Meet the Head of Beginning and Lower School

head of beginning and lower school at catlin gabel Nick Zosel-Johnson standing in front of fir trees facing viewer

Nick Zosel-Johnson

Nick Zosel-Johnson believes that young children arrive in this world as curious, capable, powerful, and joyful learners, and that it is the educators’ job to help them thrive as they continue their learning journey.

“Schools must instill the foundational skills and competencies to help students become thoughtful citizens,” he says. “Just as important as literacy and numeracy, schools teach students how to process their emotions, how to be a part of a group, how to develop their individual identity, and how to communicate and advocate for their needs and ideas. Social emotional learning is inseparable from daily teaching. Students benefit from explicit prosocial teaching as they work to move through predictable stages of development.” 

Nick’s work with schools includes twelve years at the Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington, where he served as Director of the Lower School and fourth grade teacher, among other roles. He has also been Lower School Director of Admission at the Annie Wright Schools in Tacoma, and taught second and third grade in Chicago through the Teach for America program. Read more about Nick’s work in education.

“As the leader of an educational community,” Nick says, “my role is to inspire and support those around me to live up to and model the school’s mission and values. I seek to motivate those around me by building a strong sense of connection, meaning, and shared purpose, and I am passionate about building and sustaining communities that demonstrate these characteristics.”