Guy S. McLean was Appleby’s sixth headmaster, now referred to as principal. Prior to his appointment as headmaster in 1987, McLean held a number of academic posts at Appleby including Director of Studies, Head of English, Director of Athletics, and Assistant Director of the Junior School under Michael Nightingale.
Born in London, Ontario, McLean obtained a BA in English at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. In 1971 McLean joined Appleby, primarily teaching English, Latin and Mathematics in the Junior School. McLean’s tenure as headmaster has seen significant changes in both the focus and direction of the College. In consultation with the Board of Governors and staff, McLean wrote a long-range business plan that set the direction of the College’s development into the 21st century. Two important initiatives in the plan were the implementation of a coeducational programme and narrowing the academic programme by phasing out grades four to six. In the fall of 1991, Appleby saw its first female intake; then in 1993, the first alumnae graduated. That same year Baillie House, Appleby’s first residence for women, opened. By the fall of 1993, the lowest entry level was grade seven.
Another important advancement of the College was the decision to join the Round Square, an international association of independent schools, which has enhanced opportunities for Appleby students to participate in exchange programmes and international projects. This occurred in 1992.
In 1998, a second strategic plan was approved during McLean’s tenure, which saw the college grow dramatically by the purchase of six acres at the northeastern corner of campus, the construction of a full-size artificial-turf field hockey pitch, the long-awaited construction of a new Powell’s House (to replace the original 1918 structure), as well as a state of the art wireless Student Commons building that contains a new
library, archives, information technology department, classrooms, and a new dance studio.
Under McLean’s direction, five pillars of strength were established: Community Spirited, Technologically Innovative, Academically Vital, Globally Inquisitive, and Actively Engaged. Of particular note is the e.school in which IT is integrated into every facet of the school curriculum. With over three decades of service, McLean can attest that Appleby is a “co-educational day and boarding university-preparatory school, with a
curriculum based around the liberal arts” with over 740 students. He retired as Headmaster and Principal in 2010.