Head of School Announcement

Announcement from Board Chair Alexa Seip

November 17, 2020

Dear Wye River Students, Parents and Friends:

It is with glee that the Board of Trustees of Wye River Upper School announces that Stephanie Borges Folarin has been selected as the next Head of School. Ms. Folarin brings a fountain of knowledge and skill in curriculum and programs designed for students who learn differently, having earned her Masters Degree from Johns Hopkins University in special education. She also brings a wealth of experience in school leadership, having worked in a variety of roles in several schools in the Mid-Atlantic. Most recently, she served as Principal of Bishop Walker School for Boys. Stephanie’s warmth, enthusiasm and energy are infectious.

The Search Committee of WRUS, led by Diane Freestate and assisted by Brooke Carroll of Acies Strategies, reviewed many resumes, holding interviews with eight semi-finalist candidates. Three were selected as finalists for on-campus interviews. It was clear that Stephanie’s skill set and personality would be a great fit for WRUS.

Please join me in welcoming Stephanie, her husband, Tope, and her two young daughters into the Wye River community. Her first day “on the job” will be July 1, 2021 but you will be getting to know her long before then.

This is very exciting!

Sincerely,

Alexa Seip
Chair, Board of Trustees

From our Incoming Head of School Stephanie Folarin

Dear WRUS Community,

It is with great enthusiasm that I have accepted the headship at Wye River Upper School beginning July 1. The passion, professionalism, and educational expertise within the community is astounding. I look forward to spending time with everyone and immersing myself within your vibrant culture. My heart is full, and my hopes are high as I begin this journey with you. I appreciate the work that you are engaged in as you prepare for my tenure. I've witnessed the devotion you have for the students and the love they have for you. I look forward to continuing the great work of Mrs. Aull and Mr. Mullen and working respectfully and collaboratively with you to advance the mission and expand this outstanding school's vision. With focus, dedication, some singing, dancing, and really corny jokes, we can work together to enjoy ourselves while making each day memorable and educationally impactful for our students.

My husband, Tope, and our daughters, Funmi and Femi, are equally excited about this next step. We look forward to making the WRUS community part of our family.

Stay safe and well,

Stephanie Borges Folarin
Incoming Head of School

From the Interim Head of School Dave Mullen

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends of Wye River,

I’m incredibly excited for both myself and for Wye River Upper School to be working with Stephanie Borges Folarin going forward over these next 8 months. Stephanie is the right choice to lead WRUS to new heights.

Stephanie reminds me of myself 30 years ago. She not only brings the energy, drive, passion, and charisma that are so necessary for this job, she also has the special education background and expertise that will help us in the classroom. Her fresh eyes will bring new insights into our work here at WRUS.

Stephanie is joining a school community where she can dig in and do significant work, and I don’t believe there’s a better place to build a legacy than here at Wye River, continuing and expanding what Chrissy Aull built. You’re all a part of this amazing institution, I’m pleased to be a small part of it, and I’m tremendously excited to see where we are in 5 and 10 years.

Between us Chrissy and I brought almost 50 years of experience to this job, which has some benefits in stability but some drawbacks in terms of energy and vision. We will both be available to talk with Stephanie to offer her whatever we’ve learned through our years of leadership (and mistakes) whenever she’d like. A year ago I was doing everything I could to set up The Nora School for success, and I’m going to do everything I can to set up Wye River and Stephanie for similar success over these next eight months.

Stephanie will join us for such events as seem appropriate, with the hope that we can have a few in person when spring arrives. Nine months ago anxiety ran high as the Board wrestled with choosing an Interim Head with Chrissy’s looming departure. Now that we have some certainty about our future we can breathe a bit. I hope that you’ll greet Stephanie with the same kindness and grace you showed me over these past months and help her get off to a great start.

With great excitement for the future of Wye River,

Dave Mullen
Interim Head of School