Feb. 16, 2018


LEARN self-respect, compassion and commitment to community | GROW academically, socially,
emotionally, creatively and intellectually | BECOME world citizens who have a voice and make a difference.

A very special announcement from Mary and Kim

Dear WMS Families and Friends,

Mary Schneider

Creating the smoothest possible transition upon my inevitable departure has been a goal for us for more than six years. We believe the perfect opportunity and right set of conditions have arrived for that transition to happen. I will step aside as Head of School on June 30, 2018, turning over the leadership of the school to our Associate Head of School, Sunita Pailoor.

You can imagine that it is not easy to “let go” of my role at WMS because it has been one of the most fulfilling and satisfying adventures I could ever have imagined. I am so grateful to have spent these 35 years pursuing work that I simply love while constantly being challenged to learn and do new things. The opportunities and possibilities ahead of the school are most exciting, and I will greatly miss being part of the wonderful team who gets to work to make them reality. Sunita’s knowledge and her commitment to our school mission and vision is a major element in my decision to do this. Her understanding of what it takes to create and support quality, authentic, full-age-spectrum Montessori programs is rare. It gives me comfort and confidence that the work we have started will continue in the same direction.

Sunita came to WMS in 2000 as a parent of two sons who eventually graduated from our junior high, and are now in graduate school. She followed the not uncommon path here of becoming a volunteer, then working briefly as an assistant before committing to the rigors of Montessori elementary training. Sunita taught at Lower Elementary, then Upper Elementary before taking a year away to help start a public school Upper Elementary Montessori program in Maltby. She returned to WMS to lead the Secondary program for the past two years while completing AMS administrators training at the Houston Montessori Center with a Secondary emphasis. Sunita entered the NWAIS Pathway to Leadership training in June of 2016. This training is designed to familiarize interested and qualified individuals with all elements of independent school headship. Sunita is also a faculty member of MEIPN. Sunita has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Psychology and Economics from Bangalore University and a Bachelor of Science in Economics and General Studies from Portland State University. She earned a Master of Education degree from Plymouth State University.

The leadership team is reviewing candidates for Sunita’s position as Director of the Secondary Program. We look forward to sharing this news as soon as it is finalized.

I will always remain deeply invested in the future of WMS because of what it means to children, and because I care so deeply about our staff and families. I thank the Board and all of you for your trust and support all these years, and know that you will continue to extend that trust and support to Sunita as she takes the lead.

Mary Schneider
Head of School
Woodinville Montessori School