Kate Hewitt Named Wheeler’s Next Head of Lower School

March 4, 2024

We are pleased to share that Kate Hewitt will become Wheeler’s next head of the Lower School. She will begin her tenure this summer. Ms. Hewitt is currently the head of Lower School at Doane Academy in New Jersey, and she earned a M.Ed at Columbia’s Teachers College and her B.A. in English and American Literature from Brown University.

“This opening generated interest from a deep and talented pool of candidates from overseas and across the country. Kate rose to the top early on and remained there,” Head of School Allison Gaines Pell P’23, P’25 wrote in her letter to the community. “As we got to know her throughout the process, she conveyed warmth, a sense of humor, commitment to professional development, deep knowledge of curriculum, and an abiding love of children. She also knew and loved Wheeler from afar and described it as her ‘dream school.’ Her references shared many more words of appreciation for her leadership, collegiality, and ability to create and communicate a shared vision. In their feedback, our parents and guardians, faculty, and staff consistently noted her experience, knowledge, and authenticity.”

A photo of the next head of Lower School, Kate Hewitt, alongside her husband, Ben, and their son, Leo.
Kate Hewitt with her husband, Ben, and son, Leo.

Ms. Hewitt expressed great excitement for the position and for Wheeler after spending time on both of our campuses and meeting with members of the Wheeler, Nest, and Hamilton Lower School faculties and families. “I have hoped for many years that the opportunity would arise for me to join the Wheeler community – a vibrant and inclusive community that embodies an innovative spirit while remaining deeply rooted to its remarkable history,” she said. “I felt a sense of belonging the moment that I stepped on campus, and I am full of gratitude for everyone who welcomed me and shared their ‘Wheeler moments.’ The stories were inspiring and beautifully in sync with Wheeler’s mission, as they reflected kids taking risks in community, growing relationships across divisions, learning through play, and being empowered to pursue their own questions and passions. I can’t wait ‘to learn my powers and be answerable for their use’ within this joyful, collaborative, diverse, and visionary community.”

Ms. Hewitt will begin as head of Lower School on July 1. In making the move back to Rhode Island, she will be joined by her husband, Ben, an actor, director, and professor who received his master’s at Trinity Rep, their son, Leo, who is currently in 6th grade, their dog, Dexter, and cat, Han Solo.


More About Kate Hewitt

Kate Hewitt is currently the head of Lower School at Doane Academy in Burlington, NJ. Since joining Doane in 2019, Ms. Hewitt has implemented learner-centered curricula and pedagogical innovations, including new spaces designed for learning and updated programming related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. During her time, she has overseen a 34 percent increase in enrollment. She describes her leadership as collaborative and transparent and has leaned on both to great success at Doane.

Before Doane, Ms. Hewitt was the library director at Far Brook School in Short Hills, NJ, where she transformed the library over nine years to better reflect and support the school’s curriculum and program. Originally an English teacher, she has taught lower, middle, and upper school students over the course of her career at Far Brook and The New Feinstein High School in Providence. Ms. Hewitt also worked as a program associate at The Education Alliance at Brown. She is a Brown graduate with a B.A. in English and American Literature (as well as undergraduate teaching certification), and Kate has two master’s degrees: an M.A. in Library and Information Science from Rutgers and an M.Ed in Independent School Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

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