Jon Green to Receive 2022 Hamilton Life Achievement Award
January 26, 2022
The longtime Director of The Hamilton School at Wheeler has also inspired a $1 million fundraising match to significantly increase the Hamilton School’s financial aid endowment
With gratitude and admiration, The Wheeler School is pleased to announce that Jon Green, who has led The Hamilton School at Wheeler for three decades, is this year’s recipient of the Hamilton Life Achievement Award. Green will be the 27th recipient of the award, which recognizes people who have used their learning differences to their advantage in accomplishing great things. The recipients serve as an inspiration for Hamilton’s young learners, who see the incredible impact made by previous honorees such as polar explorer Ann Bancroft and paleontologist Jack Horner.
Since its founding in 1988, The Hamilton School at Wheeler has provided students who have great cognitive ability, but who struggle with reading, organization, and study skills due to learning differences, with the individualized instruction that leads to success, all in the context of a larger independent school. Jon Green has served as the school’s Director for the last 30 years, a period in which Hamilton has become a model for teaching students with learning differences.
“Jon is one of a very small group of independent school educators who has built a national reputation for a school’s program,” says Wheeler colleague and Hamilton parent Mark Harris. “Teachers, school heads, and researchers around the country–and even internationally–know about Hamilton and its accomplishments, thanks to Jon.” Harris also praised Green for his thoughtful approach. “Jon’s best trait, among his many strengths, is that he is a listener. He takes the trouble to hear people out, and whether Jon agrees with a point or not, he is able to coax out the key issues underlying the issue and leave the other person feeling heard and understood.”
Wheeler Head of School Allison Gaines Pell says she feels very lucky to have worked so closely with Jon during their time together at Wheeler. “His love and care for students, teachers and families, for Hamilton and for Wheeler, is palpable in everything he does,” Gaines Pell says. “He has built a program with no equal, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for the lifetime of service he has given to us and to the learning differences community.”
Over the course of his career, Green, who has ADHD, has taught students with similar learning differences, counseled and advised parents, consulted with schools, and administered school programs. At Wheeler, he helped expand the Hamilton program into the Middle and High School years and established a first grade at the school. He and longtime colleague Jeanette Epstein also created the Hamilton Institute, which conducts regular reading screenings for children in the community, trains teachers in the summer, and hosts an annual conference. In addition, Jon was Co-Founder of the National Independent LD School Network, and he has served as a Trustee for a number of organizations including the International Dyslexia Association, the Rhode Island Branch of IDA, St. Andrew’s School, and The Wolf School. He will retire from Wheeler and Hamilton at the end of this school year.
“One of the great joys of my life has been working with Hamilton teachers, students, and parents,” Green says. “Helping to create an effective program for children with dyslexia and ADHD has been my life’s work. I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to contribute toward making an impact on children’s lives, their families, and the learning differences field in general.”
At the beginning of this school year, his last at Hamilton, Green decided to commit himself to making another major impact: dramatically increasing the financial aid available for Hamilton students who could not otherwise consider attending. Reflecting on the effort underway, he says, “Now, I have one final opportunity to help solve the challenge of reaching more children and families who cannot afford Hamilton. Honestly, I believe that with increased financial aid, combined with the outreach initiatives of the Hamilton Institute, our program can be further transformed.”
To amplify this effort, Hamilton alumni parents Rob and Karen Hale P’18 have stepped forward with a challenge: They have pledged to match every gift to Hamilton’s financial aid endowment, up to $1 million, in honor of Jon’s impact. If you would like to contribute with a tribute gift, please contact Rachel Spaulding, Head of Advancement, at 401-582-2150 or RachelSpaulding@wheelerschool.org, or visit wheelerschool.org/giving.
Jon Green will receive the Hamilton Life Achievement Award at Wheeler’s annual “Mind Your p’s and q’s” celebration on March 4. All members of the Wheeler and Hamilton community are invited to RSVP. Attendance for the evening event will be capped at 300 guests, but Green’s presentation earlier in the day will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person.