Leadership

At Westtown, we are uncommonly invested in helping our students discover their gifts, talents, passions, and sense of purpose.

We believe deeply that within each of us there is a special Light, a unique wisdom, and an evolving sense of purpose. Together, we work to help students discover these in a supportive and collaborative environment.

Head of School - Victoria (Tori) Jueds

Head of School Victoria (Tori) Jueds graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and went on to receive her A.B., magna cum laude from Harvard College, where she majored in History & Literature and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa society. After three years in Seattle, where she worked on a statewide gun control initiative and other political campaigns, she returned to Harvard, earning her J.D. from the Law School in 2001 where she was president of the Civil Liberties Union. A law clerk for the Honorable Louis H. Pollak in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 2001-2002, she then litigated cases implicating civil rights and civil liberties issues in New York and Washington, DC through 2006. For several years, Tori also taught at George Washington University Law School. In her last post before coming to Westtown, she was the Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students at Princeton University. 

Associate Head of School - Chris Benbow ’90

Associate Head of School Chris Benbow ’90 rejoined the Westtown community in 2014 as Upper School Principal. During his tenure as Upper School Principal, Chris has deftly and subtly led a number of initiatives to improve program and student experiences. Chris’s other roles at Westtown include Dean of Students (2004-08) and Upper School English Department Chair (2002-04). He taught English in our Upper School from 1998 until his 2008 appointment as Assistant Head of School/Head of Upper School at The Williams School in Connecticut, where he served until he re-joined us as Principal. Chris also brings wide-ranging experience in education which serve him well as Associate Head: having obtained his M.Ed. from Temple and B.A. from Skidmore, he taught 3rd through 8th grade at Cathedral Christian Academy, served as Director of Education at Inner­City Baseball Academy, and taught English in the School District of Philadelphia.

Lower School Principal - Karyn Payton

Lower School Principal Karyn Payton came to Westtown in 2016 initially teaching first grade, in which capacity she was elevated to Master Teacher, broadening the social studies curriculum to include more diverse voices. Most recently she has served as the Lower School Learning Specialist, notably managing the design and implementation of the new Lower School learning support system.
Karyn earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University and a master’s degree in education and human development from The George Washington University, both with highest honors, and holds a certification in early childhood education from Widener University. Karyn has completed the Friends Council on Education’s Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends School. Her time before and outside Westtown has included teaching language arts at Delaware Valley Friends School; training teacher interns in the Delaware Valley Friends School Adolescent Literacy Program; teaching first and second grade at the The School in Rose Valley during which she collaborated to create curricula; and, teaching at Friends Select School - of which she is a graduate. A lifelong Quaker and member of Chester Monthly Meeting, Karyn has also coordinated educational programs at Pendle Hill.  In her personal statement of philosophy, Karyn speaks of Quaker practices as key influences and inspirations, including holding issues or ideas in the Light, discerning in collaboration with others and in her own quiet time, and leading with intention. She identifies listening and seeking as particularly important practices, calling them “cornerstones of successful teaching and leadership.”

Middle School Principal - Nancy van Arkel

Middle School Principal Nancy van Arkel has served as Middle School Principal since 2005. During her tenure, Middle School innovations have included initiating a 1:1 iPad program, expanding language choices to include Mandarin beginning in 7th grade, adopting new curricula in math and science, and developing an integrated social curriculum that includes student leadership, Olweus bullying prevention, service learning, a robust advisory program, and a vibrant approach to spiritual development through Meeting for Worship and Quakerism classes.

Interim Upper School Principal - Omar Ottero

Interim Upper School Principal Omar Otero has served Westtown since 2015 as a teacher in the Math Department, Guerster House Dorm Parent, Senior Class Advisor, and coach of Boys Soccer and Basketball. His remarkable personal integrity, thoughtful wisdom, and strong moral compass have made him a valued member of Discipline Council, Steering Committee, Service Committee, and the Upper School Principal Search Committee. Omar brings a wealth of experience in independent boarding school education which will serve him well in this role. Having obtained his B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Hartford, he began teaching nearly 30 years ago at the Academia Menonita and later St. John’s School in Puerto Rico. He then spent three years as an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at Valley Forge Military College.  before accepting a position at the Church Farm School, where he remained for 15 years, eventually becoming Chair of both the Math and Science Departments.
Calendar
    • FriDec13 LS 2nd Grade Play 8:30 AMLower School Gathering Room
    • FriDec20 Winter Vacation Begins; LS/MS/US Dismissal at 11:30 am.
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