CENTREVILLE — After an eight-month search by a committee headed by trustee Diane Freestate, Wye River Upper School has found its new head of school in Stephanie Borges Folarin.
She was one of three finalists who were invited for on-campus interviews, according to a news release.
Folarin will follow Dave Mullen, who has been serving as the interim head of school since co-founder Chrissy Aull retired at the end of the 2019-20 school year.
Mullen said Folarin “is the right choice to lead Wye River to new heights,” according to the news release.
Her tenure begins July 1, 2021.
Folarin, who has a master’s degree in special education from Johns Hopkins University, brings a wealth of knowledge and skill in curriculum and programs designed for students who learn differently, according to the release.
She also brings many years of experience in school leadership, most recently as principal of Bishop Walker School for Boys in Washington, D.C.
Before coming to Bishop Walker in the fall of 2018, Folarin was the lower school director/director of curriculum and instruction at Sheridan School in Washington for three years, according to the winter 2018 Bishop Walker newsletter.
Before that, she was the director of academic and student support at Burgundy Farm Country Day School in Alexandria, Virginia for three years.
The job that brought her to Washington was the learning specialist position at the Maret School, where she spent four years.
While obtaining her master’s degree, Folarin taught high school in the Baltimore public school system. One of her tasks was to convert general education curricula to special education curricula.
In her acceptance letter to the WRUS board of trustees, Folarin said: “The passion, professionalism, and educational expertise within the community is astounding. ... I look forward to continuing the great work of Mrs. Aull and Mr. Mullen and working respectfully and collaboratively with (them) to advance the mission and expand this outstanding school’s vision.”
The genesis of Wye River Upper School dates to 2001 when Aull was unable to find an appropriate high school for her son who has learning differences. At that time this type of educational experience did not exist on the Eastern Shore, according to the news release.
Aull, who has a master’s degree in education, and co-founder Patricia McGlannan opened Wye River Upper School in September 2002.
“Three teachers and nine students made it possible to continue to move forward with a powerful conviction that allowed students with learning differences to grow and learn in a responsive environment,” according to the news release.
Wye River has grown to 57 students and a staff of 20.