WMS people

Message from Bill Dunbar

January 31, 2017

To the WMS Community,

On behalf of the Washington Montessori School Board of Trustees, I am writing to announce that Pat Werner has decided to retire as our Head of School at the end of the 2017-18 school year.

I can think of no higher praise to give someone than to say that their work has had a beneficial and lasting impact on the world. At her retirement, Pat will have spent 43 years building one of the most exceptional and respected schools in the country. Her work has positively impacted the lives of thousands of kids and I know I speak for all WMS families, past and present, in thanking her from the bottom of my heart for all that she’s done for our children.

Pat is irreplaceable, and yet that is what we must now do. Unselfish as always, she has given us more than enough time to plan for this transition. A small group of Trustees began meeting last summer to learn as much as we could about successfully conducting a Head of School search. We’ve spoken with numerous other schools and search consultants and we feel that we are as prepared as we can be to manage this change in leadership. We have retained the services of search consultants, Independent Thinking (IT) from Newton, MA, to help guide us and to conduct a nationwide search for our next Head of School. IT offers us a wealth of experience and they will be visiting school in February to meet with teachers and staff, current and past parents, and Trustees. There will be additional information coming in the next week or so regarding the specifics of their visit and your opportunities to meet with them.

Our school, our culture, and our community are amazingly strong and vibrant. Working together in a thoughtful and transparent way, I am certain that we will be successful in this transition. It has been the highlight of my career to be able to work closely with Pat in support of such an incredible school. I’m looking forward to continuing that work with her for the next year and a half, and to celebrating her career while we prepare for the next 43 years at WMS.

Sincerely Yours,

Bill Dunbar

WMS Board of Trustees