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John Scudder

Head of School

“In a time of American youth crisis, God has given me organizational and leadership skills that I want to give back to society. Saint Ambrose Academy is the place for me to serve God! “

St. Ambrose Academy is thrilled to welcome John Scudder as our new Head of School! In this new role, John will provide faith-based leadership, maintain effective classical educational programs, and promote first-rate teaching and learning within the Academy.

John brings a significant amount of administrative expertise to the Academy, having retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army following 21 years of service. John is a transformational leader successful in synchronizing large, complex organizations for educational, corporate, military, and geographically separated operational environments. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and has a master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. John was also an instructor for the U.S. Military Academy’s only required college course in leadership and management. 

Once John retired from the military, he served 14 years as a supply chain executive as well as a school administrator for a 9,600-student school district. He also functioned as a senior leader advisor supporting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) military Land Forces.  He recently worked as the Chief of Staff of a US-leading international monitoring and verification mission in South Sudan.

Outside of professional pursuits, John’s favorite hobbies are family time, golf, and exercise. John has been married to the former Cindy Evans for 35 years. They have three boys: Jack, who is an Aviation Officer and Major in the U.S. Army; Luke, an Infantry Officer and  Captain in the 3/75 Ranger Battalion, and Ben, a software engineer here in Madison. Getting his family together is always a highlight!

Working out is a top priority for John, who enjoys running and hiking, and he has enjoyed walking pilgrimages including 200 miles of the Camino de Santiago and the Walk-to-Mary at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion. John has enjoyed several other pilgrimages to Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje, and generally loves traveling and visiting historical sites.

One lesser-known fact about John is that he’s passionate about coin-collecting. So, if you’ve ever wanted to get all the nitty gritty details on numismatics, especially 18th– and 19th-century American coins, he’ll gladly share!

From his own Catholic educational experiences with Dominicans and Salesians, John brings a keen appreciation for the approach St. Ambrose offers to the educational landscape of Madison: classical education that is centered on Jesus Christ. The supportive culture with respectful students, outstanding teachers, and a love of learning that permeates the Academy motivates him in his work serving the community.