Notes From Mr. Hulsey



Mr. Hulsey will be writing weekly notes, addressing any questions or concerns from the recent parent survey. As always, if you need anything, please feel free to contact the school. We hope these letters will educate parents about the school’s daily operations.


What is the chain of command at Wardlaw Academy and why do we have three administrators?

One of the most pressing issues that I saw when I got to Wardlaw Academy was the need to expand and reorganize our chain of command so we could improve and clarify due process for parents, students, and staff as well as to better meet accreditation standards.  But, how do you create a set-up where a small school with limited resources can have Lower and Upper School Principals as well as a Head of School?  With a school our size, it takes a lot of creativity and committed people to accomplish things that most schools would say are impossible.

Because each of our administrators is willing to handle multiple duties, Wardlaw is able to have three leaders who each have their Master’s Degree and have a combined 65 years of experience in education.  In addition to their administrative duties, Mr. Martin teaches three math classes and serves as our Director of Finance while Mrs. Whitlock teaches math for half the day in the Lower School and is the Director of Learning Support for the entire school.  As Head of School, I also teach two Bible classes a day to high school students as well as drive the bus two days a week and handle many of the smaller maintenance issues at the school.

Because many hats are worn by our administrators, the bottom line is that this set-up was created without any increase to our budget or staff.  This change in administrative set-up has allowed Wardlaw to greatly move forward with academic improvements at the school as well as to improve teacher accountability with improved direct supervision and the ability to do many more teacher observations.  The reorganization has also allowed us to refocus our support staff members (academic counseling, admissions, marketing, advancement, and communication) on their main assigned duties and to be able to better serve our families.

The collective wisdom that is available from the three administrators working together is invaluable, and, hopefully, these changes will help everyone have the ability to clearly know who to address when questions and concerns may arise.  To clarify this, parents are asked to go through the teachers first and then on to the Principal if issues are not resolved.  If further resolution is needed after addressing concerns with both the teacher and the Principal, the Head of School can get involved as the final step in the appeal process.  This same process is in place with athletics using the coach and athletic director as the first two steps and the Head of School as the final appeal.

Thank you and please let me know if you have any other questions that I can answer.

Joe Hulsey
Head of School