Head of School

Frailey Barbara

Imagine a middle school that is:

  • A small and nurturing, yet diverse and vibrant, community; 
  • A challenging and creative learning environment; 
  • A place where students feel like they belong, grow their confidence, and indeed come into their own.

I had a hard time imagining such a middle school before I joined Explorer West in 2019. Yet, that’s exactly what I found here. Since then, I have experienced our community growing stronger, and our program continues to adapt and evolve. 

At Explorer West, we know the middle school years are pivotal ones for young people. We are steadfast in creating conditions to help them thrive -- small classes, warm and engaging teachers, and an expansive, integrated curriculum. We focus on building respect and cultivating trust through solid student-to-adult and student-to-student relationships.

Together, we honor our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. We embody the core values that have defined our school from its founding: Personal and Community Responsibility, Integrity, Creativity and Inquiry, and Confidence.

Explorer West students participate fully in each aspect of our program. By the time they finish 8th grade, our students take pride in some exceptional accomplishments. They have:

  • Written and produced original plays
  • Mastered the art of essay writing
  • Become confident public speakers
  • Learned to play team and individual sports, and even invented their own games
  • Completed Algebra I in preparation for advanced math and science classes
  • Mastered the basics of Latin and traveled to Rome as a group
  • Learned to play an instrument and sing
  • Camped, hiked, backpacked, snowshoed, and cross-country skied together for three years

The impact Explorer West’s program has on our graduates is extraordinary. High schools consistently share how well prepared, confident, and kind our students are and how much they love learning. They move on with high expectations -- of themselves, their peers, and their teachers. That’s the way it should be! 

I invite you to explore our community. Plan to visit our campus with your family and imagine how we can become your community. I look forward to getting to know you!


Barbara Frailey

Head of School