Head of School Peter Twadell and his wife, Suzanne, have been married for twenty-three years. They have two children: Will, a student at VES, and daughter Chloe -- who attends Roanoke College.
He was born and raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and began his teaching career with a fourth grade class in Vermont. After marrying and teaching a few years in a public school, the Twadells moved to Baltimore, both taking positions in independent schools. While their children were young, an opportunity came to move back to Marblehead to teach at the Tower School where he had held various positions over his tenure there including: Director of Educational Technology, Dean of Faculty, and Associate Head of School.
Peter remembers first walking into James River in October 2016 and "experiencing the joy and enthusiasm that the students, faculty, and families all share. The welcome I received and the care, thoughtfulness, and respect that every member of the community showed to me — and each other — is a wonderful testament to the school’s pursuit of its mission."
Taking the position of Head of School at James River in July 2017, Peter said, "I am incredibly excited to join the school and work side by side with JRDS’s talented, committed teachers to continue to bring to life the school’s special character every day for the students. I am equally excited to become a partner with the families of JRDS and to begin to make long-lasting partnerships with everyone in the community.”
Mr. Twadell's educational philosophy is to encourage children to imagine themselves as anyone they want to become. He believes, "We must help them embrace that dreams are achieved through commitment, struggle, and a willingness to persist through their challenges. Thus, great schools must bridge the gap between knowledge acquisition and knowledge application by providing broad opportunities for rich, real experiences. From authentic experiences students will create meaningful context and personal understanding. To achieve these ideals, great educators must be part of something bigger than their own discipline or classroom. Great schools are made up of, and sustained by, cohesive, mutually respected teachers who share and celebrate a common vision of excellence."