Wakefield School is pleased to announce the appointment of Ashley Harper as our next Head of School. Based on an extensive and highly competitive six month search process, we are ecstatic that Ashley will be joining our community and build upon the momentum that David Colón has created as our current Head of School. Ashley’s official start date will be July 1, 2018.
Ashley’s career in education spans teaching, college admissions, lower and middle-school division leadership, and development. Wakefield School believes this vast experience and track record of success in independent schools make Ashley exceptionally well qualified to be our next Head of School. But just as important, our community was won over by her combination of vision, intelligence, thoughtfulness, energy, and dedication to the intellectual and character development of children.
“She has a wonderful personal presence and ability to engage which will serve the Wakefield community well as she strives to spread our message and attract new families,” said John Neff, Chair-Board of Wakefield School’s Trustees.
Ashley currently serves as Director of Advancement at Winchester Thurston School, a Pre-K-12 independent school serving 650 students in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Prior to her current role, Ashley served as Winchester Thurston’s Director of Lower School from 2012 to 2016. Before joining Winchester Thurston, Ashley served as Middle School Director at the Brookwood School in Thomasville, Georgia where she also taught algebra and 5th grade. Ashley has a B.A. in Economics from Florida State University, and a M.A. in Teaching and Learning/Curriculum and Instruction from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was a National Association of Independent Schools Aspiring School Heads Fellow from 2011-2012.
In her acceptance, Ashley noted “From the first moments on campus, I was struck by the deep engagement of everyone in the Wakefield community, and the commitment to building the future together. Students poised to take on the challenges of the twenty-first century; expert, dedicated faculty investing in students both in and out of the classroom; trustees giving time and talent; and parents and alumni who are ‘all in’ are testaments to the strength and promise of the school. There is a unique story to be told at Wakefield and the potential for the future is great.”
She and her husband, Doug, have two sons. Jack is attending college in the Pittsburgh area and Riley attends 6th grade at Winchester Thurston and he will be a future Wakefield Middle Schooler. Ashley notes, “My husband, Doug, our son Riley, and I are so excited to join the Wakefield community. I look forward to leading our mission as Wakefield’s next Head of School and to helping our students seek the challenge, make a difference, and live extraordinary lives.”
We are looking forward to all of the wonderful qualities she will bring to develop the programs and community that define our school. Welcome to Wakefield School, Mrs. Harper.