Westminster’s head of school, Bill Philip, announced July 30 that he will be stepping down from his position and departing Westminster as of June 30, 2021, following a 38-year tenure at the school.
Bill became Westminster’s eighth head of school in 2010, and under his leadership, transformation of the campus according to the school’s master plan has taken place with the building of Armstrong Dining Hall, Brockelman Student Center, Gund House, Kelter House, Squibb House, other new faculty residences and Hovey Field. He has also spearheaded with trustees the school’s endowment campaign, Soar Together, which is focused on generating support for students and faculty and has had unprecedented success. More recently, he led transition efforts to distance learning this past spring and, this summer, has led planning to reopen campus in the fall.
“Most importantly, throughout this period of growth, Bill has ensured that Westminster remained true to itself and our community ethos of Grit and Grace, which has resulted, not surprisingly, in a robust school community with a strong student body, continuity in faculty, including numerous alumni, and a spirit that is familiar to all of us,” said Chair of the Westminster School Board of Trustees Brad Raymond ’85, P’19, ’20, ’23, ’23 in a letter to the school community.
In addition to being a key partner to Bill, Jenny Philip has also served the school in many ways over the years as a faculty member. She currently coaches field hockey and lacrosse at Westminster, writes and edits electronic communications in the Marketing and Communications Office, curates art exhibits for Baxter Gallery and this summer is leading the dining team that is planning for the reopening of school. She has also initiated many campus beautification efforts.
“As Jenny and I look forward to the next stage in our lives, which we hope will include plenty of travel and much more time with family — opportunities which our totally immersive devotion to school life have necessarily postponed — we know that Westminster School will continue to flourish with the energy and optimism that accompany new leadership,” said Bill.
Bill was appointed to the Westminster faculty in 1983, and prior to becoming head of school, he served as assistant headmaster, associate headmaster, director of studies, director of college counseling and senior development director, all while teaching history for 25 years. He also was a corridor and dormitory supervisor, a coach of swimming, baseball and lacrosse, and a sought-after advisor for hundreds of students. He and Jenny raised their two daughters, Kate ’06 and Alie ’09, on campus.
“Bill has and continues to work tirelessly on behalf of Westminster students, faculty, administration and staff, as well as the broader school community,” said Brad. “His wisdom runs deep and his passion for Westminster is unrivaled.”
A search committee that consists of trustees, current and past parents, alumni and faculty has been appointed to select a new head of school. The committee will be assisted by Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a nationally recognized educational search firm.
“The search is an opportunity for us, as a school community, to recognize who we are today and to explore where we need to go,” said Brad, who chairs the committee. “We will focus not only on our deeply rooted strengths and proud tradition but as importantly on new educational goals for the world in which our children live.”