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Incoming Head of School

Incoming Head of School

On July 30, 2020, Westminster School Head of School William V.N. Philip P’06, ’09 announced that he will conclude his 38-year tenure at the school at the end of the current academic year, June 30, 2021. The Board of Trustees retained Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a highly regarded national search firm, to work with Westminster’s Search Committee to select a new Head of School.

Following a national search, the Board of Trustees announced Westminster’s ninth head of school in the following letter to the community.
December 8, 2020
 
Dear Members of the Westminster School Community,
 
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are very pleased to announce the appointment of Elaine White as Westminster School’s ninth Head of School effective July 1, 2021. Elaine’s depth and breadth of experience as an educator and administrator make her an inspiring leader and the most qualified candidate to steer Westminster into the future.
 
During her tenure at The Governor’s Academy, Elaine has been a teacher, coach, advisor and dorm parent, as well as serving in a variety of significant leadership positions including Chair of the English Department, Academic Dean, Interim Director of Advancement and Assistant Head of School, with some of these responsibilities overlapping. Known for her dynamic, warm leadership style and strong moral compass, she has worked with the Head of School on daily operations and has been at the heart of the school’s strategic planning for the past decade, both at the board and faculty level. In addition to managing multiple offices, she was the first female department chair in the school’s history, cultivated and stewarded donors for the school’s capital campaign, led a task force to design and implement a hybrid learning platform for the current academic year, facilitated creation of a Learning Center, managed development and operation of the school’s advisory program and helped design a summer internship program for rising seniors. Also, she is proud to have played an instrumental role in the creation of the school’s Seven Essential Skills and Visiting Professional Seminar Series. 
 
Before working at The Governor’s Academy, Elaine served two years at Wilbraham and Monson Academy as an English teacher, coach, dorm parent and advisor. She earned a B.A. in English at Bates College and an M.A. in English literature from Middlebury College. She and her husband, Chris, are the parents of three daughters: Emily, Maya and Dani.
 
Elaine’s appointment follows a five-month national search led by a 10-member Head of School Search Committee that included faculty, trustees, alumni and parents. We are very appreciative of the hard work of the Search Committee in conducting an extensive search. With the assistance of Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a nationally recognized educational search firm, the committee developed a position statement that served as a framework to review a diverse pool of around 140 candidates. During the search process, input was gathered from members of the Westminster community through an online survey, which was completed by more than 600 people, plus innumerable individual communications. The committee interviewed 13 candidates, from which they selected four finalists, with whom members of the committee and the Westminster community then participated in interviews and provided feedback. On the recommendation of the Search Committee, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved Elaine White as Westminster School’s next Head of School.
 
As we approach this change in leadership for Westminster, we do so from a position of strength, thanks to the exceptional legacy of Bill Philip, who is in his 11th year as Head of School. We are confident Elaine will continue Westminster School’s extraordinary momentum as one of the leading independent schools in the world. She possesses all of the qualities sought in our next Head of School and is passionate about enhancing the educational experience of students. With a commitment to making all members of the Westminster community feel connected to a shared vision and mission, she understands the need to balance innovation with tradition in order for Westminster to progress. Please join us in welcoming Elaine and her family to the Westminster School community. 
 
With Grit and Grace,
 
Brad Raymond ’85, P’19, ’20, ’24, ’24
Chair of the Board, Chair of Search Committee         
 
Mary Peck ’90
Trustee, Vice Chair of Search Committee

Get to Know Elaine White

Hear Elaine talk about what drew her to the Westminster community, what excites her about joining Westminster and what she sees as some of the school's strengths. She also talks about her family and her career. 

Head of School Search Committee

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