Letter from Diana Smith, Principal
Dear Latin Families,
It is not easy to write to you today, but the time has come: this school year will be my last as Principal at Washington Latin.
Working with you, your children and this faculty has been the greatest gift an educator could receive. But it is time to pause to recharge my aging batteries and then take up the next challenge. This plan has been in the works for some time now, although the pandemic delayed my departure so that I could support Latin’s transition through this extraordinary period. While we are not past the COVID crisis, it is time for me to return to these plans. I have so many emotions about this decision, but I do know that it is the right one, both for me and for the future of the school.
Leading this school for the past 13 years has been the greatest joy and commitment of my more than 30 years in education. I believe so deeply that we are doing the right thing by providing a challenging, classical education that is accessible to all. We are a model, however imperfect still, for what education in this country should look like. READ MORE
Letter from Peter Anderson, Head of School
Dear Latin Families,
From Diana’s letter, you know this year will be her last as principal. I want to share my reflections on this important transition at Latin and announce who will be our next principal.
All educators have an impact through their work, but Diana Smith leaves an exceptional legacy at Latin. She joined the faculty in 2008, when the school was in its infancy. With nearly three decades of experience in school leadership and a degree in Classics, I strongly suspect the Fates themselves submitted her application letter. Working with the previous Head of School, Martha Cutts, she built out the academic program: developing the curriculum and instructional model, creating the Upper School, hiring and developing faculty, and crafting myriad policies, practices, and traditions that have shaped Latin’s culture. So many essential elements of this school reflect her handiwork
Handiwork – the term itself embodies Diana’s hands-on, hard-working approach to leadership. She is engaged with school life in all its forms: teaching (sometimes in the MS, sometimes in the US, sometimes in both divisions), developing schedules and course offerings, participating in celebrations, performances, and student clubs (did you know she was a juggler?), and working one-on-one with students in academic support sessions. Throughout the spring and summer, she has worked tirelessly to spearhead our responses to all the 2020 challenges. Over the years, Diana has demonstrated a rare ability to move nimbly between the lofty ideals of education and day-to-day practicalities of running a school, ensuring that Latin’s core values are woven through the fabric of daily school life. READ MORE
Peter Anderson, Head of School
Washington Latin’s Head of School is Peter Anderson. He brings more than 20 years of experience in education as a teacher, administrator and school leader. He brings a commitment to improving instruction and results for all students, fostering parent involvement, and sound stewardship of school finances. Peter holds a BA from Haverford College, a Masters in Sociology from the London School of Economics, and a Masters in Education from New York University. Peter also teaches middle school US History.
Peter is part of the summer 2018 cohort of the highly selective Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship, a two-year program for talented leaders who are reimagining America’s public schools.
Diana Smith, Principal
Dr. Smith came to Washington Latin in 2008 following several decades’ experience teaching and leading in both public and private schools. With a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Classics from Princeton University (Phi Beta Kappa), Dr. Smith is Washington Latin’s academic leader, responsible for refining and sustaining the classical curriculum and teaching model. She also teaches several classes and works directly with students on independent studies.
In 2015, she was the recipient of the Washington Post Distinguished Leadership Award for her work as Principal at Washington Latin.
Senior Leadership Team
Ms. Janelle Bradley – Assistant Director of Middle School
Ms. Kara Brady – Director of Upper School
Ms. Kate Cromwell – Director of Advocacy, Communication and Engagment
Ms. Aryn Davis – Director of Student Support Services
Mr. Bob Eleby-El – Director of Athletics
Ms. Crystal Eleby-El – Director of Student Recruitment & Alumni Relations