Announcing our new Lower School Director
Wheeler is pleased to announce that after a national search, Felicia Vinces has been named the Lower School Director effective July 1, 2019. Vinces is a current member of the Lower School Leadership Team, Lower School Math Coordinator and Specialist, plus co-director of the after-school program at Nightingale-Bamford School in New York. She has a BA from New York University, an MA in Childhood Education also from NYU, and is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at Fordham University.
In announcing the selection to the community, Head of School Allison Gaines Pell said, "Felicia made a powerful impression on our community during her visit, exhibiting great warmth, confidence, poise, intellect, and sense of humor. She has the love of teaching and children, a deep knowledge of educational practice and theory, a collaborative spirit, and a direct authenticity that reminded more than a few people of (retiring Lower School Head) Dana Hahn. In fact, Dana stated that Felicia was her top choice, saying: “Retiring from the Wheeler community is hard because it is my second beloved family. But it is made much easier knowing that Felicia will be taking the helm in the Lower School. She is the ‘just right’ fit for this creative, vibrant, joyful community. I couldn’t be happier!” In accepting the position, Felicia shared with us that the feeling is mutual:
From my very first interactions, I knew Wheeler was special. The excitement and interest I experienced were akin to those usually reserved for a close friend. Each moment spent at Wheeler, with adults and students alike, was confirmation that Wheeler is an exuberant and connected community.
I walk into this role excited to build on the foundation that has been expertly laid by Wheeler Lower’s longstanding leader. I am thrilled to become a part of a community where we can be emboldened by our gifts and benevolent in their use. I look forward to building relationships with each of you as we help one another live our mission daily.
Vinces will join Young Un, who will become Head of Lower and Middle Divisions and Strategic Innovation in July. Gaines Pell added, "When I created this new leadership structure, my intention was to create a team for the leadership of the Lower and Middle Divisions (as announced earlier, current Middle School Dean Vanessa O’Driscoll will take on the Director of the Middle School position) comprised by administrators who would work together, guided by the wisdom and institutional knowledge of Young Un. Frankly, I can’t think of a stronger team than the one we have now assembled to move our Nursery through 8th-grade student experiences forward, and to keep our promise to our students to help them -- and all of us -- “learn our powers and be answerable for their use.”
216 Hope Street Providence, Rhode Island 02906-2246 Phone: (401) 421-8100 FAX: (401) 751-7674
The Wheeler School is an independent coeducational college preparatory day school for Nursery, Pre-K, K-Grade 12 serving Providence, RI, Greater Providence and Greater Boston. The Hamilton School welcomes Grades 1-8 with language-based learning differences.