The Windward Institute Update from Jamie Williamson

Dear Windward Community, 

The first six months of the Windward Institute have been an incredible success.  As you know, The Windward Institute, a division of The Windward School, provides professional development for educators and parents; facilitates partnerships with universities and researchers to provide a bridge between research and educational practice; and advocates for policies and practices that benefit students with language-based learning disabilities. Grounded in the exceptional results of The Windward School, the Institute was born out of a vision to extend our reach beyond the walls of our classrooms to impact the lives of more students in our region, the country, and across the globe.  

As The Windward School grew in both scale and impact over the last 14 years, so did the ability to transform that vision from a dream to a reality. When Dr. Russell decided to retire last year from his role as the Head of School, he shifted his incredible energy and leadership to launching The Windward Institute. During that transition into retirement, he has exceeded all expectations for the start of the Institute.  Dr. Russell and the WI Team continued expanding our professional development offerings for teachers while forging new and stronger partnerships with leading research institutions across the nation, conducting neuroscience research on our campuses, hosting a delegation from France including the French first lady Madame Macron, and joining the podcast revolution by launching READ.

In the short time since its inception, The Windward Institute has become an integral part of the fabric of our work to change the landscape of education, and I have enjoyed the great support that Dr. Russell has given me in my first year as Head of School.  As we look to the 2020-21 school year, Dr. Russell will continue to be involved in The Windward Institute's work but will transition into the role of Special Projects Advisor. In that position, Dr. Russell will be working with me on several mission-critical projects, such as establishing an Advisory Board for the Windward Institute, developing course offerings for superintendents and principals, and continuing to lend his voice advocating for students.

Starting in September, I will be taking a direct role in the leadership of The Windward Institute, and we will be hiring an Assistant Director to support Annie Stutzman, the Associate Director of The Windward Institute, and the rest of the team. We have a comprehensive plan for our path forward and, thanks to Dr. Russell, a strong start on the work ahead. I'm grateful for all Dr. Russell has done for Windward, the Windward Institute, and our field.