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An Open Letter of Welcome to Mike Molina

Dear Bishop Walker School Community,

 

It is my great pleasure to announce that the Governing Board of the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys has enthusiastically selected Michael O. Molina as Head of School effective July 1, 2020.

 

Mike succeeds our Executive Director & President, James Woody, who retired June 30, 2020 after skillfully leading the BWS community since the School's inception in 2007. James worked closely with Mike in the intervening months to ensure a seamless transition of leadership.

 

Mike serves as the founding director of the Finney-Greene Program, a student support program for boys from underrepresented communities at Gilman School—a pre-K–12 independent day school for boys in Baltimore, Maryland. He is sought after as a consultant, supporting independent schools throughout Maryland in crafting a culturally responsive curriculum for grades K–12. Mike also serves on Gilman’s K–12 Academic Council, Enrollment and Admissions teams, and as a member of its Community, Inclusion, and Equity Executive Council. With over a decade of experience as an educator, curriculum developer, innovator in public, charter, and independent schools, and as a youth development nonprofit leader, Mike has vast experience in cultivating community partnerships. He has built excellent educational programs.

 

Mike holds a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School and a B.A. in English from Xavier University of Louisiana. After law school, he initially applied his J.D. to advocate and build political support in California for statewide investment in youth development. He won a competitive fellowship to design a program of holistic family support for youth from his native New Orleans, who were displaced to Atlanta as a result of Hurricane Katrina. After helping launch a public charter school with a groundbreaking parent engagement model, Mike directed education programs for an organization serving U.N.-designated refugees. His wide-ranging, purpose-driven professional experience gives Mike a keen eye for recognizing the potential in every child, adult, and community he has worked with. He sees great things for BWS, and shares that he “is deeply moved by the shared purpose, community, and optimism of teachers, students, parents, and board members of BWS. I aim to build on this strong foundation so that students and faculty can continue to demonstrate excellence that will attract and sustain the support of those who care deeply about the school’s mission.”

 

During the search process, Mike impressed us with his vision for promoting a strong academic program at BWS, developing each boy's academic, emotional, and spiritual strengths, and supporting continued excellence in teaching and learning. He is deeply committed to catalyzing the potential of organizations dedicated to educational innovation in policy, curriculum, and partnerships.

 

The Diocesan Council, the governing entity of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, acting on the recommendation of the Rt. Rev. Mariann E. Budde, Bishop of Washington, approved Mike’s appointment.

 

The selection of a Head of School who will steer BWS wisely into the future is one of the Governing Board's greatest responsibilities. I would like to express gratitude to everyone who played a part in this process. In particular, I extend sincere appreciation to the co-chairs of the Search Committee—Governing Board members Jalene Spain Thomas and Chip Molster—and fellow committee members Dr. William Byrd, Andrew Clarke, Jane Dana, Jen Danish, Rev. Preston Hannibal, Sandi Hannibal, Nicole Mitchell, and Tony Parker. These individuals served the BWS community with extraordinary insight, intelligence, and devotion, for which we are deeply grateful.

 

Please join me in celebrating and welcoming Mike, his wife Jessy, and two children, Maya and Miles, to the Bishop Walker School and to Washington, DC. We are delighted that they are joining the BWS family.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Peter M. Lee

Chair, Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys Governing Board