Head of School

"The Walker School Board of Trustees is thrilled to officially welcome Carl to campus. In Carl, we have found a thoughtful and dynamic leader for our community, with the vision, tenacity and drive to grow and sustain the mission of the Walker School. We could not be more delighted and hope you will join us in welcoming Carl to Walker." - Carolynn Puffe, Board Chair

Meet Walker's New Head of School, Carl Carlson

Carl C. Carlson has compiled a distinguished career as an educator over the past 30 years. After spending the first 23 years of his career working as a teacher, coach and administrator in traditional New England boarding schools, for the past eight years, Carl has worked in an urban, multi-division day school as Head of High School for Tampa Preparatory School, which proudly calls itself “Florida’s Most Innovative School.” Carl has extensive and versatile experience in all aspects of an independent school and considers independent school education his life’s work, personal purpose and an extension of his core values.
Carl comes from a family of educators and grew up as a faculty child on three different boarding school campuses in New England.  After attending Wesleyan University (where he fell in love with economics), Carl began his career as a teacher, coach and dorm parent at St. Mark’s School in Massachusetts. After four years, he returned to school and earned his master’s degree in education from Harvard University. In the summer of 1995, he married his wife, Alison, and began an 18-year stay at the Taft School in Connecticut, where he taught math and economics, coached basketball and soccer, lived in dorms and served in a variety of administrative roles. In the summer of 2013, his family moved to Tampa, Fla., where he began his role at Tampa Prep. Carl and Alison, who also works in independent school education, have three children: Cameron, age 23; Owen, age 20; and Zachary, age 17. His personal interests include travel, basketball, music, gardening, reading, cooking and the Red Sox (soon to be Braves!).

A Letter from Mr. Carlson

Dear Walker Community, 

I hope your summer is off to a great start. For the past few months, I have been wrapping up my work at Tampa Prep, celebrating the graduation of our youngest son and his classmates from high school and preparing for our move to Marietta. My wife, Alison, and I are now settling into our new home and have started to explore the area, make connections and build our new lives as empty nesters. 

July 1, is an exciting day for me as I officially begin my tenure as Walker’s next Head of School. I am grateful to the many people in the Walker community who have already devoted time, energy and care to my transition. Members of the Board of Trustees have welcomed me, answered questions and provided guidance; senior administrators have met with me to collaborate and advise; faculty and staff have introduced themselves and shared hopes for the future. 

Over the coming weeks and months, I will be busy taking a deep dive into everything Walker. To kick things off, I just completed New Employee Orientation with other new faculty and staff. Later this month, I will attend the National Association of Independent Schools’ Institute for New Heads followed by our Senior Administrators’ Retreat to team-build with new and returning administrators and plan for the upcoming school year. Then, our Board Retreat will take place in August. I will work with the Board of Trustees to identify my immediate goals and to outline an action plan for the year and beyond. I also will be connecting with as many faculty and staff as possible. The summer is filling up quickly! 

I look forward to the start of the school year, to welcoming students to campus and connecting with you at back-to-school events. 

In the meantime, all the best for a healthy, safe and restorative summer!

Carl C. Carlson
Head of School

Learn more about Walker’s New Head of School in this interview.

  • Main Campus

    700 Cobb Parkway North
    Marietta, GA 30062
  • Primary School

    830 Damar Road
    Marietta, GA 30062
The Walker School is a private, co-ed day school offering opportunities in academics, arts, and athletics for preschool, elementary, middle, and high school students in Metro Atlanta.