Amazing Learning



Rich Stearns

Head of School – Willows Preparatory School

Entering his thirty first year as an educator, Rich has worked with young adults in a variety of settings throughout his career. Initially, he was drawn to education while coaching sports and leading teens on wilderness adventures through the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest. After four years immersed in boarding school life at the Culver Academies, Rich transitioned to the Northwest and spent ten years at the Overlake School in Redmond and then at Seattle Academy in Seattle. At those schools, he taught history, led outdoor education trips, developed curriculum, and contributed to many co-curricular efforts at each school.

Rich joins Willows Prep most recently from Seattle Prep where he served on the administrative team for nine years. In that role, he supported teachers in the classroom, participated in admissions, coached the Varsity lacrosse team, and worked with the student government. During that time, Rich was also the President of Board of Trustees at Woodinville Montessori School, helping them develop a new high school. Rich studied history as an undergraduate at Northwestern University and earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at University of Washington’s School of Education. Most recently, he obtained a Certificate in School Management and Leadership through a joint program of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard Business School. Rich met his wife Erin while teaching at Overlake. Rich and Erin have three children: Simone (28) Lucy (18) and Jacob (16). As a family, they enjoy trips to the Oregon coast, alpine skiing, musicals, and occasional whitewater rafting trips.

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