Charles Wright Academy Welcomes New Upper School Director

Charles Wright Academy (CWA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Betty Benson as Upper School Director.

TACOMA, WA – Charles Wright Academy (CWA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Betty Benson as Upper School Director.

Head of School Susan Rice said that “Ms. Benson had the unanimous endorsement of the search committee as their top choice, and each remarked on her warmth, her pedagogical knowledge, and her teaching experience – but it was her approach to leadership through relationship and community building that stood out most. Although we were presented with many highly-qualified candidates, Betty rose to the top for all of us. We are so thrilled to welcome her to Charles Wright Academy.”

Ms. Benson is currently the Associate Director of the Upper School at Lakeside School, a top-tier independent school for students in grades 5-12 in Seattle, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2014, also having served as Assistant Director of the Upper School prior to being promoted to Associate Director. She has contributed to the growth of several independent schools during the past 14 years as a STEM educator, advisor, and administrator, as well as speaking at numerous independent school conferences, providing professional development to her colleagues engaging in ongoing learning.

“To serve under a mission that inspires lifelong learning, while creating experiences that challenge and stretch students to develop the character, creativity, and skills to navigate their futures with confidence is a true honor that I look forward to with eagerness,” Ms. Benson said. “The word that comes boldly to mind about the Charles Wright community is ‘possibility’— a poetic reflection of the lens through which we view and educate children, seeking to nurture and help each student harness their potential in a world of possibility. From my conversations with various members of the community, I get a clear sense of direction from school leadership and feel palpable, positive energy around the vision for the future of Charles Wright Academy. It is a vision that fuels my passion for educational leadership, and I am humbled and honored to take on this important work in partnership with you all.”

CWA engaged in a confidential, international search with the prestigious firm Carney Sandoe & Associates, reviewing 22 highly-qualified candidate application packages, and interviewing six highly-qualified candidates. Ms. Benson was the unanimous top choice of CWA’s search committee that included newer and longer-tenured Upper School faculty and members of the Senior Leadership Team. The search committee was impressed by Ms. Benson’s experience, vision, energy, and educational philosophy, which made her the standout candidate in a very strong pool of applicants. One faculty member on the committee said, “She painted a very clear picture of the kind of leader that she is, and I think that she will fit in very well with the Upper School culture. She left me feeling inspired and excited about CWA’s future.”

Ms. Benson will begin her role at CWA on July 1, 2022, and she looks forward to having two of her three young children enrolled in CWA’s Beginning School and Lower School.

Charles Wright Academy is a coeducational independent day school in Tacoma serving students in preschool – grade 12. Our mission is to inspire active, joyful learning while nurturing and challenging our students to develop the character, creativity, and skills to successfully navigate the future with confidence.

Press Contacts: 

Laura Rose. 253-620-8315. 

Amy Senftleben. 253-620-8870.

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