Three Wishes for the Year

Aug 19, 2015 | Impact, Upper School News

Fitinhas do BonfimAs Mount Vernon began the 2015-2016 school year, the School welcomed a new Head of Upper School Dr. Blair Peterson. With years of experience leading high schools around the globe, he opened the year by sharing a Brazilian custom with Mount Vernon’s Upper School students.


Emphasizing the desire for everyone to set personal goals/wishes for the year, he gave each student and teacher a Bahia Band. Worn by generations of people for the past 200 years –the band symbolizes faith and good luck. The writing on the ribbon says, “Nosso Senhor Do Bonfim” a catholic devotion meaning, “Our Lord of Good Endings”. As a part of the tradition, the wearer ties the ribbon three times signifying three wishes.

Dr. Peterson, his wife Jennifer, and their three children transitioned to Sandy Springs from Brazil during the summer. Maclean (Grade 11), Maxine (Grade 10), and Maya (Grade 3) joined the Mount Vernon family this year as well.

Most recently, Dr. Peterson was the high school principal for the Graded School, The American School of São Paulo, Brazil, which is an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma school with an enrollment of of 1,225 students from 30 different countries.

Prior to Graded, he was appointed the middle and high school principal for the Mont’Kiara International School, located in Malaysia, and secondary principal for Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Ecuador. Prior to these experiences he was an assistant principal at a North Carolina science and technology magnet school, taught social studies, and coached Division I basketball.

Dr. Peterson received his Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University in history and economics, Master of Arts in educational leadership from the University of Detroit, and Doctorate in Education from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing further in educational leadership.

We look forward to our journey with Dr. Peterson, this year.