Our Faculty

Zoë Hillman

Elementary School Director


At WES Since: 2019

What is your philosophy on teaching?
Loris Malaguzzi of Reggio Schools urged educators to “do nothing without joy,” an idea that is central to my philosophy of education. I profoundly believe schools should be communities full of joy, curiosity, and love; nurturing and cherishing children’s innate desire to learn and equipping them to be culturally competent, lifelong learners. As a leader at WES, I aim to foster a program where wonder, laughter, and excitement echo in the classrooms and on the playground, and where challenge, debate, creativity, problem-solving, and mutual respect are at the heart.

What excites you most about being an educator?
Often the most exciting and fulfilling times as a teacher are in the smallest moments. The time when a child squeals with delight at a small discovery – ice in the playground, shadows in the classroom, a bug in the school garden. For older children, it can be the smile of achievement as they make connections in their learning, the aha moment when they solve “hard” problems, collaborate on a project, and persevere to a conclusion. These are the moments that remind me why I am an educator. To share in these wonders, to nurture and delight in these achievements, I cannot think of a more privileged role.

I am a UK trained teacher and leader and I have been working in independent schools in the DC metro area since 2014. I have also taught in schools in the UK, Belgium, New York, and Seattle, and lived in Hong Kong and Singapore. I hold a Harvard Graduate School of Education Certificate in Leadership and Excellence in Education; a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education from Homerton College, Cambridge University, England; a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Sussex, England; and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from University College, University of Durham, England.