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Michael Bussman named next Head of School of Royal Palm Academy in Naples
NAPLES, Fl. (May 25, 2021) — Royal Palm Academy, an independent, Catholic, pre-kindergarten to eighth grade school in Naples, Florida, announced the selection of Michael Bussman as Head of School effective June 7, 2021.
The selection came following the comprehensive efforts of the Royal Palm Academy Board of Directors search committee, which considered input from faculty, staff, and parents to help shape the selection criteria and profile for the new Head of School. Royal Palm Academy’s current Head of School, Scott Baier, announced earlier this year that he would retire after over two decades of service to the school.
“With great appreciation for Royal Palm Academy’s important and meaningful past, we earnestly set our sight on a bright future under the leadership of Mr. Bussman, united in mission, faith, and aspirations.”  
~ Jacqueline Balandra, Board President
Mr. Bussman brings to Royal Palm Academy more than 23 years of professional leadership experience as a former naval officer, project manager, and Catholic school administrator. Since 2013, Mr. Bussman has served at Benedictine College Preparatory in Richmond, VA as Dean of Faculty, Associate Headmaster, and most recently as Head of School. Benedictine is a Catholic, independent school with 282 students. There, he was instrumental in helping the school to grow its enrollment, expand student services, develop new curriculum initiatives, and support a multimillion-dollar improvement to campus facilities and master site plan.
Prior to Benedictine, Mr. Bussman served in educational leadership positions at Saint John Academy in McLean, VA, Saint John Paul the Great in Potomac Shores, VA, and the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.  His past roles include principal, department chair, and teacher. While serving in the United States Navy, Mr. Bussman was deployed overseas for three years in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, serving as the ship’s navigator, and logging over 100,000 nautical miles. Mr. Bussman’s military awards include two Navy and Marines Corps Commendation medals, the Navy and Marines Corp Achievement medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
Mr. Bussman holds an undergraduate degree from the United States Naval Academy, a Master’s in Science in Information Systems from The Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business, and a Master’s in Education in Catholic School Leadership from Marymount University.
Mr. Bussman is married with two children, ages four and two; his oldest daughter will enroll in Royal Palm Academy’s pre-kindergarten class this fall. He and his family are relocating to Naples from Richmond in early June.
About Royal Palm Academy
Royal Palm Academy is an independent, Catholic, pre-kindergarten to eighth grade school in Naples, Florida. Its mission is to partner with families to provide an education of rich academics with Catholic formation. Royal Palm Academy teaches the mind, educates the heart, and forms the character of tomorrow’s leaders. This mission is pursued through the development of the whole person, integral formation, which encompasses the commitment to teach, to educate, and to form.