NWAIS Announces Incoming Director of Accreditation, Betsy Watkins
NWAIS is delighted to introduce you to Betsy Watkins, NWAIS' incoming Director of Accreditation. Betsy is a veteran school leader who brings with her a range of experience at independent schools and with accreditation. In a career that spans the hemispheres, she has served as the Lower School Head at Westside School (Seattle), the Resident Coordinator at the University Child Development School (Seattle), the founding head of the Ascend International School (Mumbai, India), and early on, as a teacher at UCDS.
These experiences have given Betsy a depth of understanding both into independent schools and the power of accreditation.
In her own words:
I am fortunate to have had a range of experiences with schools at different phases of institutional growth. At UCDS, I worked with a strong faculty and culture and a well-established governance structure. In this space, we used our accreditation process to reflect, refine, and reimagine. As Founding Principal at Ascend International School, I worked with beginning educators to create a school with a solid foundation. In this space, I learned the value of investing initial time to build a meaningful program and administrative supports. Our accreditation process brought the opportunity to define who we wanted to be. I know the thought and care it takes to select an accrediting body that will best reflect a school's values. I also know the importance of accreditation to increasing legitimacy and confidence in a school's programming and how to use the process to help build a program and communicate effectively with families. At Westside School, I gained experience with an established community, undergoing change leadership. In this space, I learned the importance of revisiting the basics in times of transition and ensuring consensus before trying to make leaps forward. I understand first-hand that schools have varying needs and priorities in their organizational life cycles. No matter what stage of growth a school is in, I see the power of accreditation as an intentional and systemic process dedicated to meeting communities where they are and to helping them reach the next step in moving toward their potential.
Please join NWAIS in welcoming Betsy Watkins as Director-elect of Accreditation.