Schools That Thrive: How Tilton School Thrives with Head of School Peter Saliba

After 170 years of surviving and thriving, one would think Tilton School, a private boarding school in Tilton, New Hampshire, is doing something right.

So how do they do it? How does Tilton keep its competitive edge in the growing private-school market? Head of School Peter Saliba claims that when it comes to his role, listening makes all the difference in maintaining Tilton’s success. He recommends reaching out to partners outside of the school, not assuming educators have all the answers, and being open to change.

A former Director of Technology at other schools, Saliba has a specific vision for implementing technology and innovation at Tilton. He wants students to develop skills that allow them to transfer their technology experience to any hardware and software platforms, so he evaluates technology based on its potential for skill creation.

Just as importantly, Saliba believes students should have opportunities to engage in spaces “where technology is not as invasive.” Saliba advocates for students to have chances to slow down and be aware of the world around them, which is why Tilton has created technology-free zones, like the campus chapel.

In this interview with Dr. Esin Sile, CEO of MindBridge Partners, Saliba shares his advice for visionary leadership, for developing partnerships between the school and the community, and for navigating a four-step “design thinking process” that develops best practices based on student feedback.

About Tilton School

Founded in 1845, this private boarding school in Tilton, New Hampshire, was originally a Methodist seminary. Now a coeducational secondary school, Tilton School is home to 260 students from 17 states and 17 foreign countries.

About Peter Saliba

Peter Saliba, Head of School at Tilton since July 2012, has wanted to be a teacher since he was a teenager because of the impact of his wonderful mentors. Today, he is passionate about shared leadership, in which everyone at the school takes responsibility for success. Saliba believes in hiring people whom he thinks are smarter than he is, and who come from different perspectives.

About Esin Sile

The CEO of MindBridge Partners, Esin Sile has more than 20 years of experience in extensive research, analyzing complex data sets, market analysis, statistical modeling, and strategic consulting. She sets research findings and her consulting work within an insightful context, honed by relationships with many different client institutions.

Adelia Humme

Adelia Humme

Previously an academic adviser at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, Adelia has contributed her editorial skills to The Eckleburg Project, Redivider, and Texas A&M University Press. She recently moved from Texas to Boston to pursue a master's degree in publishing & writing at Emerson College. She devotes her free time to reading fantasy novels and spoiling cats.