Welcoming Wainright: STE’s New Head of Upper School
At the start of the 2023-2024 school year, the Saint Thomas’ Episcopal (STE) community welcomed our new Head of Upper School, Mr. Tim Wainright. After working inside private and public schools and Christian and non-Christian schools, Mr. Wainright comes to STE with 27 years of expertise in teaching and shaping young minds. I was honored to have the chance to interview him within his first few weeks at STE.
What would you like to share with the STE community about your life experiences and yourself?
I grew up in the 77096 zip code; this little pocket of Houston has been my home for a long time. I’m excited to be here. I enjoy working with kids and working with teachers. Serving a Christian school has helped me grow in my faith. In addition to teaching academics, there’s a ministry component to the work we do. There are always moments where I feel like the best thing we can do is stop talking about school and say, “Let’s just pray for a few minutes.” Moving into a Christian school [from a public school] was my biggest eye-opener. I felt the freedom to gather others in prayer.
What are your interests outside of teaching?
One of the things I like about STE is that I can ride a bike to work. As my schedule in the next few weeks calms down, I plan to ride my bike three or four days during the week. I used to do it quite often; I’d go on rides on the weekends. Cycling has always been something I enjoyed doing. It’s a great way to stay in shape and lessen the pressures of school leadership.
What is your favorite tradition that we have here?
Senior Robing Day is unique. I’ve worked in seven schools and never encountered anything like Senior Robing Day. It’s an excellent way for the senior class to differentiate themselves from other students. All schools have traditions, but at STE they feel more relevant to the fabric of the school.
What are some of your plans for STE?
I want to ensure that the classes we offer the students and how we sequence them keeps them competitive in whatever they pursue. I really want to make sure that what we’re doing inside the building–especially in class–is positioning students to be successful in college and life. I also want students to have positive relationships with teachers. Our teachers have decades of experience, and I want to be able to support them and ask them, “How do you want to grow?” or “How would you like the classroom to be different for kids?” I can leverage my experience to support them in that way.
If you could give one piece of advice to everyone in the whole upper school, what would you tell them?
I would tell them to take care of each other. There’s so much pressure on kids in today’s society. Whether the Christian faith is your faith or not, just being willing to operate within those ideals of how to treat each other is essential. Another thing is just to enjoy being a kid. A lot of pressure certainly comes with being a high school student, and I know you all want to grow up as quickly as you can. I was the same way, but I would encourage students just to enjoy the blessings around them, whether it’s their parents or just the comforts that they have.
If you could describe STE in three words or less, what would they be?
A great place! STE has always had a reputation for great academics and being an excellent place for kids and families. I look at the number of alum families and parents with children here, and it stands out. It’s a special place not just for me but for many families for the last seven decades.
As he leads the Upper School, Mr. Wainright's experience and commitment to students' holistic development promise continual growth and success for the school and students. The STE community looks forward to seeing how his initiatives can make STE an even more incredible institution of learning and growth.
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