Bill McCarthy Named New Head of The Hamilton School at Wheeler

January 4, 2022

A photo of Bill McCarthy from the chest up. He is smiling at the camera and standing in a long hallway.
Bill McCarthy

The Wheeler School is excited to announce that Bill McCarthy has been named Head of The Hamilton School at Wheeler following an extensive, national search. Bill is currently the Head of Preschool and Lower School at Packer Collegiate in New York and formerly Packer’s Director of PK-12 Learning Support.

In coming to Hamilton, Bill will lead a school that, for more than three decades, has provided students who have great overall cognitive ability, but who struggle with reading, organization, and study skills due to dyslexia, attention-deficit disorder, executive function deficits, or other learning differences, with the individualized instruction that leads to success, all in the context of a larger independent school. Today, Hamilton serves as a model for other schools around the country that are focused on learning differences.

Bill will bring more than 20 years of experience in education as a speech and language pathologist, learning specialist, social worker, instructional coach and curriculum developer, and organizational leader to his new role.

“It was clear from the moment I met Bill that he had the vision, the emotional intelligence, and the deep knowledge and experience working with students with learning differences to be an exceptional candidate. It was the community’s response, however, that made it clear to all of us that he was the one,” said Wheeler Head of School Allison Gaines Pell. “We are all looking forward to welcoming him to our community this summer.”

The search was led by a committee, convened by the Head of School, that included Hamilton Lower and Middle School teachers and members of Wheeler’s Leadership Team, with assistance from the search firm RG175. The search committee hosted three finalists, who each visited campus to meet fellow administrators, faculty, staff, Hamilton 8th-graders, and the Hamilton Committee of the Wheeler Board of Trustees.

“In the days following his visit, many of the parents who attended the events indicated that Bill was the right person to lead Hamilton going forward,” said Director of the Hamilton Institute Jeanette Epstein, who co-chaired the search committee. “Similarly, our Hamilton faculty fully supported his candidacy and look forward to working with him in the coming years.”

Epstein’s co-chair on the search, Wheeler’s Head of Strategic Innovation Young Un, noted that the committee’s excitement after meeting Bill “was palpable and continued when he met the rest of the Hamilton community. Bill possesses that rare combination of expertise, warmth, energy, and experience to build on Hamilton’s successes and lead the division into the future.”

Bill expressed similar enthusiasm as he looked ahead to his new position. “I am thrilled to join the Wheeler and Hamilton school community and honored to lead The Hamilton School into its next chapter of educational excellence,” he said. “Hamilton’s unique, thoughtful, and impactful approach to appreciating the talents and abilities of students who learn differently and providing opportunities for them to experience success academically, socially, and emotionally is exceptional, and this deep commitment was palpable throughout my recent visits to the school. I am excited to partner closely with Hamilton and Wheeler faculty, staff, and the leadership team to sustain and advance the mission and vision of the school.”

McCarthy will join The Hamilton School at Wheeler on July 1, following current Hamilton School Director Jon Green, who will retire at the end of this school year.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Head of The Hamilton School search, including the members of the Search Committee:

  • Zach Edson, Hamilton Middle School
  • Jeanette Epstein (Co-chair), Director of the Hamilton Institute
  • Liz Hallock, Hamilton Lower School
  • Mark Harris, Aerie Enrichment Director
  • Christine McNamee, Hamilton Lower School
  • Megan O’Hara, Hamilton Lower School
  • Will Rennie, Hamilton Middle School
  • Martha Richardson, Hamilton Middle School
  • Carrie Sorensen, Hamilton Lower School
  • Young Un (Co-chair), Head of Strategic Innovation
  • Felicia Vinces, Wheeler Lower School Director

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