The Board of Trustees Appoints Felicia Wilks as the 15th Head of School, Beginning July 2022

Dear Members of the Spence Community,
We are thrilled to announce that Felicia Wilks has been appointed by the Board of Trustees as The Spence School’s 15th Head of School. Ms. Wilks was unanimously recommended by the Search Committee to the Board of Trustees who also unanimously approved her appointment to succeed Bodie Brizendine in July 2022. We sought a dynamic Head of School who can build on Bodie’s remarkable 15-year Spence tenure and further strengthen Spence as a national leader in educating girls and young women. Ms. Wilks’ demonstrated and exemplary leadership is characterized by her genuine warmth, humor, perspective, and clarity of priorities and purpose. She has a lifelong passion for all-girls’ education and will lead our school with integrity, authenticity, and commitment to academic excellence and community. Ms. Wilks represents our highest ideals of a visionary educator who will sustain our mission and values with strategic intention and compelling care. We are excited and energized by the promise and potential of Ms. Wilks’ appointment as our new Head of School.
Ms. Wilks’ deep and versatile experience includes serving as teacher, department chair, diversity director, division head and assistant head of school in independent, Quaker, day, boarding, all-girls’ and coeducational schools. Most recently she has served as the Assistant Head of School and the Upper School Director at Lakeside School, a nationally recognized school with 858 students in grades 5-12 in Seattle, Washington. She was Upper School English Department Chair, and Director of Diversity at the Friends School of Baltimore, and later the Head of Upper School at the Garrison Forest School, a renowned independent K-12 girls’ school with a coed preschool and national and international boarding program in Owings Mills, Maryland. Ms. Wilks, herself, graduated from the all-girls Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore and strongly believes in the mission of single-sex education for girls and women.
During her two decades of educational leadership, Ms. Wilks has led several initiatives to support and enhance K-12 curriculum and school programs including a comprehensive experiential program for outdoor learning, service learning and global service learning; a Women in Science and Engineering program in partnership with Johns Hopkins University; a wellness department for Middle and Upper School; and expanded professional development opportunities for teachers. Ms. Wilks holds a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.
Since the December 2020 announcement of Bodie’s retirement, we have worked closely with our consultants at Carney, Sandoe & Associates and are thankful for their extraordinary partnership and outreach that brought forth several impressive Head of School candidates. To ensure an open and transparent search, we invited five finalists to campus to meet with parent leadership, alumnae leadership, student leadership, faculty and staff, and the administrative team, followed by the opportunity for everyone to share feedback via an online survey. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the members of the Search Committee and all members of the community whose participation was essential to a thorough, thoughtful, and inclusive search process. The search process firmly affirmed our love of school and solidified our determination to sustain Spence’s enduring legacy. We are grateful to all of you who helped us fulfill the opportunity of this critically important moment in shaping the next chapter of our beloved school.  
Ms. Wilks will take the helm of our school on its 130th anniversary and at a time of tremendous opportunity to lead Spence’s exceptional teachers, staff and administrators. We look forward to welcoming Ms. Wilks along with her husband, M’Salla, and two daughters Selah and Sarai, in July 2022 when she will lead us forward and build on Spence’s strong legacy of exceptional school leadership.
William L. Jacob III P’19, ’21, ’26, Board Chair
Anand Desai, Search Committee Co-Chair
Kimberly Kravis ’93, Search Committee Co-Chair

The Head of School Search Committee
Anand Desai P’25
Vice President, Board of Trustees - Search Committee Co-Chair
Kimberly Kravis ’93, P’26, ’29, ’33
Vice President, Board of Trustees - Search Committee Co-Chair
Erin Buzby P’31, ’33
Head of the Mathematics Department
Renée Chung
Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, and Dean of Parent and Student Inclusion and Belonging
Arthur Chu P’22, ’25
Secretary, Board of Trustees
Aletha Haynes
Lower School Head Teacher
William L. Jacob III P’19, ’21, ’26
Board Chair
Anya Herz Shiva ’88, P’28, ’31
Board of Trustees
Stacey St. Rose P’26
President of the Parents’ Association, Board of Trustees
Akuezunkpa Ude Welcome P’24, ’26
Vice President, Board of Trustees
Eric Zahler
Director of Teaching and Learning