Tidewater Academy announces new Head of School

Published 8:37 am Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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According to a media release from the Tidewater Academy Board of Directors, Tom Bendel has been appointed as the new Head of School, effective July 1, 2024.

Bendel is from the Roanoke Valley and met his wife, Jennifer, at Virginia Commonwealth University. The couple, who have been married for 39 years, consider Richmond their home despite their extensive travels. They have two adult sons, Christopher and Todd, and three grandchildren, Calista (7), Nicholas (4), and Viola (3). They are also pet owners of two dogs, Molly and Floyd.

Bendel most recently served as Headmaster at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School in Houston, Texas. His previous roles include Head of School at the Altamont School in Birmingham, Alabama; Sabot at Stony Point in Richmond; and the North Jakarta Intercultural School in Indonesia. He also served as Head of Upper School at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Georgia and Dean of Student Affairs at The American School in Switzerland. His teaching career began in the political science department at the United States Naval Academy, and he has been an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

Prior to his career in education, Bendel served 21 years as a naval flight officer in the United States Navy. His diverse military career included flying with various squadrons, a tour as a tactical action officer on the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66), and staff duties at the United States Strategic Command.

Bendel holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Virginia Tech, a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Master of Arts in Government from Georgetown University. He has also completed significant coursework toward a Doctor of Education in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at Northeastern University.

In his spare time, Bendel enjoys running, cycling, and playing the saxophone and guitar.