From Head of School Sandi Wollum
June 12, 2023
Dear Seabury Staff and Families,
As this year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on how far Seabury has come in the 21 years I have been here. It has been a joy and a privilege to lead Seabury, a school that has touched the lives of so many amazing students and gained recognition in the field of gifted education. Our incredible staff and dedicated board have shown their commitment to our kids and our school every single day. We have had our ups and downs through the years, but Seabury has always been and will continue to be a place where gifted students can grow and thrive in a supportive, caring community.
I have been fortunate to stay in touch with many of our former students, and to get to hear stories of how their experiences at Seabury nurtured their curiosity, taught them the value of asking deep and interesting questions, and helped them become confident and able to advocate for themselves. As I look at our current students, I am excited to think about what the future holds for them. Supporting gifted students as they grow, develop confidence, gain resilience, follow their passions and dream about possibilities is what brings light to my life.
While Seabury will always have my heart, I have come to the very difficult decision that after the 23-24 school year, it will be time for me to move on to new adventures. I am excited to have another year with our amazing staff and students, and to have the chance to work with the board to prepare for the transition to a new head of school.
The board of trustees is already preparing for the transition. They are forming a search committee and have engaged a search firm that will help Seabury find just the right person to carry the school forward. I will do all I can to support the search committee and our search consultant, Joan Beauregard, a retired NWAIS head of school and someone I have complete confidence in. The board is committed to being transparent throughout the process and will keep staff and families informed as things move forward.
I look forward to seeing you after the summer and to a year that promises to be a time of engaging learning and building community together. Our staff is incredible and we are already well on our way to planning for an amazing year.
Have a wonderful summer. I will see you in the fall!
Sandi Wollum, Head of School
From the Board of Trustees
Dear Members of the Seabury Community,
As announced today, Sandi Wollum has decided that this coming school year (2023-24) will be her last at Seabury. The board received this news with gratitude and admiration for what Sandi has been able to accomplish during her years at the school, but also with respectful acceptance that her tenure is coming to an end. While Sandi has been and will always remain a part of the Seabury family, we understand and support her desire for change.
We are grateful for Sandi’s 21 years of service at Seabury School, including 18 years as the head of school. She has served as head of school more than twice as long as the national average for an independent school head, and her loyalty has provided valuable stability through the years. Change in leadership is inevitable in all organizations and the board is committed to the ongoing successful operation of Seabury School and to ensuring an orderly transition from one leader to the next.
We are grateful for the long notice that Sandi has given us, which will enable us to conduct a thorough search for her replacement. She has helped set Seabury up for an ideal transition. The Board of Trustees is in the process of creating a Search Committee and has engaged Joan Beauregard of Educator’s Collaborative, a national consulting firm specializing in working with independent schools, to assist us with the head of school search. The board will work with her over the summer to narrow down a pool of applicants to a few finalists, who will visit the school in the fall to meet the community and spend time in the classrooms. You will have the chance to meet with and hear from all the candidates, and the board will be reaching out for community feedback after their visits.
We are committed to making this Head of School search inclusive, transparent, and collaborative and we will share more information as the search continues. The search committee’s work will conclude with the announcement of the new head of school in the fall of this year. The new head will start at Seabury in June 2024, while Sandi remains head of school for the 2023-24 school year. We believe this head of school search process will make our school even stronger. We will work together to identify a leader who not only embraces our values and vision of multicultural academic excellence, but who challenges us all to truly live up to them.
I have had the privilege of serving as a trustee for six years, and have known Sandi as a parent for nine years. With great pleasure, I have seen how our school has thrived under Sandi’s leadership and vision these past years. I have watched my son go from being miserable in a crowded classroom in public school to thriving in a community of curious and engaged peers.
Sandi’s accomplishments include constant and tireless work on the curriculum for gifted education. She prioritized faculty and staff professional development, ensuring Seabury offers an innovative and multidisciplinary education that challenges each and every student. Sandi created Seabury Squared as a way to expand our outreach, including educational opportunities, support and resources for gifted children, their families and educators. In 2009, together with Dr. Jayasri Ghosh, she launched the middle school program, expanding school and providing an opportunity for older students to continue at Seabury. Her work with community organizations like Tacoma City Hall, Spaceworks, Downtown on the Go, Rain Incubator and the Downtown Business Partnership created unique educational opportunities for our students. The Board is particularly appreciative of Sandi’s leadership in shepherding continuous learning in response to COVID-19, quickly launching an online educational program to ensure all our learners remained engaged. Her leadership enabled Seabury to quickly pivot and train staff and faculty to provide consistent and high-quality online learning during a turbulent and fast-changing time. Did I mention she’s also a great guitar player?
On behalf of the current trustees, as well as those who have served with Sandi over the last 18 years, we express our deep gratitude for Sandi’s leadership. We will create opportunities for you to help celebrate her dedication and accomplishments during the upcoming school year.
I know I speak for the entire Seabury community when I say thank you to Sandi for leading the community through hard times and good, while always embodying the characteristics that make Seabury the special place that it is. We are a better school at the end of your tenure.