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A Message for The Little School Community

Friday, August 24, 2018

Dear Little School Families and Friends,

The past eight months have been personally challenging and have caused me to think deeply about my life, health, family and work. I have been experiencing some health challenges which will be addressed with neck surgery scheduled for September 17. I will be fine, but these past months have offered new perspectives coupled with the realization that this is an opportune transition point for the school. I am in a different place than I was six months or a year ago and need to make this school year my last at The Little School. The school is ready for a new leader which makes my decision possible. I have asked the Board of Trustees, and they have agreed to release me from the last year of my contract.

My decision, and the agreement from the Board, was made easier by the fact that the school is well poised to manage a transition in leadership. Children have wonderful experiences every day here. The carefully crafted campus plans are garnering strong community support. By next summer we expect to be breaking ground on an inspirational building project. The 2014 Strategic Plan is nearly complete, and a new strategic plan will soon be developed to guide the school forward. Our scheduled NWAIS (Northwest Association of Independent Schools) accreditation team visit will be completed in February. The timing of my exit positions a new leader to capture the excitement and momentum from all of this substantial work and begin the next chapter of Little School history.

In my working life I have been fortunate to work in several independent schools in various roles. I am not sure what is next for me. I do know that working here at The Little School has been an extraordinary privilege. What we do with and for kids here is powerfully important and flat out fun. I have had incredible partners over these past eight plus years including deeply caring faculty/staff, engaged and loving parents/guardians, intensely committed Trustees and children chock full of curiosity, ideas, energy and humor. All … amazing human beings at every turn.

The Board will share details about the search and hiring process for a new Head of School. In the meantime, we have our 60th year to dive in to. It will be a year to celebrate, while smiling as we look back; it will be a year filled with opportunities and possibility as we look forward together.

With deep appreciation and thanks,

Peter Berner-Hays
Head of School