School Life

5- & 7-Day Boarding Options

Students from around the state, country and world love to live and learn at Annie Wright Schools, where they develop deep friendships that last a lifetime. Boarding at Annie Wright is fun, safe and educational and a lot like living in a giant family. Our community makes up around half of the Upper School population, and the eight residential faculty – dorm parents – are dedicated to each student's well-being and academic success.
Annie Wright Schools are nestled on a beautiful campus in the North End neighborhood of Tacoma, Washington, overlooking the Puget Sound. Shops and restaurants are a short walk away, and the city is near majestic national parks and Mt. Rainier. Tacoma is about 45 minutes south of Seattle and just 30 minutes from Sea-Tac airport.

Rooms and Facilities
Dorm rooms are each unique, comfortable and spacious. Students enjoy shared kitchen facilities, media lounges and study spaces around the dorm. Its location right in our main building makes access to the dining hall, classrooms, library, gym and other campus facilities as easy as walking down the hall.

Dorm Parents
There are eight residential faculty who supervise and care for the boarders. Dorm parents provide expert tutoring in a variety of subjects, transportation and other logistical services, cultural and recreational trips, leadership training, mentorship and constant support. Most importantly, dorm parents create a culture of warmth, fun, security and belonging. 

Boarding prefects are selected in their senior year to work closely with resident staff to build a vibrant and nurturing dorm community. Each prefect is responsible for leading a specific dorm group, by way of facilitating weekly check-ins, planning community-building activities, designing “All-Dorm Fun” programming, and being an active listener, role model and advocate for all resident students.

Residential life offers a wide variety of fun and engaging activities. Examples include:
  • ice skating, skiing and snowboarding
  • camping, hiking and rock climbing
  • museum and city tours
  • theater shows and sports events
  • sushi making, tie-dying and even a real trapeze class
  • spontaneous and planned game nights, movie nights, cookie baking, parties, shopping trips and more
  • "All-Dorm Fun” events, organized by the prefects, which have included a Halloween murder mystery, a spring carnival, roller-skating, an evening at a water park and a trip to the Washington State Fair.

Five-Day Boarding*
In addition to its seven-day boarding program, Annie Wright offers a five-day boarding program to cater to students who live just outside practical, daily commuting range. These students go home after school Fridays and return Sunday evenings, but otherwise are full members of the boarding community and are even invited to stay on campus one weekend a month to take part in the various weekend activities.

*Students requiring F-1 visas or green cards may only be accepted as 7-day boarders.  Exceptions may be approved only by the Head of Schools and will only be made for students who will spend weekends in an established residence where they are living with their natural born or adoptive parents. Weekend residences must be within reasonable commuting distance from the school.

#1 Boarding School in Washington State

Annie Wright Schools are thrilled to announce that we have been recognized as the #1 Boarding School and #1 K-12 Private School in Washington State for 2023 by Niche! While we’ve always known that AWS is a wonderful place to learn and grow, we’re so proud of our students, faculty and staff for earning this national distinction. Check out the full suite of rankings and where we land here.

Annie Wright Dorm Parents

List of 8 members.

  • Photo of Jeff Barber

    Jeff Barber 

    Director of Residential Life
  • Photo of Matina Hawkins

    Matina Hawkins 

    Assistant Director of Residential Life and Dorm Counselor
  • Photo of Andres Eguiguren

    Andres Eguiguren 

    Residential Faculty
  • Photo of Betta Hanson

    Betta Hanson 

    Residential Faculty
  • Photo of Robert Kearns

    Robert Kearns 

    Residential Faculty
  • Photo of Tessa Thurman

    Tessa Thurman 14

    Residential Faculty
  • Photo of Sarah Wenzlick

    Sarah Wenzlick 

    Residential Faculty
  • Photo of Emily  Singer

    Emily  Singer 

    Residential Faculty
For questions please contact Upper Schools Admissions Director
Maddy Mancuso ’05MS at 253.284.8603
For questions about International Boarding please contact Director of International Advancement 
Rex Bate
at +


Annie Wright Schools
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403


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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.