Jake Guadnola began serving as Head of Annie Wright Schools in July 2020, but his tenure at the school began long before that. He joined AWS as a second grader when his mother became the school’s Director of Communication. He stayed through Grade 8 and was in the first class of boys to graduate from the Middle School. After high school, he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College.
Mr. Guadnola returned to his beloved hometown of Tacoma in 2000 and launched his 20-year career at Annie Wright, serving in a range of roles including English & Humanities Teacher, Basketball Coach, Director of College Counseling, Director of Summer Programming, Interim Director of Admissions, Assistant Director of Upper School, and most recently, Director of Upper School for Girls. These two decades of service to Annie Wright were only interrupted by his master’s in education at Harvard University from 2002 to 2003.
During Mr. Guadnola’s tenure, the Upper School for Girls nearly doubled in size and retention reached more than 92%. He oversaw the flourishing IB programming, evolved signature programming, created models for revenue generation, and led a number of innovative student-centered initiatives, including a late start schedule to address adolescent needs for sleep and exercise.
Known and admired for his commitment to help students discover and nurture their individual passions, Mr. Guadnola and his wife, Stacey, helped develop a youth board for Make The Dash Count, a nonprofit organization that aims to educate and inspire high school students to become philanthropic leaders through community engagement and hands-on grantmaking. He also served on the board of directors for Harbor School in Vashon.
Jake, Stacey, and sons Gus ’27 and Luke ’29, enjoy dabbling in entrepreneurism through their home-based company Tubes + Timber, farming dahlias, walking their dog Chewbacca (“Chewie”), playing and watching sports, and taking in everything Tacoma and the South Sound have to offer.