Head of School Search

Dear Westside Montessori School Community,

It is with extreme delight that we share the happy news that Ms. Bonita Lea has enthusiastically accepted the Board of Directors’ offer to become the next Head of School for Westside Montessori School.  She will pick up where our current, venerable Head of School, Diane Musgrove, will leave off at the end of this school year.  Ms. Lea mirrors the cultural and educational values that we share at Westside Montessori, while demonstrating a true gift for leadership in a style that is inclusive, thoughtful, and motivational.  She recognizes and is committed to continuing the core purpose of Westside Montessori – to provide our diverse student body with an exceptional and uncompromising Montessori education as Dr. Maria Montessori envisioned.

Ms. Lea received a Masters of Science in Cultural Foundations with a concentration in Educational Policy from the University of Wisconsin, and a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising with a minor in  Business Management from Immaculata College.  She has actively cultivated her leadership skills by attending conferences put on by the National Association of Independent Schools and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools.  She presently serves as the Head of the Lower School for Browne Academy in Alexandria, Virginia where she began as a teacher in 1998.  Browne Academy is a progressive school where children from preschool through 8th grade are offered an inquiry-based approach to education and experiential learning, very much like our own Montessori method.  Like Westside Montessori School, Browne Academy is an independent, non-profit school run by a Board of Trustees and enhanced by an active parent community.

Ms. Lea looks forward to training formally, through certification at the Houston Montessori Center, and informally, through self-study, to grow and support her Montessori education.  As the face of the school, she is committed to presenting Westside Montessori School as an informed and passionate advocate for Montessori education.  We will benefit greatly from her past experiences during our upcoming SACS and AMS accreditation process.

We are pleased to announce that her transition will be supported for the first year by Diane, herself.  Diane has agreed to serve as an Advisor to the Head of School during Ms. Lea’s first year.  After spending almost 40 years as our Head, there is no one better suited to offer advice and counsel to Ms. Lea.

Thank you to every teacher, staff member, parent, and student who contributed during this search process.  From attending focus groups and answering surveys to making time to participate in the finalist visits and provide comment cards, you all played an important role in selecting our new Head of School.  The Search Committee and Board of Directors are thankful for the support that you all showed during her visit which has left a very positive impression of who we are as a community and what she can expect in the future.  When Ms. Lea joins us in July, 2017 the time will come again for the school to join and welcome her to her new home at Westside.

We look forward to sharing information about the celebrations to come that will honor our beloved Diane Musgrove as she retires as our Head of School after nearly 4 decades of service, and how we will welcome our new Head of School, Ms. Bonita Lea, to our school community.  This is truly an exciting time for Westside Montessori School and we look forward to all that the future holds for our school.