Head of School

An Introductory Letter from Tim Bakland, Head of School



Dear Visitors and Friends,

Welcome to Waring School’s website. We are a community of lifelong learners whose faculty and students together create a rich learning experience by cultivating the analytical mind and the authentic, expressive voice.

Waring’s core values date back to the school’s founding in 1972 by Philip and Josée Waring. We believe that learning is an essential and defining human activity that involves the whole person throughout life. We believe in exercising our unique voices—spoken, written, and artistic—in all of our endeavors, and our community recently reaffirmed our values when faculty and members of the student body collaborated to draft our Waring School Ethic.

Waring is a demanding, rigorous, and vibrant learning environment. We reach beyond the quantitative norms of learning; we think, read, and discuss critically, and we engage with every area of the liberal arts, from science and humanities to athletics, technology, and the arts. Our system of narrative evaluation is a nuanced way of accurately assessing our progress in this endeavor: at Waring, we do not use letter grades, and the colleges our graduates attend, and the varied and impressive life and career paths our alumni take, all validate our students’ excellence. We ask each other to take risks in new, unfamiliar experiences—whether this be through travel, on the sports field, in a debate class, in the science lab, or performing in a Soirée Musicale—and we venture far into diverse areas of knowledge, history, and culture to better understand ourselves and our place in the world. For instance, all students share the common experience of our French language immersion and travel program, which is underscored by a month-long homestay in France.

The Waring model fosters student leadership through an extensive Teaching Assistant program and through our support system of multi-aged advisory tutorials. Many of our classes and experiences also involve mixed ages, from the experiential learning projects in Endterm to our All-School Meetings.  

As a longtime teacher and Waring’s first alumnus Head of School, I am intimately acquainted with Waring and its culture. I went on my first Camping Trip to Northwoods in 1988—when we were still cooking our oatmeal over the campfire! Waring remains a small school, but, now with nearly 600 alumni, our reach grows larger every year. From Sikkim to Alaska, you will find Waring students just about everywhere and in every walk of life. Our “large family”, as Philip Waring once put it, “has become a small community.” And despite the small size, the reach of this Waring School community, as you’ll see, has no limits.

Tim Bakland
Head of School
Tim Bakland Head.jpg

Tim Bakland
Head of School

Tim's Recent Video Projects

The Roots of Waring School

The Campaign for Waring - Faculty Voices

Framing the Waring Experience