Wyndcroft Names New Head of School

The Wyndcroft School, a premier, co-educational independent elementary school located in the Philadelphia suburbs is proud to announce that it has named Dr. Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise as its next Head of School beginning July 2021, following the retirement of its current Head of School, Mrs. Gail Wolter.  This appointment follows a comprehensive, nationwide search process that began last May.

Commenting on the appointment of Dr. Pernambuco-Wise, Bernadette Sparling, President of the Wyndcroft School’s Board of Trustees noted, “Tekakwitha rose to the top of a highly qualified pool of candidates early in our process.  In speaking with trustees, parents, administrators and faculty, and local and national leaders in the independent school community who have known and worked with Tekakwitha for years, she was consistently praised for her servant leadership style, her commitment to academic excellence, preparing students for lifelong success as leaders and members of their communities, developing faculty, her commitment to diversity and inclusion, and her communication and community engagement skills.  From the beginning, we could see that Tekakwitha’s values and priorities aligned with the mission of The Wyndcroft School.  Her commitment to excellence and service personifies non sibi.

Dr. Pernambuco-Wise, is an accomplished leader with over 30 years of experience in the educational administration, teaching, and counseling fields.  Most recently, Dr. Pernambuco-Wise served as the Head of School at the Sea Crest School in Half Moon Bay, California, where she has served from 2013 – 2000.  Prior to her headship at the Sea Crest School (from 2005 – 2013), Dr. Pernambuco-Wise held Middle and Upper School headships at two other private schools.

Dr. Pernambuco-Wise serves on the board of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and is a member of its’ Governance and Environment Committees. In addition, she serves as a mentor for NAIS’s Aspiring Head’s Fellowship.  She is a Trustee and Vice President of The Heads Network, which promotes professional growth for independent school heads and leaders who are committed to the education of girls and advancing women’s leadership.  Dr. Pernambuco-Wise has received multiple writing and education honors and awards throughout her distinguished career.

Dr. Pernambuco-Wise, received her B.A. in Philosophy from Brown University, an M.A. in Education from the University of Toronto, and earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Dr. Pernambuco-Wise is very much looking forward to being part of the Wyndcroft Community. “I am extremely fortunate to have found The Wyndcroft School, an institution whose core values so strongly resonate with mine.  In particular non sibi, academic excellence, respect, and integrity…I believe we will grow and thrive together in an atmosphere of excellence and joy.”

For over 100 years, the Wyndcroft School has engaged students who love learning and created a supportive environment for families that value education.  “While we are excited for what the future holds, I would like to thank our current Head of School, Mrs. Gail Wolter, for her leadership and dedication to The Wyndcroft community for over twenty years.  While she will certainly be missed, Gail’s lasting contributions to the School will remain part of the Wyndcroft community forever,” said Mrs. Sparling.

Dr. Pernambuco-Wise will officially assume the headship role in July 2021.  She will work informally with Mrs. Wolters and the School’s administration throughout the spring to ensure a smooth transition. 

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