Dear Wheeler Community,
As you have read above, Dan Miller has informed the Board of Trustees that he will be moving on from Wheeler after the 2016-2017 school year. While you can imagine the efforts we made to dissuade him, he and his wife Joanna’s decision is as well-considered as seemingly every other they have made since their arrival in the summer of 2003.
Of course we will save plenty of time for acknowledging Dan’s many contributions next spring, but suffice to say that his impact and his commitment have been nothing short of transformative.
In Rhode Island’s challenging fiscal environment, Wheeler has never been stronger — with robust enrollment, dramatic improvements in faculty/staff salaries, financial aid, and endowment value (growing from $5 million to $32 million since Dan’s arrival) — to name just a few indicators. Our campus, once a detriment to our mission, is now a widely admired urban jewel. During his tenure, Dan has initiated meaningful community partnerships – with Rhode Island Public Radio for instance – and enduring initiatives ranging from Public Art to technology integration. Perhaps most importantly, Dan has been exceptionally “present” in his role – in front of school every morning, in the hallways, and in the audience at seemingly every venue where a Wheeler student might appear. He has worked to create a school culture that reflects his signature energy, responsiveness, sense of humor, and intellectual curiosity, and, with his extraordinary team, has brought together the incredibly diverse and talented student body, faculty and staff that make Wheeler the school it is today.
Although the Trustees know that when someone of Dan’s significance moves on there is understandable anxiety, the Millers’ willingness to notify the Board so far in advance gives us plenty of time to conduct a thorough national search for his successor. The Wheeler Head of School position is a prize and will be a magnet to a very talented pool of applicants, and, to that end, we have appointed a highly regarded executive search firm that specializes in independent schools. Our goal will be to have Dan’s successor secured by late next fall with a start date of July 1, 2017 to coincide with the end of Dan’s tenure; look for a link to our “Head of School Search” on the website in the coming weeks for updates from a Search Committee, and for the many ways in which we will be soliciting input from the school’s various constituencies.
With great appreciation for your support and confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Meredith Curren, President of the Board of Trustees
Jim Lousararian, President-elect of the Board of Trustees