Dear St. Thomas School Community,
As you are now aware, Dr. Kirk Wheeler has informed the St. Thomas School Board of Trustees of his decision to depart STS at the end of the 2024-2025 school year. We are deeply grateful for the leadership that Dr. Wheeler has offered STS for nearly two decades, and for the profound impact he has had on countless STS students, families, faculty, and staff.
Over his distinguished tenure, Dr. Wheeler has transformed St. Thomas School. Some of his notable achievements include:
- Spearheading the creation of our LEED Gold-certified school building – the first in Washington state – emphasizing both sustainability and cutting-edge learning environments.
- Developing a comprehensive middle school curriculum and expanding the school’s academic program through 8th grade.
- Providing steadfast leadership during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community while adapting our academic program to maintain continuity of learning.
- More than doubling enrollment, accompanied by significant growth in faculty and staff.
- Overseeing the Completing our Campus campaign – in the midst of the pandemic – which resulted in the construction of the school’s Athletic and Performing Arts Center, the Center for Responsive Learning, and the Center for Leadership and Innovation.
- Leading the school through two successful NWAIS reaccreditations.
- Establishing the school’s first campaign for faculty professional development and financial aid which now allows the financial aid program to serve over 50 students with nearly $1 million in annual grants.
Dr. Wheeler graciously informed the board well in advance of his decision, allowing ample time to formulate a meticulous and thoughtful search process. The board has partnered with DRG, a distinguished firm experienced in educational leadership searches and has formed a search committee which will be chaired by Rebecca Andrew, board vice president/president-elect. Our hope is to complete the search and name Dr. Wheeler’s successor by the end of the 2023-2024 school year, allowing for a smooth transition in June 2025.
We are committed to a thorough, transparent, and inclusive search process. We invite you to attend next week’s Town Hall where time will be set aside specifically for questions about this transition. Your input and reflection during this time are invaluable, and there will be additional opportunities in the weeks ahead to share your thoughts directly with DRG through in person meetings as well as an online survey. Moving forward, you can expect to receive regular updates from the search committee, and we encourage you to visit our head of school search webpage throughout the process for more information.
As we look ahead to nearly two more years under Dr. Wheeler’s leadership, there will be many opportunities to honor his service. For now, we invite you to join us in expressing our deepest appreciation for his numerous accomplishments and unwavering dedication to STS.
Board Vice President/President-elect