Farewell to 3 teachers


Emily Stokes, 3rd from right, in Madrid with Annie Wright students who went on the exchange to Casvi School earlier this year

Kaitin Tan

At the end of this school year, three faculty members are leaving Annie Wright: Meg Billings, Emily Stokes, and Melissa Schumacher.

Meg Billings

Ms. Billings, who has been working at Annie Wright since 2004, is departing from the school to pursue other passions.

Billings said she felt that it was the right time to leave, to spend time doing the other things that she values. She has her mind set on doing some volunteer work. “There’s a hospice center here and also a Refugee Women’s Association, so they’re always looking for ESL teachers,” she said. She is also making time for others passions like writing, art and traveling.

During the 14 years Billings has worked at the school, her biggest takeaway from the experience is the large number of unique individuals. She said proudly that “everyone is so special” and that “we can’t lug students together and say, ‘Oh, they’re dorm students or day students or international students.'”

She said she will miss the students most of all, as well as her colleagues.


Emily Stokes

Profe Stokes, who has been teaching Spanish at Annie Wright since 2011, is heading across town to Charles Wright Academy where she will teach Upper School Spanish and serve as the co-chair for the Modern Language department.

According to Stokes, it was a very difficult decision for her to make as she “truly loves teaching here,” but in the end she made the choice with her family in mind. As a former Tarrier, she is excited to work with faculty who were her colleagues and even teachers.

One thing that Stokes will take away from her experience at Annie Wright is the importance of establishing community in the classroom. She has found that single-gender environment invites intimacy and trust, while lowering social barriers, allowing for healthy risk-taking.

When asked about what she will miss most, her definitive answer was the students. She described a collection of “goofy, hilarious, profound, empowering, and inspiring moments” in and out of class that will hold a special place in her heart. She also said she will miss fellow faculty, but hopes to stay connected as she only lives three houses away from the school!


Melissa Schumacher

Dr. Melissa Schumacher, who has been teaching math at Annie Wright since 2016, is departing from Annie Wright but will still be in Tacoma.

During the two years she has been teaching at the school, she said she has grown to value her friendships with teachers and staff as well as the memories that accompanied getting to know all her students. She also emphasized the differences between her students: “Everyone is so different, and it’s been really interesting finding out what they know and what they can do and what their lives are like.”

While she will miss “being part of the community,” Schumacher will still be in the area and said she will come to visit.