Fulfilling Opportunity, Empowering Teachers:

a Tribute to Bill Wharton

When The Power of a Vision: a Campaign for Commonwealth began, following the school’s most recent strategic planning process, we set an ambitious $12.5 million goal and identified three primary areas of focus: The Power of Place, essential renovations to our beloved brownstones; The Power of Opportunity, generous financial aid, scholarships, and academic support for our students; and The Power of a Teacher, competitive compensation and professional development grants to attract and retain high-caliber teachers.


To date, we have raised over $10.1 million. The renovations are complete and our students and faculty benefit from the updates and additions every day. An elevator makes the school fully accessible to all. New biology, chemistry, and physics labs allow for university-level science exploration and study. Highly energy efficient heating and cooling systems and windows provide year-round comfort, a responsible facility budget, and a more environmentally friendly facility. The list goes on.

With our physical space renewed and outfitted for the School’s next chapter, in this final phase of the campaign our focus turns to ensuring access, support, and enrichment to the building’s inhabitants.

In June of 2021, after twenty-one years as Headmaster and thirty-six at the school, Bill Wharton will conclude his time at Commonwealth. A recent survey by the Stanford-affiliated Challenge Success program found that Commonwealth was, in their words, "off the charts" among high performing schools nationally in levels of student engagement and interest. As he wrote in his letter announcing his retirement, Bill has seen his role as "facilitating the work that goes on in the classroom, making sure that teachers have the independence, resources, and support they need to challenge and inspire the students." The survey confirms that teaching and learning at Commonwealth continue to excite and delight teachers and students. That the school continues to thrive results in no small part from Bill's

core commitments to fostering teachers' active intellectual lives, and to making sure that all of its students are able to access all of the opportunities offered by a Commonwealth education.


The Board of Trustees is dedicating this final phase of the The Power of a Vision to Bill Wharton and donating $500,000 to the campaign in tribute to Bill. These funds will help to grow Commonwealth's endowment and help to provide financial aid, student support, and professional development and compensation for Commonwealth's talented faculty. We invite you to join us in recognizing Bill’s extraordinary service and his commitment to students and teachers by making a gift to The Power of a Vision: a Campaign for Commonwealth. We look forward to concluding this campaign and celebrating Bill’s tenure in the spring of 2021. With your help, we can reach and exceed our $12.5 million goal.

To learn more about The Power of a Vision and to join us

 in honoring Bill Wharton,

 contact Alisha Elliott '01, Director of Advancement.

To make a one-time gift, click the button below.

Commonwealth School Board of Trustees

Therese Hendricks P’05, ’07, Chair

José Alvarez P’10, ’12, '18

Elizabeth Bailey ’68

Mary P. Chatfield P’71, ’79

John Dowd P’20 

Frederick Ewald P’21

Mark Finch ’71

Anna Fitzloff

Charles Fried P’79, ’81, GP’19, ’23

Julia Hewitt Holloway ’82

Susan Kluver P’74, ’76

Max Kohlenberg ’73, P’07, ’10 

Marie Lossky P’10, ’11

Amy Merrill ’64

Bob Murchison P’10

Robin Orwant P’21

Mary Paci P’77, ’83

Ken Pucker P’15, ’17

Judith Sanford-Harris ’70

Jeffrey Schwartz ’96

Jonathan Sheffi ’99

Bryan Eric Simmons

Cathryn Stein P’11 

© 2020 by Commonwealth School 

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