school's out

The Private School Headmaster Who Quit His Job Over Email Sexting


Not sure how we missed this one, but since everyone loves a gay sex scandal at a school, meet Matthew Hanly (pictured, left), the now-former headmaster of Oregon Episcopal School, a day and boarding school in the woods, apparently. The 51-year-old married (but separated) father of two grown children suddenly found himself resigning from the post last week when emails of the “personal” nature found their way into the hands of parents. How personal? Well for one thing they revealed he was gay. And for another, that he enjoys crab cakes and sex with his dinner party hosts.

After separating from his wife last fall, it appears Hanly realized he’s a big gay and started a mission to enjoy all the fruits of homosexuality! That involved joining friends for dinner parties, and then hitting on them via email afterward.

As these things are wont to do, the messages made their way into an email chain among students’ parents (and, presumably, students) after Hanly’s email was hacked. Parents, meanwhile, claim they’re furious not because they learned their headmaster is gay (of course not!), but “they were troubled by Hanly’s leadership at the exclusive private school,” reports Willamette Week. “And they said the latest embarrassment was just one more symptom of Hanly’s poor judgement [sic] during his nearly two-year tenure. They also faulted him for making decisions behind closed doors without adequate input from parents.”

Fo’ sho!

Hanly has already apologized to students and teachers in person, and then (of course) sent an email to parents apologizing once more, and coming out, in case it wasn’t already obvious.

So what was even in those emails that, interestingly, involved another male school headmaster, Michael Hulshof-Schmidt (pictured, right)?


Poor guy. But we’d have more sympathy for the fella if he weren’t so stupid as to use his work email account to send these messages. C’mon, people, Gmail is free!

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  • ajax

    I agree with the school – this shows poor judgement. And, if he’s been grappling with personal issues like divorce and coming out, he probably hasn’t been all that focused at work. I find the school’s “last straw” explanation quite plausible.

  • scb

    @the gmail comment: no shit, right?!

  • TANK

    Nothing more annoying than the newly out middle aged divorcé. It’s like an ugly child, only worse.

  • Dewitt

    That was the most hilariously unsexy and emo end to a flirtatious correspondence ever. On the other hand, “recent events” might refer to something else.

  • galefan2004

    If his job performance is slacking then he should resign. Based on these messages though, I have no clue if his job performance is slacking, and these are really not exactly “sexting” e-mails. Seriously, I think we should get over the morals clause and the inability to realize that people are human and that personal and professional lives can be kept separate. I do agree that using his work e-mail was probably not the best idea.

  • stevenelliot

    This is sad. I know of this school and I believe this gentleman headmaster hasnt been there but maybe 2-3 years.

    My partner worked at a private episcopal school in south carolina for 25 years. He was the middle school principal for 18 and oversaw 450 kids and 30 teachers.

    The school had a nondiscrimination policy on their books for gays. So the school board, which increasingly got more and more right wing over the years, accused him of stealing money and fired him. This was so they wouldnt have to pay severance and/or look like bigots and be sued.

    This story hits home. AND there is probably more dirty work involved than you would think just by reading this article.

    Non profits do not have to pay unemployment insurance. Hopefully this headmaster has a termination package in place in his contract. Private schools operate above regular tax-based rules, like public schools do.

    My husband was out of work for a year and it sucked up all of our savings. Luckily this was right before the crash (2006) so we could sell our stocks and our house without going bankrupt. I believe this headmaster at Oregon Epsicopal was hired around the same time my partner was looking for another job.

    My partner is now headmaster at an Epsicopal school in California and we are an open and accepted couple in the school community. BUT I am still very bitter about what happened to us…..

  • stevenelliot

    by the way, Non discrimination policies dont work because when a company or non-profit wants you gone they can simply accuse you of mis-managing funds or misconduct. Then it is up to the terminated party to prove otherwise. You have to have deep pockets to fight such allegations with lawyers.

    The best defense when you are upper management is to have a written contract with termination compensation agreed apon before work starts. If you work somewhere that is non contractual, youre basically screwed.

    Welcome to America!

  • AlwaysGay

    Here we go again. Heterosexuals are so predictable. Now that they find out Matthew Hanly is gay they are going to attack his job performance to look like they are not bigoted. This is what happened with Sam Adams, the transgender mayor in Florida, a school principal on an Indian reservation in New Mexico last year etc. These heterosexuals in reality are angry to find out he is gay and that’s the reason they are attacking him.

  • kevin57

    Okay, let’s talk turkey here.

    I’ve been a high school teacher and administrator for fourteen years, and none of this has anything to do with anything. The real issue is: how have the athletic teams been doing.

    I promise any and all that if the schools’ teams (esp. the “real” ones) have been succeeding, then he could come in dressed like Dolly Parton and they would give him a standing O. If, on the other hand, they’re losing, well, being gay just proves why they suck.

    Any takers on THAT analysis?

  • Mary Smith

    Matthew Hanley was the headmaster at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe, Michigan for many years prior to his current job at the Episcopalian school. At Liggett, he suffered from an elitist attitude, favoring the students of wealthy parents as opposed to those students on scholarships or just paying tuition. If you didn’t donate a hockey arena or baseball field, you were expendable and open to his scorn. Parents went to the board of directors but his behavior was sanctioned by the board of directors. His wife, who taught briefly at the school, was obviously unhappy and in many ways expressed it to the students. Once your child was attending the school for a year or two and experiencing good teachers and programs, you taught your child to keep out of his way, keep their head down and avoid any activity that might get you “called into the office”. For us, it was a stressful 4 years. Our mistreatment by him began after year two when our child was on his way to applying to college and we needed good grades and good recommendation to obtain scholarship money so changing schools was not a good option. He deserves more than a slap. Hopefully, he will never have the opportunity to influence children ever again.

  • rhydderch

    oh matthew, you’re incorrigible! sounds like these two have read too much wilde

  • Javier

    I’ve had more scandalous texts with friends–and only friends–than this buffoon did. The things I have said to my friends could actually be misinterpreted as raunchy, but this e-mail conversation is basic gay non-flirtation flirtation b/c that’s the only way some of us were ever socialized into being gay or around gay men, sex being about the only thing we have in common. That said, I never sent an e-mail or a text like this on an account that was owned by an employer…

  • Phoenix (Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Groom)

    If it were Portland (and Oregon in general) was really as liberal as they like to pretend, I might believe they were liberal enough to not mind a gay principal or teacher around their little snowflakes, but honestly, it is because he’s gay.

  • Coco

    Matthew Hanly has many psychological problems. He is also a liar. His marriage was a fraud when they lived in GP. His wife knew he was gay for years but had no identity on her own. He had numerous gay lovers and would flaunt them in her face. For her sake, I am glad the marriage is over. Hanly is a disgrace to the gay and straight community.

  • Coco

    He has made an international ass out of himself.

  • Glen

    I was kicked out of University Liggett high school by Mr. Hanly because I got caught with pot during the summer when school was out. He said that it just would not reflect well on the school. Well being gay reflects just as poorly as being a pot head when your dealing with the types of people that fund private schools. It doesn’t feel good to be judged based on ones lifestyle does it?

  • razz

    it’s 1009 and people still dont know that they shouldnt send private email in work email addresses? if it’s not hacking, it’s the company surveillance….

    geez, use a free web based email account for that

  • John Doe

    Matthew Hanly still goes to work everyday at OES using the name Scott Hardister.

  • Been There/Done That

    Scott Hardister is NOT Matthew Hanly. I dated Hanly (BIG MISTAKE) and met Scott several times. Hanly has not shown his face around town since the whole thing came down, but moved back in with his wife.

  • hanly

    As Matthew’s “family”, at least in the biological sense of the word, I wanted to speak up. Some of the things said here, be they true or not, are private issues. While I am not, nor will I EVER defend what Matthew did, please keep in mind that this effects more than just Matthew. The family has been ripped apart, left in shock, awe and ocassional denial. While some may say it was known for years, others are still hurt and surprised by Matthews actions and change in character. Please keep that in mind and in respect to the family, limit the judgmental comments to those directed only at those deserving.
    Thank you!

Comments are closed.