By Steve Williams, Executive Director One of the things I’ve always loved about being a…
1. 2020 Executive Director Transition
Dear WSD Families,
In January of 2017, after serving for five years as WSD’s Executive Director, I was invited by the WSD Board of Directors to extend my role for three more years. I accepted, and the Board voted unanimously to extend my tenure as Executive Director through the 2019-20 school year. As I sat down with the Board Chair at that time, Douglas Ogilvy, to discuss the future of this position, we agreed that we would create a carefully organized process for a smooth and healthy transition to a new Director.
Benefits of the Transition
The transition to a new Executive Director will benefit WSD in a number of ways. First, I have always thought that a leader should not overstay her position. Institutions such as WSD benefit from renewed vision and energy, especially at key points in their development. Second, institutions such as WSD are invigorated by clear and traveled pathways for the upward mobility of their own capable and progressive staff.
Third, a carefully planned, amicable transition, when a school is strong and on an upward trajectory, circumvents the damage that can occur before and after the transition of an established leader. We have chosen to utilize the highly sustainable private school model, where the leadership often alternates years of administrative assignments with years of classroom teaching.
On a personal note, when I first became associated with WSD in 2010, only one of my five children was married, and I had no grandchildren. As WSD has grown and evolved, so has my own family. I now have four married children and ten grandchildren, and look forward to enjoying more time with them.
Support from the Board of Directors and Administration
Douglas Ogilvy found my arguments to be sound and prudent, and he brought his conclusion persuasively to the Board of Directors. Since that time, the administration and board have worked collaboratively to organize a healthy transition for WSD at the end of school year 2019-2020, which coincides with WSD’s ten-year anniversary.
Vicky Fitlow, former Board Chair, Past Chair, and now, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, serves as the Chair of the Transition Committee, an ad hoc committee formed to support the upcoming transition. Members of this committee include highly experienced educators and administrators, as well as parents and teachers. Kat Mitchell, Peter Leeman, and I will be WSD’s administrative representatives on the Transition Committee. The Board will send out more information about this committee in an upcoming email, along with the timeline of actions to support the transition.
WSD is fortunate in that the majority of our original School Leadership Team will still be serving at WSD as we go into our tenth year and beyond. This continuity, along with the consistency of vision supported by teachers, staff, families, and the Board of Directors, will be invaluable for ensuring the continued success of our school.
My Continuing Commitment to WSD
My commitment to and love of the Weilenmann School of Discovery has never been stronger. My students, colleagues, and the community at WSD have become family to me. I reaffirm the high value WSD places on individual student growth, learning through authentic experiences, and staying dynamic and innovative. I am grateful to all the stakeholders at WSD – parents, teachers, students, board members, administrators, and support staff – whose efforts have made the school what it is today.
My current plans and efforts extend into those years following the transition in order to establish the foundation on which the next generation of leaders may achieve unmatched success. I will also continue in a consulting role on the leadership team for an appropriate period of time in order to support a seamless transition. As I leave my current position, I plan to return more fully to teaching, which is my first love, and hope to teach WSD students for many years to come.