both experiences significantly shaped his leadership and educational philosophy, he said.
“Denae and I are incredibly excited to return to the state where we began our careers and family,” O’Neil said. “We look forward to immersing ourselves in the VCHS and Vail Valley communities. We love the mountains, the mountain lifestyle and the people who are drawn to them.”
Steve and Denae’s son Tommy will be a Vail Christian High School sophomore. Their older children, Anna and Benjamin, are students at the University of Georgia.
“Steve’s experience as an educator, combined with his commitment to Christian education, are the perfect blend of attributes to lead us in our next chapters,” said Nancy Whitley, Vail Christian’s director of academic and college guidance.
Lowe leaves the school after eight years of serving as principal and head of school.