My sons came home excited (and a bit tired) this week, energized by the return to a more “normal” school day, with afternoons filled with sports practice, study hall, and clubs. 

As we finish the second full week of school, it feels good to be settling into slightly revised versions of our pre-pandemic routines. Our Grade 5-8 Dragons have been busy with competitive sports practices. Our After-School Enrichment Program provided everything from cooking to yoga to chess and more for hundreds of our Early Childhood and Elementary students. 

One of the unique features of a WES education is our commitment to getting our students out of the classroom and into the world through our study trips program. We are only in our third week of school, and already our Dragons are experiencing these adventures: 

  • Our Kindergarteners visited a local farm to go apple picking and meet some barnyard animals. They later learned how to make apple butter with the literal fruits of their labor.
  • Grade 7 will “Race to the White House” with a historical scavenger hunt as they explore DC tomorrow. 
  • Grade 6 will spend some valuable time building community tomorrow as they canoe down the Shenandoah River at Calleva. 
  • And Grade 8–after two years of missed trips–are currently exploring the geology and landscape of Southwest Utah this week!

We are incredibly grateful for all of these “firsts…again,” look forward to even more in the coming months. 

Danny Vogelman

Head of School

Welcome to Our Diversity Corner

Greetings Dragons! I hope this message finds you well and that you and your children are off to a great new year! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Dr. Omekongo Dibinga. I am the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Facilitator. I work part-time with our Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Courtney Clark on implementation of the WES DEI goals. I also have the great honor of working with parents on the WES diversity committee and on occasion I work with your children on the importance of being an upstander in the world today. Welcome to WES!

I use this section of our newsletter to communicate some thoughts related to our DEI work. As we get back into the swing of things, I want to remind you that through Courtney Clark’s leadership, we have been working to build out a strong resource page for you to engage on diversity, equity, and inclusion. There is so much information from books and articles to podcasts and videos not only for you but for your children as well. You can check it all out right here.

One video you can start with from our resource page is a TED talk titled “How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them.” As we dig more deeply into conversations and work about identity, it is crucial that we do the introspective work needed to authentically and knowledgeably engage in this work. We have to begin within. I’m looking forward to a great year with you. LET’S GO!​

A message from Dr. Omékongo Dibinga, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Facilitator

First Friday Coat Drive!

Serving our community is one way we live out the WES motto: “Be Kind.” We are glad to bring back our popular First Friday service program for the 2021-2022 school year, starting with October!

The week of September 27 – October 1, WES will be collecting new and very gently used winter coats for Church of the Epiphany in DC, which will distribute the coats through their Welcome Table and Street Church ministries. WES families are invited to bring coats to morning drop-off during this week. From there, students will sort, write notes, and place hand sanitizer in the pockets.

If your family would like to help distribute the coats, (outside, masked, and socially distanced) please contact Kathy Gallagher, Church of the Epiphany at

If you have any questions about First Friday, or if you have an idea for a future project, please contact Kristen Pitts at or Tiffney Brockway at

Kaleidoscope Clubs

Kaleidoscope means a “diverse collection” and is derived from the Greek words that mean observation of beautiful forms.
We offer two diversity clubs for students: Kaleidoscope (Grades 6-8) and Kaleidoscope Jr. (Grades 4 & 5). Everyone is welcome – this is a place to learn about diversity and inclusion, and make their voices heard.

Topics will include: gender, race, ability, religion, nationality, and many others ways we are different and alike. We’ll play games and do fun activities that help us learn more about each other, and make sure everyone feels included at WES. Kaleidoscope Jr. also prepares students for the Middle School Kaleidoscope Club. There will be opportunities for students in each club to collaborate throughout the year and spearhead school-wide diversity initiatives.

Please email Courtney Clark at if your student is interested in joining.

Auction Gala: New Dates!

We have a new date for the Auction Gala, the biggest social event and fundraiser of the year for adults! We’re embracing spring with our new date of Saturday, April 9, at WES, either in a huge party tent or in the WES gyms–a decision on exact location will be made closer to the event.

Please join us for Auction Kick-off meeting as we make plans for the big event! The meeting will be on Thursday, October 14, at 7 p.m. in the tent outside. Whether you’re a veteran or a new parent, come learn about this wonderful event and see how you can help as you meet friends from all grades. Join a committee and grab a drink.

 And of course, save the date for our Auction Wine Party on Saturday evening, October 23, outdoors at WES. This adults-only party with an Oktoberfest twist will feature wine, beer, and appetizers as we stock the wine cellar for the Auction Gala. Bid on exciting baskets, purchase raffle tickets and meet new friends. Casual attire. Invitation link and details coming soon.

 Our Auction 2022 Co-Chairs Karaine Howard, Anna Irwin, and Bronwyn Roy, are thrilled to get this party started!

 Please contact a Co-Chair or Ali Bratun at in the Development Office with any questions.