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Exciting News from The Little School

Saturday, October 27, 2018

To The Little School Community and Friends,

A head of school search, while not a regularly occurring event for a school community, is a healthy aspect of school life, providing an opportunity for reflection and orientation toward growth and the future. It brings us into a conversation about who we are as a school, where we are going together, and who can lead us there. In August when Peter signaled that the school was ready for a transition of leadership, we began the search for someone with a bold vision for progressive education on our wooded campus, who could see the possibilities for a small school to make a big difference in the lives of young children, their families and our broader community.

We have found that and more in Julie Kalmus, and we are thrilled to announce she will be our next head of school beginning July 1, 2019. True to TLS values, the decision to invite Julie to be our next head of school involved the engagement of the entire TLS community. Julie has a vision for The Little School to be a leader in progressive education and to deepen the collaboration, curiosity and play which are hallmarks of our program. As Julie explains, “The Little School captures my imagination and merges my passion to empower and enliven vibrant learning communities … and my unyielding devotion to children.” In our time and conversations with her the past month, Julie has already captured our minds, hearts and hopes. As the new head, she will enjoy broad and enthusiastic support while we move into a new building, begin our next round of strategic planning, and continue to grow into a bright, big future.

Julie has a deep history with schools, educators and children. She grew up in the Northwest, attending local independent schools herself before getting a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Education at Vassar College and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Columbia University. Having taught in early childhood and elementary classrooms for over twenty years, Julie is well practiced and passionate about progressive education and how it responds to the needs and interests of children, preparing them to be lifelong learners. She has served in several leadership roles during her twenty-five years at University Child Development School (UCDS) in Seattle before leading the development of their new College for School Culture. She understands what it means for a school to evolve while preserving its unique strengths, culture and approach to childhood.

Today, we celebrate Julie’s acceptance of the TLS headship. In the spring, we will have several opportunities to welcome Julie and her family. Julie’s husband, Ted, was an NWAIS head of school himself for 18 years, and currently works as a non-profit consultant and executive coach while also serving as faculty of the Educational Administration program at Seattle University. Their daughter, Maya, and son, Tucker, are both in high school and avid ultimate frisbee players. The entire Kalmus family looks forward to joining the Little School community.

However, it will be many months before Julie takes the reins from Peter. Most of the current school year remains with many opportunities to enjoy the everyday magic at The Little School and Peter’s steady, devoted and compassionate leadership. Our current position of strength and readiness for what comes next are attributable to Peter’s legacy, and breaking ground on our campus renovations, conceived under his headship and possible because of his careful and strategic care for the school and our future, is bound to be an exciting finale for Peter’s service to The Little School.

With gratitude and excitement,

Kelly Chang
Board Chair