The Board of Trustees of Westminster School announced today the appointment of Elaine White, who has had a distinguished career in education as Westminster’s ninth head of school beginning July 1, 2021. Her appointment follows a national search for a successor to Head of School Bill Philip, who is stepping down from the position and departing Westminster next June after 38 years at the school.
During Elaine’s tenure at The Governor’s Academy, she 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.
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. 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.
“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,” said Brad Raymond, chair of the Westminster School Board of Trustees. “We are confident she will continue Westminster School’s extraordinary momentum as one of the leading independent schools in the world. She possesses all of the qualities we sought in our next head of school and is passionate about enhancing the educational experience of students.”
“I am absolutely delighted to serve as Westminster’s ninth head of school,” said Elaine. “It is a remarkable institution whose commitment to students forms the very center of its existence and whose faculty passionately and completely share their lives and their love of learning to ensure that Westminster students ‘reach well beyond the ordinary.’ Westminster’s commitment to all of its various communities — students, faculty, staff, families and alumni — inspires me, and I am excited to become part of those communities. As a school that knows itself well and takes pride in its achievements, Westminster is also a school that pushes itself to be even better — to seek and embrace excellence — with grit and grace. It is a school that is unafraid of the future, and it is an honor and a privilege to be at the helm in that journey forward.”
Click here to view a message from Elaine White.
Click here to view the letter announcing the appointment.