NWS Annual Report
NWS Annual Report
Motivated by the idea that the world is our house, faculty at Northwest work tirelessly to inspire our students to take responsibility for their global home, leading positive change that will help make it more like the House they inhabit here on Summit Avenue: that is to say, more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable.

You—our parents, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, and friends—inspire us in turn, generously providing time, resources, and support to make every day an exceptional experience for Northwest students.

Thank you for participating in our Annual Fund, Uniquely Northwest; for raising your paddle at Pizazz!: Evolution; and for volunteering countless hours (with boundless enthusiasm!) on committees, at community events, behind the scenes for the Admissions and Development offices, and in so many other venues.

More than most schools, Northwest is driven by its mission, compelled by the shared understanding that we are not simply preparing students for college, careers, and traditional success, but empowering them to “think and act with integrity, believing they have a positive impact on the world.” Because they have to: the globe is shrinking and confronting enormous challenges, its survival dependent on this generation’s capacity to engage it creatively and energetically.

That’s what I love most about this place: its unwavering idealism—its belief in the transformative power of education and in the fundamental goodness of the kids with whom we work. Thank you again for being a part of that work this year.


Mike McGill
Head of School

2014-2015 Board of Trustees

Tom Lombardo, President
Craig Shrontz, Vice President
Christine White, Secretary
Mike Anderson, Treasurer
Lisa Anderson
Deirdre Black
Andrew Borges
Ann Bradford
Jan Chow
George Edwards
Genna Gormley
Barb Herrington
Gail Jarvik
Sally Ketcham
Victoria Leslie
Mark Malamud
Scott Malatos
Marcie McHale
Garrett Mullen
Udo Reich
Kathleen Wareham
Jeff Williams ‘87
John Zagula


Operating Revenue

Fiscal Year 2014-2015 (Unaudited)

  • Tuition & Fees
  • Endowment Contributions
  • Contributions & Special Events
  • Interest Income
  • Other Income
  • Grand Total
  • $17,859,491


  • $1,359,968


  • $434,218


  • $133,407


  • $100,647


  • $19,887,731



Fiscal Year 2014-2015 (Unaudited)

  • Salaries/Benefits/Payroll Taxes
  • Facilites and Maintenance
  • Financial Aid
  • Endowment Contributions
  • Instructional Departmental
    Budgets and Equipment
  • Board Reserves
  • General Administration
  • Food Program
  • Development
  • Grand Total
  • $10,673,741


  • $2,395,740


  • $1,831,805


  • $1,359,968


  • $1,206,291


  • $1,181,369


  • $667,191


  • $430,377


  • $141,248


  • $19,887,731



Did you know?


Students Raise Over $20,000 For Water1st

Thirty students took part in the annual Water1st event, raising over $20,000, the highest of any team in the event. This is the sixth time NWS has participated, raising enough funds to fund the building of four wells in Ethiopia.

Water1st Carry5 teams carried five gallons of water for five kilometers to raise awareness for the 1 billion people around the world who do not have easy access to clean water. NWS Faculty member Bob Martin visited one of the wells while on sabbatical (photo left).

The Outdoor Program is open to all students in Middle and Upper School, and engages them with the scenic and natural world, encouraging physical activity and serene reflection. These excursions support students' awareness that they live within an ecosystem. Students build snow caves, raft on the Yakima River, and bike around Lopez Island, to name a few annual favorites.

Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers


As the only independent school in Seattle with an international boarding program and dormitory, The Northwest School places a high priority on global education. Roughly 16% of Northwest students come from countries other than the U.S., and each grade pursues significant studies of global issues and cultures.


This year, students had first-hand experience with other cultures, through a traditional koto performance during Community Meeting, a celebration of the Moon Festival, activities at International Fest, and the International Night Market.

The Study Abroad Program allowed students to live for six weeks with host families and attend school at Partner Schools in China, France, Spain, and Taiwan. The school’s annual trip to El Salvador to observe Election Day has been a tradition for two decades, and continues to broaden student and faculty perspectives alike.




For three days in April, students and faculty celebrated the arts with ArtsFest.
At the Town Hall Gala, students danced, sang, played jazz, performed Spoken Word, and more. In the Commons, the Student and Faculty Showcases treated all to song, mime, poetry, and magic. Local artist and educator Ben Chickadel led the whole school in an interlocking origami sonobe project.
Finally, Visual Arts teacher Curtis Erlinger brought TASK to the House, an imaginative thinking and construction exercise. Using simple materials, groups created objects and experiences based on prompts they drew from a box. The school was briefly transformed, and then, in true Northwest School style, was restored to normal by students and faculty working together to clean, vacuum, and recycle project materials.
Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers



Total Raised:


Through the collective support of the whole community, Uniquely Northwest was a generous resource for the many professional development pursuits of the faculty. The Fund was able to underwrite numerous pursuits, including sabbaticals, attendance at national conferences and seminars, completion of coursework towards advanced degrees, and improvements to curriculum through cross-disciplinary collaboration and the use of technology.

Thank you to all who participated!

“I am so incredibly grateful for the many professional development opportunities I have received over the years. An amazing part of NWS is that they put such a high priority on teachers' professional development.”

- Adina Meyer, Humanities

Endowment Donor List


Pizazz!: Evolution


On May 2, 2015, 225 guests attended Pizazz!: Evolution and gave generously to the Raymond Taussig Terry Financial Aid Endowment Fund. The evening honored Catherine and Mark Terry, giving them a warm send off into a much deserved retirement. Thank you to all who contributed and to our sponsors!

Endowment Chart
Endowment Donor List

Today, The Northwest School is able to fully fund about 75 students through financial aid annually, but Northwest receives many more applications for financial aid than can be awarded. The School’s mission-driven commitment to provide education to any talented student, regardless of a family’s ability to pay, is truly worthy of our philanthropic attention; yet, despite our dedication to social justice and a pledge to support access and inclusivity, the economic realities and rising cost of an independent school education make it increasingly difficult to keep pace with our community’s need for financial aid. These values and these financial hurdles are at the very core of why we care so deeply about creating a sustainable funding source through the growth of the NWS endowment.

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This past year, we re-energized our commitment to growing our financial aid resources. We received a transformative gift for the Raymond Taussig Terry Financial Aid Endowment, invested in two new socially responsible investment vehicles, began to focus many of our community conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as addressing the financial commitments to support our mission. In order to continue to transform our students into thoughtful global citizens and truly critical thinkers, we need to provide more financial aid and create an accessible and inclusive community for all who wish to attend Northwest.

Our endowment and our communities’ philanthropic commitments are the tools that will ensure we continue to educate generations of future students on our terms. Through generous support from our faculty, families, and alumni, we are empowered to create and innovate, and to break down the financial barriers that are an ongoing challenge for all independent schools.

Our endowment and our financial aid program represent our values of courtesy and common sense, inclusivity and equity, and community collaboration writ large. Thank you to the many parents, alumni, grandparents, and friends who empowered such wonderful growth of our endowment this year through gifts made during Pizazz, our annual fundraising event, and through individual donations.


In March, local artist and educator Ben Chickadel installed a new artwork in the lobby of 401 E Pike. The work honors the entire community of supporters—from parents to faculty to students—who contributed to the 401 E Pike campaign, Growing Our Campus.

Chickadel’s piece ties together NWS’s historic Main Building with 401 E Pike, in part through the use of reclaimed original slate chalkboards saved from the original Summit School. The art work is comprised of two complementary pieces, entitled Fenterreich (Right to Window) and Satellites.



Alumni EventsAlumni Events
Alumni EventsAlumni Events

Congratulations, Class of 2015!


1 student is attending each of these schools

  • Bard College Berlin
  • Bates College
  • Bennington College
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Chapman University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Colby College
  • Edmonds Community College
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach
  • Fordham University - Lincoln Center Campus/Rose Hill Campus
  • Harvard University
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Indiana University at Bloomington
  • Kenyon College
  • Lafayette College
  • Lewis & Clark College
  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • Lynn University
  • Middlebury College
  • Montana State University, Bozeman
  • Oberlin College
  • Princeton University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Scripps College
  • Seattle Central College
  • Seattle University
  • Skidmore College
  • Southern Oregon University
  • Syracuse University
  • The New School - Eugene Lang College
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Denver
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Washington, Bothell
  • Wake Forest University
  • Willamette University

2 students are attending each of these schools

  • Barnard College
  • Colorado College
  • Colorado State University
  • New York University
  • Pitzer College
  • Santa Clara University
  • University of British Columbia
  • Wesleyan University
  • Whitman College

3 students are attending each of these schools

  • Boston University
  • Reed College
  • Western Washington University
  • University of Victoria

4 students are attending this school

  • Haverford College
  • Macalester College

11 students are attending this school

  • University of Washington, Seattle



On November 23, 2014, the NWS community dined out in Capitol Hill and met up at Elliott Bay Book Company for Holiday on the Hill. More books than ever were purchased and gifted to the school library’s collection.

Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers

Thanks to participating restaurants Vios (and NWS parents Thomas and Rebecca Soukakos), Barrio (and NWS parent Larry Kurofsky), Oddfellows Café + Bar (and NWS alum parent Linda Derschang), Marjorie, Via Tribunali, and retailer Brenthaven (and NWS parent Scott Armstrong).



On March 27, 2015, 96 guests enjoyed a special breakfast and classroom visit as part of NWS’s Grandparents and Special Friends Day. Always enthusiastic, visitors attended everything from Chinese to Geometry to French classes, getting first-hand experience with the school’s excellent faculty and curriculum.

Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers Volunteers


Dedicated parent volunteers supported all areas of the school, providing invaluable help with school programs and events. The school is deeply appreciative of all volunteers who contributed to the community this year.

Thank you to NWS families who opened up their homes to international students, giving them a sense of this community at its finest. Dormitory students experienced holiday family traditions, trips to theatre shows, museums, the circus, and so much more. Thank you for welcoming them into your family and to Seattle.
Justin Peters,
Residential Life Coordinator
Thanks to all who helped build and paint sets, sew complex costumes and last-minute alterations, provide props and organize the rest of the parents into a cohort of snack-supplying, box-office-manning force field.
Laura Ferri,
Theatre Faculty
Thank you so much to our parent volunteers who make the community feeling at Northwest come to life for prospective families!
Douglas Leek,
Director of Admissions and
Enrollment Management
Honor of Gifts
We so appreciate the parent volunteers who helped with Holiday on the Hill at Elliott Bay Book Company. This terrific fundraiser runs so smoothly because of you. Thanks for all you do.
Nancy Highiet,
Alicia Kalan,
Library / IT Assistant
Designed by: aftertheimage
Developed by: 4-mile Production  
Photo credits: Diane Cassidy,
Jenn Ireland, Peter Woodburn