About Ruffing : Head of School

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Barry J. Wadsworth, Jr. – an Introduction

It is with tremendous excitement that we introduce you to Ruffing Montessori’s new Head of School. In October 2015, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name Barry J. Wadsworth, Jr. as the new Head of School, effective July 1, 2016.

Board President Amy Pinkerton summed up the search process: “From start to finish, our Head of School search was defined by the active engagement and thoughtful feedback of the entire school community. And what a success it was! In Barry, we have found an incredibly capable and humble leader who will serve Ruffing well and who will lead this school into the next chapter.”

Barry brings to Ruffing an impressive professional background and rich experience in early childhood and elementary education. He is a progressive educator and administrator possessing the skills, character and vision to lead and inspire our school community. We are delighted with the way in which his core values resonate and align with Ruffing’s child-centric program and culture. Barry believes in community and understands the importance of forging meaningful relationships and building consensus toward a shared vision. Committed to the child and the Montessori philosophy of lifelong learning, he will be an authentic and passionate advocate for Ruffing Montessori School.

Barry has spent the past sixteen years in progressive, independent schools, both as an administrator and a teacher. Early in his career, he spent eleven years as a Master Teacher and Administrator at the Smith College Campus School (MA), where he taught 5th Grade and mentored Smith College students preparing to lead early childhood and elementary classrooms. Barry then served as the Director of Lower School at the highly regarded Blake School in Minneapolis, where he oversaw Grades PreK-5 with approximately 550 students and 85 faculty and staff on two campuses. His accomplishments included the development of a multi-cultural curriculum, special initiatives on pluralism and diversity, and the promotion of collaborative professional development. After his time at Blake, Barry was hired as the first Head of Lower School for the Avery Coonley School in suburban Chicago, an independent day school for the academically gifted. There, he made great impact spearheading a Green Initiative and strengthening communications with parents. In 2014, Barry returned to Minneapolis to take on the role of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Specialist for the Minneapolis Public Schools, working with a team to lead improvements in the district’s elementary academic program.

Complementary to his professional achievements, Barry earned two Masters Degrees: one from Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he was a Klingenstein Fellow, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mount Holyoke College, following his graduation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. An avid athlete and strong proponent of health and wellness, he is a seasoned youth coach for hockey and tennis and once served as Program Director for the Arthur Carrington Tennis Academy, a program dedicated to students from highly diverse socio-economic, geographical and cultural backgrounds. Barry has two children, Camran, age 12, and Camila, age 9, who will be attending Ruffing Montessori School.

“What a pleasure it was for me to find a school so beautifully dedicated to supporting children’s intellectual, social-emotional, and ethical development, to fostering creativity, and, most of all, to nurturing a love of learning,” Barry shared in a recent communication surrounding his new Headship. “I feel an incredibly strong calling to the positive sense of relationship and supportive culture that has been established at Ruffing and I look forward with great anticipation to building on the school’s current position of strength. Our enrollment is strong, our students top-notch, our families committed, and our faculty and staff highly talented. It’s an exciting time to be at Ruffing Montessori School.”

Ruffing Montessori School   |   3380 Fairmount Blvd Cleveland Heights, OH 44118   |   Phone: (216) 321-7571   |   Hours 8am-4pm M-F   |   After Hours Phone (216) 321-0913