Massanutten Military Academy searches for new head of school

By Ryan Cornell

Less than six months after removing the middle part of its name, Massanutten Military Academy has put the word “military” back in and experienced a change in leadership.

David Skipper now serves as interim head of the school after former head Merlin A. Henkel left the school last month.

In addition to Henkel leaving, three school employees — including two administrators — and a consultant to Henkel resigned.

“The basic thrust was that the previous administration had a vision of the school that was more of a prep school,” Skipper said. “In fact, I believe earlier this year they had changed the name from Massanutten Military Academy to Massanutten Academy, but the board [of trustees] had a different view than them.”

Skipper said he was told the board had not approved the name change.

Skipper stepped into the interim position April 3, previously serving as a counselor at the school. Henkel joined the academy in May 2011 and served as director of business operations and chief financial officer before being named head of school in November 2012.

Skipper said the board is conducting a national search for a replacement head, and said he wasn’t given a timetable on when the search would start or end.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or

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