Norton Center Welcomes New Leadership

Following a national search, Loomis Chaffee has appointed Matthew Kammrath as the new Keller Family Director of the Norton Family Center for the Common Good.

“I was attracted to the Norton director position because I felt the inclusion of a center for the common good demonstrates Loomis' commitment to ‘walking the walk’ when it comes to delivering on the mission of the school,” explained Matt.

Matt comes to Loomis from the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York, where he has been on the faculty since 2003. During his tenure at Masters, Matt has been a mathematics teacher, head coach of the boys varsity basketball team, a dorm parent, and a grade-level dean. In 2012, he co-founded the Ethical Leadership Program at Masters and has served as its co-director since then. Matt holds a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in education in school leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

Associate Head of School Webb Trenchard, who chaired the search committee for the director position, noted that the applicant pool was incredibly robust. “Certainly, the appeal of this particular position speaks to the relevance of the work of the Norton Center during these times,” concluded Webb.

According to Webb, committee members gravitated toward Matt’s experience as a thought leader and his gracious and kind affect, which they believe will serve him well as he follows in the formidable footsteps of the center’s outgoing director, Eric LaForest, who has been appointed head of Loomis’ History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies Department.

“I am … excited to build relationships with the amazing faculty and students during my first year at Loomis,” Matt said recently. “I had an opportunity to be on campus a few weeks ago, and every individual I encountered shared a similar energy and enthusiasm for Loomis and its extensive program offerings — and this is in spite of COVID, no less. That kind of positive energy is infectious and motivates me even more to dive into this new environment.”

Matt will be joined by the center’s new associate director, Lillian Corman, who will start her sixth year as a faculty member at the school in 2021–22. This summer Lillian will complete the same University of Pennsylvania graduate degree program in school leadership that Matt completed in 2020.

In addition to her ongoing roles as a Spanish teacher and dorm head, Lillian helped launch and lead the school’s Chaffee Leadership Institute, formally known as the Longman Leadership Institute, which partnered with the Norton Center on a number of projects over the years. She also taught the Norton Center’s Seminars in the Best Self and Common Good.

She is excited about her new role. “I am at my best when working with students, and the Norton Center is a space at Loomis Chaffee that I feel connects with a wide range of students in an effort to enhance and make visible the mission of the school,” she shared.

Matt and Lillian will begin their work in the Norton Center on July 1. In addition to his role as director, Matt will teach the Seminars in the Best Self and the Common Good and one course in the Mathematics Department. He will live off campus with his wife, Brooke, who is a professor of forensic science at the University of New Haven, and their two children.

The Norton Family Center for the Common Good encourages in students an expanded understanding of their roles as citizens in a diverse democracy and fosters an active, engaged approach to citizenship in our global society. Providing programs, resources, and support in classroom and extra-curricular experiences, the center inspires students to identify, create, and sustain ideas and actions on behalf of the common good in local-to-global contexts. The center’s curricular and community activities support the school’s mission which exhorts Loomis students to serve “the best self and the common good.”