Attention: No Classes Today

Head of School Transition

January 10, 2018

Dear Hamlin Robinson School Friends and Families, After a 44-year career working in public and independent schools, it is time for me to step away from the daily obligations of being a Head of School. Many of you know that I originally accepted the position as Head of Hamlin Robinson School with the intent that it would be a one-year Interim position. However, my admiration for this school, its mission, those who work at Hamlin Robinson School, and the students immediately captured my heart and lead to an eight-year commitment. These past eight years have been monumental for the school and truly some of the most rewarding and fulfilling of my career. The school has grown and changed immensely – and I have, too.

Since my arrival in 2010, I have been privileged to be a part of historic growth at Hamlin Robinson School. This growth is a testament to:

  • The strong mission of HRS -- to ignite the academic and creative potential of students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences.
  • A highly engaged Board of Trustees who have taken bold steps to ensure the stability and future of HRS. • Exceptionally dedicated and highly-trained teachers and staff who teach our students to believe in themselves and their ability to learn and excel.
  • An administrative team (past and present) who have very ably stewarded the school.
  • Parents who understand the distinct needs and strengths of their children and take the steps to ensure that they receive the best education possible.

It has been my pleasure to work closely with a remarkable board and dedicated board chairs. In particular, Mark Fordham has capably led HRS for the past several years and through a sea of change. Winston Addis has provided me with his wealth of experience, gained through his presence on the Board for 35 continuous years. And Alan Robinson, son of Mary and Hamlin Robinson, keeps us all close to our roots.

While contemplating my final months as Head of Hamlin Robinson School, I find myself especially thankful for several other individuals. First, my husband, Jim Woeppel, who since college has been my anchor in both calm and stormy waters and can always bring a smile to my face. Second, my Assistant Head of School, Stacy Turner. I could not ask for a more capable colleague and collaborator; nor could I ask for a fellow administrator who is more devoted to the mission and vision of Hamlin Robinson School and the students and families it serves. Lastly, my fellow local and national Heads of Schools, who have supported me by their gift of friendship and their willingness to share their experiences , wisdom and advice.

I look forward to the remainder of the school year and a smooth transition to a new Head of School. After that, I am excited to embark on a new professional path: working in a firm - Educators Collaborative – comprised of experienced school heads who provide consulting services to schools around the globe. I’m also honored and thrilled to move forward as a strategic advisor for Hamlin Robinson School, as this new role will allow me to remain connected to this amazing school, its community, and its mission.

Warm Regards,

Joan Beauregard
Head of School


January 10, 2018

Earlier this year, Joan Beauregard informed the HRS Board of Trustees of her decision to retire as Head of School at the end of the 2017-18 school year. While this endpoint is still several months away, we are already contemplating what HRS will be like without Joan at the helm. It is difficult to imagine.

Anyone who has been familiar with Hamlin Robinson School over the last eight years (since 2010) has witnessed a remarkable transformation under Joan’s guidance.

  • HRS began the 2010-11 school year with 116 students and 26 faculty/staff. We began 2017-18 with 277 students and 47 faculty/staff.
  • Student financial aid has risen from $152K in 2010-11 to $480K in 2017-18.
  • Slingerland summer program enrollment has risen from 67 in 2010-11 to 137 in 2017-18.
  • HRS launched its Learning Center in 2011 and was recognized as The Most Innovative Program of the Year by WFIS in 2012. The HRS Learning Center now offers over 300 tutoring sessions per month, numerous educational workshops, and a successful Speaker Series.
  • HRS Endowments have grown from $816K in 2010-11 to $1,758K in 2016-17.
  • HRS launched a successful capital campaign in 2013 which allowed HRS to build and move into its first permanent home in June 2015 after 33 years of renting 4 different locations.
  • HRS purchased adjacent property to our south and completed construction of new playfields in April 2017.
  • Additional property to our north was purchased in 2017, with strategic long range plans in consideration.

Indeed, Joan leaves a remarkable professional legacy that has not only benefited HRS but also The Oaks School in Hollywood, CA; Giddens School in Seattle, WA; The Little School and St. Thomas School in Bellevue, WA. Joan has been very active in the Northwest Association of Independent Schools, the Washington Federation of Independent Schools and the Country Day School Headmasters Association. She currently serves as a trustee for Seattle Girls School and the French American School of Puget Sound.

Joan’s experience and initiative have forever changed our school. And now, looking forward, the Board of Trustees is committed to continuing this path. After careful consideration, the Board has chosen Stacy Turner to become the next Head of Hamlin Robinson School on July 1, 2018. Many of you know Stacy as a teacher at HRS and (for the past eight years) the Assistant Head of School at HRS. Stacy brings not only a passion for the HRS mission to this role, but also a wealth of experience with our student population. He has worked closely with Joan for the past eight years and has helped to guide the school through its historic growth. We are fully confident in his ability to lead and to effect a smooth transition of leadership. Stacy combines all of the best we could hope for in a new Head - heart, devotion, and the skills to continue to build HRS into the future.

I have never been more confident in the future of this school. We look forward to the continuance of its mission as a premiere institution for teaching students with learning differences.

Sincerely,

Mark Fordham
President, Board of Trustees