Greetings!

There are times in our lives when one has to make a tough decision – of the heart rather than the head. This is such a time. Due to increasing family obligations, realising that I cannot both take care of my family and remain at Sea Crest, I have made the difficult choice that the 2019-2020 school year will be my last at our school. My heart is heavy to depart from Sea Crest in June 2020 and yet I know that I am making the right decision to put my family first.

I recall well Monday, 1st July, 2013, when I walked onto Sea Crest School’s campus for the first time as its Head of School. It was a summer day and I was dressed in a pink skirt with a short-sleeved white shirt, bare legs and pink high-heeled sandals. Whilst I had spent the previous 4 years studying leadership and planned every aspect of my first day as a Head, I was not prepared for the frigid coast-side winds that greeted me that day. Six years hence, I am now more familiar with the mix of fog, rain and sun that can all transpire, sometimes in the same hour, here in magical Half Moon Bay. 

It was the Guiding Principles that first attracted me to Sea Crest, in particular, “I leave it better than I found it”. The school’s mission of fostering the 4 C’s – curiosity, creativity, compassion and courage – was laudable; however, it was its sense of close community that quickly made me enamoured of it. This is the fifth independent school at which I have served and whilst I am fortunate to have enjoyed my years at each of my previous schools, I can wholeheartedly say, that of all, Sea Crest cultivates just the right balance of excellence and joy in our pupils. 

Anyone who knows me well appreciates that for me, living a purposeful life means that my chosen work has to feed my soul, daily. They know that a measure of my being fulfilled is that I must feel overjoyed whenever I step onto the school’s campus. I have had the good fortune to experience this at Sea Crest. Our pupils have inspired me; they are kind and want to make a difference in the world they are inheriting. I thank our extremely dedicated board members, who have partnered closely with me in guiding our school and above all, for supporting me personally and professionally. I am grateful to our visionary leadership team members, who work tirelessly to ensure that our school operates efficiently; the faculty and staff, who are deeply committed to nurturing the pupils in our care; and you, our parents, who trust us with helping to raise your children. Together, we have taken Sea Crest from good to great.

This school year will be another engaging one for us. We began our 23rd year celebrating the opening of our re-imagined outdoors. I look forward to continuing this journey with you and to smoothly passing the baton to our school’s next Head. 

Gratefully Yours,
Over the last 6 years, Sea Crest has been fortunate to flourish under the exceptional leadership of Dr. Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise. As such, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to express deep appreciation for all Tekakwitha has done for Sea Crest and acknowledge her plans to depart from the school on June 30, 2020.  

As a parent, trustee and board chair, I have had the privilege of working closely with Tekakwitha and can attest to her dedication to Sea Crest. Tekakwitha has often shared over the years that while there were many things that originally attracted her to our school, she knew she had found her next home when she read our Guiding Principle “I leave it better than I found it.” During her time at Sea Crest School, Tekakwitha has worked tirelessly to do exactly that. 

While it is challenging to condense all of Tekakwitha’s accomplishments into one letter, I think the biggest indicators of her success are the Sea Crest students. Sea Crest students are thriving. They are problem solvers and risk takers. Our students have a strong academic base and strength of character. They are curious, creative, compassionate and courageous. Moreover, Sea Crest graduates are joyful, know themselves and are well prepared to excel in high school and in life.  

Under Tekakwitha’s leadership, Sea Crest’s curricular offerings have strengthened substantially with the addition of programs such as Character Education, Singapore Mathematics, Health and Wellness, Environmental Stewardship, Mindfulness and the Innovation Lab. In the middle school, students now have a robust choice of engaging exploration classes, daily Advisory, high quality outdoor education experiences and many opportunities to build strong and healthy relationships with peers, teachers and themselves. The after school program has also strengthened under Tekakwitha’s guidance with the introduction of a variety of clubs, enrichment classes and an expanded Extended Day Program. 

While much of Tekakwitha’s focus has been on moving Sea Crest’s program forward, she has also led numerous capital improvement projects during her time at Sea Crest. We have seen the addition of the Innovation Lab and second story in the main building, classrooms outfitted with flexible furniture and renovations of the Extended Day space, the Performing Arts and Music rooms, as well as the faculty lounge affectionately called Café 901. In the fall, students returned to Tekakwitha’s most recent endeavor - a truly transformed Outdoors space that will nurture our student’s social, physical and intellectual growth. 

Over the years, Tekakwitha has worked to institutionalize processes and procedures to ensure that Sea Crest will continue to thrive after her departure. Ongoing professional development enables our faculty to deliver the exceptional personalized, project-based and experiential learning that are hallmark to a Sea Crest education. New and existing programs are continually evaluated based on their ability to help students develop the critical thinking and ethical skills defined in our mission. While we are saddened to see her depart, Tekakwitha’s hard work over the last six years has put Sea Crest in a strong position to embark on the next chapter in the school’s journey. 

The Board of Trustees has assembled a search committee to guide the process of finding our next head of school. The search committee will be led by Amy Regan Morehouse and Karin Manuele and we have engaged a team from the search consulting firm Morris and Berger to assist us. In the coming weeks, you will hear more details about the search process and ways to participate. 

Sea Crest has many exciting days ahead. We look forward to working with all of you as we make this important transition and celebrate Tekakwitha’s extraordinary leadership. 

Sincerely,
Board Chair
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SEA CREST SCHOOL is dedicated to providing the best in innovative education to inspire and empower our learners to engage curiosity, express creativity, act with compassion, and lead with courage.