Rachel Goodman came to Wesley in 2009 when it was called Imagine Wesley. She was working at another Imagine school when her school leader moved to Wesley and stayed in touch with her. “I constantly heard about the amazing culture and IB education at the school,” she says. “ I was intrigued by the innovation and instructional program so the moment there was an opportunity to interview at Wesley, I jumped at the chance!” So, she’s been here since the very beginning of what is now Wesley International Academy!
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Goodman is a graduate of SUNY Fredonia and Georgia Southern University. She has served as a PYP and MYP teacher, MYP instructional coach, IB coordinator, PYP Assistant Principal, and MYP Principal.
She has shown in her many roles at Wesley that she is poised to lead Wesley into the next charter. Wesley is a large school that has existed for many years as two schools (Primary Years and Middle Years) under one roof. Ms. Goodman now steps into the role of K-8 principal, ready to help Wesley thrive as one united school.
“Over the years, I have continuously flipped between two academies and could sense the need for cohesiveness,” says Goodman. “I am very excited to create a shared vision that students can experience as they journey through their educational career at Wesley. Additionally, I think there is great power in building relationships with families and students as they progress through the grade levels.” She says she is excited to watch children begin in Kindergarten and develop into young adults that possess the skills to make a difference in the world once they leave Wesley in 8th Grade.
“I always tell people that I love working at Wesley for the ability to make a difference and implement change,” she says. Ms. Goodman has been through many leadership transitions, and each time she helped the staff come together and think about how they can better serve the students. She is excited every day she gets to walk into work, be creative, and look for ways to improve the school experience for the entire Wesley community.
Ms. Goodman says that moving to a one-principal model brings opportunities for growth in terms of continuity. Building on an already strong IB program, she wants to see MYP become an extension of the PYP program that ultimately sets students up for success in high school. “When a child enters Wesley in PYP, they should experience the foundations of becoming a well-rounded global citizen,” she says. “Once they transition to MYP, they should be building on those skills through service learning and inquiry and provided with opportunities to show their skill development. This can only be achieved through streamlined communication, expectations, and census around a shared vision.”
Ms. Goodman has loved being a part of the Wesley family for over 14 years. She says her best experience has been the relationships she has built over her time as a Phoenix. “Since starting at Wesley, I have hit many major life milestones such as marriage and becoming a mom,” she reminisces. “ The families and staff have been a part of all those, and I was also able to watch students and staff grow throughout various stages of their lives. It’s a beautiful thing!”
She says she hopes everyone - from the students to the staff, parents, donors, and others who are part of the extended Wesley community feels a sense of belonging. “ I have always stayed at Wesley because it truly feels like a family.” We can’t wait to see the exciting leadership you bring to the Wesley family, Ms. Goodman. Congratulations!