Get To Know Annie Wright's Senior Leaders

This fall we asked Annie Wright's Senior Leadership Team a series of questions for Strength magazine. We enjoyed getting to know this other side of them and thought you would too, so we're sharing everything we learned below.

Jake Guadnola '90MS

List of 10 items.

  • Favorite AWS tradition?

    I'm hard pressed not to answer Lip Sync. This tradition, which exists in the Upper School for Girls, builds community unlike any I've seen. 
  • Currently reading?

    Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  • First travel, once it's safe to do so?

    The Kemper Gym to watch our phenomenal girls basketball team!
  • Teacher who impacted you the most?

    The teacher who had the greatest impact on me was my high school basketball coach, Steve Anstett. He drove home to me the value of demanding excellence of yourself on a daily basis.
  • Favorite Tacoma restaurant?

    It's a tie between Asado and Brewer's Row. I'm comfortable with the tie given that these are two distinctly different types of restaurants!
  • IB learner profile you most relate to?

    I'm going to combine two and say reflective risk-taker. I greatly value reflective practices and then putting what I learn toward endeavoring into new spaces. Keeps me feeling young and fulfilled.
  • Favorite weekend activity?

    Disc golf in the morning with friends. Cooking breakfast for the family. Working in the garden. Running in Pt. Defiance with Stacey. Shooting hoops with Gus. Creating anything with Luke. 
  • Your song?

    An impossible choice! "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty is what I say right now!
  • First job?

    Paper boy for the Tacoma News Tribune at age 11.
  • Something that might surprise readers?

    When I graduated from college, I had every intention of becoming a sports psychologist. One day, a good friend asked me if I wanted to start a company with him. He said, "There are these things called MP3s, and they're going to be big." For the next two years, I lived the start-up life in San Diego. The company was eventually purchased by Intel.

Eireann Corrigan

List of 10 items.

Jeff Barber

List of 10 items.

Mike Finch

List of 10 items.

SANDRA FORERO BUSH

List of 10 items.

  • Favorite AWS tradition?

    In the USG, Lip Sync. The sheer energy and enthusiasm by students and faculty alike are contagious.
  • Currently reading?

    Too much news and too many journal articles, not enough books...
  • First travel, once it's safe to do so?

    Perhaps the one that was taken away by COVID - Colombia.
  • Teacher who impacted you the most?

    Positive: Ms. Deborah, my 3rd Grade English teacher. A friend and I accidentally overheard her saying goodbye to a (very difficult) student as he packed up his things to leave the school midyear (we had been reshelving books quietly in the back corner of the classroom and they didn't see us behind the shelves!). She cried when he left because she felt she'd failed him. I learned how much of themselves so many teachers put into each and every one of their students. That stuck with me - it humanized my teachers and made me appreciate them more.

    Negative: Mrs. Bird, my seventh Grade English teacher (something about English?). In response to my request to accept a British spelling on my very first spelling test in the U.S. (she had marked it wrong), she said "You're in America now, you need to learn to spell like an American." I had been in the U.S. less than a week. I wanted desperately to go home, and she made me feel so small and insignificant.

    Where Ms. Deborah showed me the best in teachers, Ms. Bird showed me the worst. I try to remember both lessons in my student interactions.
  • Favorite Tacoma restaurant?

    Fancy? The Table. Less fancy? Go Philly.
  • IB learner profile you most relate to?

    Open-minded. I think it speaks to my love of travel, cultures and traditions; my deep desire to see, experience and learn from and with others.
  • Favorite weekend activity?

    Hanging out with my family, doing whatever.
  • Your song?

    This is way too hard. Perhaps "La Bicicleta" by Carlos Vives and Shakira
  • First job?

    Tour Guide at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
  • Something that might surprise readers?

    I was an electoral observer in Paraguay in 1998. I speak 5 languages. (though a couple are quite rusty...). I've been to 32 countries.

Clare Wagstaff-Brown

List of 10 items.

  • Favorite AWS tradition?

    Holiday Tea! A little bit of magic in a gloomy weather month, that's filled with joy, good food, and storytelling. 
  • Currently reading?

    Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
  • First travel, once it's safe to do so?

    The small, sleepy town of Belper, England to visit my parents, sister, and niece. This is the longest in 15 years I have gone without seeing them. 
  • Teacher who impacted you the most?

    There are two: 1) Magda Barnes (HS Biology). This teacher totally inspired me to study science at university. I offered wonder how she is and if she realizes the impact she had on my life. 

    2) Steve Davis (Sixth Form Tutor and Economics Teacher). He made me look at education in a very different way and showed me that great teachers are more than delivers of knowledge, but also people who genuinely care about you, your life, and the person you will grow into. 

    I am the educator I am today because of these people.
  • Favorite Tacoma restaurant?

    Macaluso's—You have to try the Pappardelle Bolognese!
  • IB learner profile you most relate to?

    I'd like to be more balanced but that's a work in progress. I would probably say an inquirer as I am constantly still learning, growing, and evolving as an educator. 
  • Favorite weekend activity?

    Hiking to the top of a mountain or scuba diving in the Puget Sound. 
  • Your song?

    If I was dealing with a PSA violation, "The Imperial March"! All other times, I would hope my favorite feel-good song by Bill Withers, "Lovely Day".
  • First job?

    Dish washer at a local cafe aged 13
  • Something that might surprise readers?

    I am dyslexic, a step-mum (twin 7 year-old boys), and I've summited Mt. Rainier, St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Baker. Hood is next on the wish list. 

Rex Bates

List of 10 items.

  • Favorite AWS tradition?

    The Spade - it is a way in which current students are directly tied back to something which has happened at the school for over a century
  • Currently reading?

    Democracy and Equality: The Enduring Constitutional Vision of the Warren Court by David A. Strauss and Geoffrey R. Stone
  • First travel, once it's safe to do so?

    Return to Asia - so I can do my job!
  • Teacher who impacted you the most?

    Reginald Kramer was my U.S. History teacher in prep school as well as my advisor and tennis coach. He had taught at the school for 47 years but was responsible for igniting my interest in history. I was able to stay in touch with him right up until he died at 93 years old!
  • Favorite Tacoma restaurant?

    Lobster Shop
  • IB learner profile you most relate to?

    Caring - I like to think that I identify, reach out and assist those who may need some help from time to time.
  • Favorite weekend activity?

    Long walks/hikes with my wife
  • Your song?

    "Brown Eyed Girl"
  • First job?

    Lord Label - I was their 6th employee when I started in 1965. I learned how to run a printing press. Lord Label was one of the first bulk manufacturers of pressure sensitive labels.
  • Something that might surprise readers?

    My gap year between high school and college extended to almost four years when I served as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. I was the Business Manager of Martyrs' Memorial School.

Jenn Haley '89

List of 10 items.

Jean Webber

List of 10 items.

  • Favorite AWS tradition?

    I just started at AWS in May. Due to COVID I sadly have not participated in any of the traditions since we can not come together as a school. I am looking forward to those traditions that I have heard so much about.
  • Currently reading?

    I am reading a book called "Building off the Grid". I would like to build a house on a piece of land that is sustainable and cost effective. 
  • First travel, once it's safe to do so?

    My daughter is a senior in high school and I want to be able to visit the universities she is applying to and see them alive with students. 
  • Teacher who impacted you the most?

    The most influential teacher was my 11th grade math teacher. It was because of him that I got into accounting as a career. I was always good at math but I did not know what my options were for a career and he helped guide me.
  • Favorite Tacoma restaurant?

    The Spar 
  • IB learner profile you most relate to?

    Risk-taker - I am always willing to take on new challenges and do things differently. I love to enact change to ensure that I am doing things smarter and more efficiently.
  • Favorite weekend activity?

    I love to hike and run and try to do one of them each weekend.
  • Your song?

    "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John
  • First job?

    My first job was a manager in the mortgage department at a bank in the Northeast. I learned quickly that I wanted more opportunities so I left the bank after one year to pursue my MBA at Northeastern University.
  • Something that might surprise readers?

    I lived in Germany for a year after I graduated college. I worked in the accounting department at a shipping company in Bremen. It was a fantastic experience.

Susan Bauska

List of 10 items.

  • Favorite AWS tradition?

    My new favorite tradition is the USB Tie Ceremony, now in its fourth year. This started with the Yellow Tie USG Class of 2017 who presented monogrammed ties to the first Yellow Tie Class of boys, to welcome them and the USB into the AWS community. Parents have played a big part in this, as well. We have continued this tradition with each subsequent class and were even able to squeeze the ceremony outdoors, socially distanced and recorded for parents during the one Friday we have been in person this year.
  • Currently reading?

    On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • First travel, once it's safe to do so?

    Italy (we cancelled a scheduled trip there) OR Baishan School in Qingdao, China
  • Teacher who impacted you the most?

    A college professor who gave me the only C I ever received for a piece of writing, teaching me that it is NEVER okay to phone it in or rest on supposed strengths.
  • Favorite Tacoma restaurant?

    Macaluso's
  • IB learner profile you most relate to?

    I aspire to all of these but probably default to caring. I could not do this job without caring as much as I do about each one of my students and each of my colleagues. I often cannot sleep at night, worrying about individuals and their well-being.
  • Favorite weekend activity?

    Exploring places I have not seen before
  • Your song?

    "Dancing in the Dark" by Springsteen
  • First job?

    I tested tire rubber in a Goodyear Plant. It was awful, in part because I was the only female in the whole plant and the workers would write suggestive messages on the tire samples. I worked in a glass lab, so all eyes were on me each time I had to see those messages.
  • Something that might surprise readers?

    I was a print journalist before I went into teaching.

Ann Dicks

List of 10 items.

  • Favorite AWS tradition?

    There are many, but I think I would have to say the Lower School Talent Show. It happens at the end of the school year, and feels like a celebration of the year as well as a celebration of talents. I am always so impressed by and proud of how many students are such risk-takers by sharing a talent with the school. Some students start sharing as soon as they are old enough and share a talent every year, while others wait and share something in 5th grade as they finish up their time in the Lower School. And of course many students participate as an engaged, happy and respectful audience ready to watch their peers shine. It has never disappointed in the way it fills up the whole Lower School with joy. 
  • Currently reading?

    Like many, I have a few books floating on my bookshelf. I just finished, Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese, and just started Culturally Responsive School Leadership, by Muhammad Khalifa. 
  • First travel, once it's safe to do so?

    A warm sunny beach! 
  • Teacher who impacted you the most?

    Mrs. Grover was my 6th grade teacher. Though she did not reach more than 5 feet in height (I towered over her even at age 11), the reach she had on me emotionally was immense. She taught me the power of a positive attitude and being willing to take whatever comes your way. I am not sure if it was my impressionable age or my mindset going into 6th grade, but the turning point that year for me was evident pretty quickly. I have always attributed my outlook and attitude in part to the tiny but mighty, Mrs. Grover.
  • Favorite Tacoma restaurant?

    I struggle to choose favorites, but if I had to, I could happily eat at Indo on a weekly basis.
  • IB learner profile you most relate to?

    Another tough one, but I'd have to go with Balanced. I try to move through all parts of my day in a way that is steady, planning ahead as needed, so that I feel balanced in regards to my physical and emotional needs and personal and professional demands. 
  • Favorite weekend activity?

    Early morning dog walk followed by a cup of coffee while enjoying the morning light. 
  • Your song?

    "So We Won't Forget," by Khruangbin
  • First job?

    I babysat starting at age 10, but my first official job with an official paycheck was in a dorm cafeteria at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. I was 14 years old and remember feeling so out of my league, both from the college students moving around me and the machine that made dozens of pieces of toast at once. 
  • Something that might surprise readers?

    I love to dance! A dance party with friends is at the top of my list of post-Covid activities. 

Grace Finch

List of 10 items.

  • Favorite AWS tradition?

    I love that we decorate the Great Hall for the holidays (when it isn't a classroom!) because this building always feels like home, but the freshly cut tree and the community events that typically occur in there during that time of year make it feel like the biggest, most welcoming living room.
  • Currently reading?

    The last novel I finished was The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, but I just started Still Lives by Maria Hummel.
  • First travel, once it's safe to do so?

    Disneyland! Santa brought us a Disneyland vacation in 2019 that we haven't been able to redeem.
  • Teacher who impacted you the most?

    Mrs. Morris taught 7th grade honors English and European History. She emphasized the importance of public speaking and would keep a tally of every time a student said "um" or improperly used the word "like" when addressing the class. I can still see her in the back of the room when I address a group. She had high standards for our writing, speaking and critical reading that stuck with me.
  • Favorite Tacoma restaurant?

    Too difficult to choose! Sel for brunch with friends and Wooden City or The Table for date night.
  • IB learner profile you most relate to?

    I would like to think of myself as a communicator. My favorite thing about my job is the opportunity to relay stories, memories, triumphs and even challenges as they relate to the amazing impact our community makes possible for our students.
  • Favorite weekend activity?

    In a normal year, hopping sidelines to watch our kids play sports with their friends, but I am coming to appreciate the forced slowdown this year. I am enjoying slower weekend mornings with hot coffee and something baking in the oven.
  • Your song?

    "Differences" by Ginuwine
  • First job?

    I was a camp counselor for a couple of summers in high school, but my first job was as Visitor Services Representative at Tacoma Art Museum.
  • Something that might surprise readers?

    Even though I graduated with a degree in Art History, I was a double minor in Chemistry and Biology and took the MCAT. It wasn't until it came time to apply to medical schools that I realized it wasn't what I wanted.

Alicia Mathurin

List of 10 items.

  • Favorite AWS tradition?

    I can't choose between Lip Sync and Scholar Search. I dance and sing daily, sometimes hourly. Music and dance are soul healing. Even in the comedic platform Lip Sync is delivered, watching them perform and encourage one another is energizing. 

    Scholar Search increases access to AWS and seeing our community grow is my mission. I love the way our students love to learn and I want more students in our greater community to have that opportunity. Scholar Search makes it possible for many.
  • Currently reading?

    Too many to list, but the current genre I am spending the most time in is ancient and ancestral spiritual beliefs and practices.
  • First travel, once it's safe to do so?

    Pitzer! My daughter Kayla graduated from AWS in 2020 and is currently attending Pitzer online. 
  • Teacher who impacted you the most?

    My professor after my service in U.S. Marine Corps. He taught U.S. History from a Black perspective and he was on fire! It was the first time I heard the truth about America's history in a traditional education institution. 
  • Favorite Tacoma restaurant?

    Quickie Too
  • IB learner profile you most relate to?

    Caring - if we care for our planet and all of her inhabitants, everything can occur in safe and healthy spaces.
  • Favorite weekend activity?

    Staying home
  • Your song?

    "B.S." by Jhené Aiko
  • First job?

    Barista
  • Something that might surprise readers?

    I learned a lot raising horses in my teenage years. We would go to auctions where horses were being sold for meat. My training method was simply showing them unconditional love. It was healing for me and the horses. 

Contact

Annie Wright Schools
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403
253.272.2216

Translate this site

Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower  and Middle Schools offer coed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for girls  and boys offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School.