Susquehanna Waldorf School is thrilled to announce Dr. Tom Banks as its new Head of School. Tom is a student-centered teacher at heart as well as a school administrator of great ability and extensive experience. Learned, curious, kind, and humble, Tom calls himself a collaborator and he has a natural affinity with the principles of Waldorf Education. We’ll let him handle the balance of his introduction below. This is just to say how pleased we are with this decision.

 

A message from our Head of School, Dr. Tom Banks

Dear Susquehanna Waldorf School Community,

 

My name is Tom Banks and I am so excited to now be a member of the Susquehanna Waldorf School community in the role of Head of School! It has been a wonderful experience to meet and work with the faculty, staff, and the board of trustees through the search and onboarding process.
My wife Celeste and I live in Marietta and we have two children, Hannah and Sam. Celeste is a Pulmonary Critical Care Physician Assistant at WellSpan York Hospital and both Hannah and Sam have graduated from college and are new in their professional careers.
SWS is poised for growth following the recent Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) and the Association of Waldorf Schools of North American (AWSNA) accreditation reviews. Their recommendations will provide guidance to our work in developing both short-term and longer-term governance and operational objectives together as a faculty/staff, board of trustees, and head of school. As a member of both PAIS and AWSNA, this relationship provides many resources with respect to operational best practices as well as professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.
Rudolf Steiner framed the culture of Waldorf education with a focus on the inner capacities of a child. The pedagogical approach of Waldorf education is a perfect match with my perspective on how a student learns best. As a young mathematics teacher, and later as an independent school administrator, it has always been my belief that a student learns and retains knowledge best when discovered through practical hands-on experiences in a caring and compassionate environment. In addition, resiliency and self-confidence are developed through practiced perseverance and resulting successes.
With respect to my leadership philosophy, I view my role as the conductor of a talented orchestra. In essence, I am responsible for and responsive to the many moving parts that make up SWS. Clear and consistent communication is one of those moving parts. I am eager to observe and learn all the current operational practices of the school and work collaboratively with the faculty and staff to reflect on areas of success and potential opportunities for growth.
The parent partnership is a long-established and vital tradition at SWS. I am looking forward to an exciting school year where the success of the students continues to be the result of purposeful collaborative work between the very supportive parent community and our talented classroom teachers and school staff.
Thank you again for the opportunity to lead the Susquehanna Waldorf School. I look forward to meeting every family and every student in the coming weeks.

 

Sincerely,
Thomas (Tom) Banks, PhD