About Wheeler

Head Search

Dan Miller has announced his retirement as Head of School for The Wheeler School at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Both his announcement to the Wheeler community and the letter from the Board of Trustees President and President-elect are reprinted below.

It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to select the Head of School. The Board welcomes feedback from the community about the search for our next Head of School. There will be opportunities for broader community involvement in the search over the coming months, and news and information about the search may be found here.

Letter from Dan Miller

May, 2016
To the Wheeler Community,
There is no easy way to begin a sentence that carries such deep, personal import, but I am writing to officially inform the Wheeler community that next year will be my final one as Wheeler’s Head of School.
There are many layers to any decision-making process, but perhaps the best way to summarize mine and Joanna’s is simply this: it’s time. We came to Providence thirteen years ago with two young children in tow, and each one of our lives has been thoroughly and happily enmeshed with the Wheeler School ever since.  Being here has been the opportunity of a lifetime for all of us, but next June our youngest child will finish his Wheeler career, and it is the natural, if bittersweet, time for me to step aside. And while one strives, as the saying goes, to “leave a place better than one found it,” I am certain of one legacy:  this joyous, creative, powerful institution — pausing after a period of intensive development and blessed with extraordinary Trustees, administrators, faculty and staff — is poised for even greater things in the future.  
Joanna and I are announcing our decision well in advance to give the school the time it deserves to plan for a seamless transition.  To that end, Meredith Curren and Jim Lousararian, the President and President-elect of our Board of Trustees, are already organizing the process to identify Wheeler’s next – and very fortunate – Head of School. Details, I know, will follow shortly.
That said, fourteen months is a very long time in the life of a school, and I trust it goes without saying that I will continue to dedicate myself fully to Wheeler just as I have since 2003. I love and owe this community too much to bring anything less than my full commitment to its service.
With deepest appreciation and apologies that I could not share this news in person with the many people we have grown so close to over the years.
Dan Miller
Head of School

Letter from the Board of Trustees

May, 2016
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

List of 2 news stories.

  • Allison Gaines Pell

    Our New Head of School

    Wheeler has named its 8th Head of School -- Allison Gaines Pell.
    Read More
  • Committee for the Head Search

    The Search Committee, appointed by the Executive Board of The Wheeler Board of Trustees, is charged with working with search firm RG175 in conducting the search, screening candidates, coordinating and arranging the involvement of the larger Wheeler Community and, ultimately, making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

    Members of the Search Committee:
    Jacky Beshar, trustee, past parent, Hamilton Committee Chair
    Princess Bomba, Director Unity and Diversity, parent, former Trustee
    Meredith Curren, Board President, parent
    Mark Harris, Director of Aerie, parent
    Neeltje Henneman, Head of Upper School
    Jim Lousararian, trustee, parent, President, Board of Trustees
    Geoff O'Hara '87, former trustee, parent, Past-President of Alumni Association
    Susan Palmieri, Lower School faculty member, alumni parent
    Katherine Pelson, former trustee, past parent, Chair, Campaign for 125
    Amy Baumgartel Singer '89, Director College Counseling, parent, alumna
    Abby Stranahan, trustee, Board Secretary, parent
    Cliff White, trustee, Board Treasurer, parent
    Lynn Williams, trustee, parent
    Young Un, Head of Middle School, past parent
    Read More
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