An Open Letter to Mike Molina

October 21, 2019

Dear Bishop Walker School Community,Mike Molina

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

Mike succeeds our Executive Director and President, James Woody, who will retire June 30, 2020, after skillfully leading the BWS community since the beginning of our School. James and his team will work closely with Mike in the months ahead to ensure a seamless transition of leadership.

Mike currently serves as the founding director of the Finney-Greene Program, a wrap-around student support program for boys from underrepresented communities at Gilman School—a pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade independent day school for boys in Baltimore, Maryland, and he is a sought-after consultant supporting independent schools throughout Maryland in crafting K-12 culturally responsive curriculum. 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, and he has gained a broad spectrum of experience in independent school leadership. With over a decade of experience as an educator, curriculum developer, school innovator in public, charter, and independent sectors, and youth development non-profit leader, Mike has experience in cultivating community partnerships to support programming, building excellent educational programs, creating synergy across stakeholders in youth success, and supporting faculty in their professional excellence.

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 will for California state-wide investment in youth development, then 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 ground-breaking 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, has approved Mike’s appointment.

The selection of a head of school who will steer BWS wisely in the future is one of the Governing Board's greatest responsibilities, and 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