Ward named Head of School
Amanda Ward has been named the next Head of School at The Island School.
Ward is a 17-year veteran of the Bainbridge Island School District and currently works as an associate principal at Bainbridge High School. She will take over as Head of School at The Island School on July 1, following the retirement of Trish King, who has served in the post for the past 14 years.
The Island School is an independent K-5 school on Day Road that serves Bainbridge Island and Kitsap County families. Ward will become the third Head of School since the school’s founding in 1977.
Officials said Ward’s appointment by school’s Board of Trustees came after an eight-month-long search, which saw inquiries from 114 individuals at schools in local, national and international locations, and 34 formal applications.
The Island School’s Head Search Committee — composed of faculty, staff, alumni, parents of current and former students and Trustees — along with search consultant Doreen Oleson then engaged in an intensive, thorough process of vetting, screening, meeting and evaluating the candidates on dozens of measures before offering the position to Ward.
“Calling Amanda with the news of her selection as our next Head of School is the highlight of my 10 years being involved with The Island School,” said Dan Miller, chair of the school’s Board of Trustees.
“She is an exceptional educator and administrator with impeccable teaching credentials and experience in administration inspired by a true and deep love of learning and teaching,” Miller added. “She has an unbridled passion for The Island School and its mission, and a deep commitment to stewarding our unique culture. We are absolutely thrilled to have Amanda leading our school into the future.”
Prior to her current role as an associate principal, Ward filled multiple roles at Bainbridge High School, including Dean of Students, Instructional Coach, Social Studies Department Chair and social studies teacher. She has been a district-wide teacher support specialist for the Bainbridge Island School District, served as principal intern at Woodward Middle School, and is a National Board Certified Teacher.
Ward began her teaching career in 1999 as an English teacher at Olympic High School in East Bremerton.
She graduated from the University of Notre Dame and earned her master’s degree in teaching from Seattle University, and received her administrative credentials from the University of Washington’s Danforth Program.
Last year, Ward was one of just 17 educators in eight states and British Columbia selected for the Northwest Association of Independent Schools Pathways to Leadership program, which helps develop female leaders interested in independent school Headship.
“Simply put, this is my dream job,” Ward said.
“I have loved my time at BHS and within the Bainbridge Island School District, but the opportunity to grow professionally, help continue The Island School’s legacy of developing each child’s unique potential, and to work with a community that shares my commitment to love, compassion and belonging was something I could not pass up,” she said.
Officials said Ward knows The Island School community well, having served on its Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2016, including one year as board chair, and also as a parent of a child who attended the school.
“Amanda’s background as a public school educator and administrator, former Board Chair, and having enrolled her son at The Island School while an employee of the public schools, all give her a unique perspective on independent schools and what makes them attractive to prospective parents,” Miller added.
“That, plus her commitment to growing a diverse learning community that also emphasizes the best in current brain and cognitive growth research and social-emotional learning, will be a major asset as we continue to expand and enroll students next year and for years to come,” he said.