The Leader of the Pack

Get to know Westminster’s Head of School through personal interviews and a glimpse into his daily life.

Dr.+Mosbacker+poses+casually+on+the+Grand+Entry+staircase.+He+is+a+one+of+a+kind+leader%2C+and+we+here+at+WCA+enjoy+is+strong+leadership.+

Courtesy of the newspaper archives.

Dr. Mosbacker poses casually on the Grand Entry staircase. He is a one of a kind leader, and we here at WCA enjoy is strong leadership.

Hidden in a corner of the business offices is a windowed office space which faces out to the Grand Entry. From it, one is able to see every student and staff member who walks in and out daily. Working from this office is Dr. Barrett Mosbacker, Westminster’s Head of School. 

While students may not pass him in the halls in the typical 5 minutes between classes, he is certainly not removed from the Westminster community. Although Dr. Mosbacker may seem to be “behind the scenes” of the school to some, he is more deeply invested in the students’ lives than most would notice. Even his office placement has implications of this: while tucked into the world of administration, his window also directly faces the students he serves daily. While his work may feel far away from you, he sees the community and cares about the work he does, and he reflects that always. His decisions and the decisions of his administrative peers directly impact you and the experience you have at Westminster.

Brought here in 2017 by longtime friend and beloved former Westminster Head of School, Mr. Marsh, Dr. Mosbacker was ready to take on the tough role. Serving at similar schools in North Carolina and Birmingham, AL, he certainly had the prior experience to manage such a difficult job. These previous schools prepared him for the task at hand, and his disciplined personality made him the perfect fit for the job. His daily schedule is evident of this: “I’m an early riser, I wake up every day at 5:00 am and get to school by 6:00. From 6-6:30 is my devotion time, and then I begin my ‘deep work’ from 6:30-9:30, which consists of thinking, planning, strategic development, and project work for the school. Then from 9:30 until late evening I have various meetings” said Mosbacker. Also scheduled into the day is time for activities to take his mind away from work, such as reading, writing, a daily run, and time with family.

Someone so disciplined and scheduled must have been operating this way for quite some time. Starting from his childhood as a military kid, Mosbacker learned from his father to be both highly resilient and slow to anxiety. These qualities certainly contribute to the decisions he makes for the betterment of the school. Since Dr. Mosbacker came into this position at Westminster, he has faced challenges that nobody would ever willingly choose to deal with. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected schools in monumental ways, with lockdowns and school closures beginning in March of 2020. Then, in August of 2020, schools were still shut down…but Westminster chose to be different. The decision was made to reopen in-person with an online option available. “I think it definitely kept our students from falling behind,” said Mosbacker. Now, Westminster is still opening their doors differently than most other schools by not requiring masks for students or staff, yet still strongly encouraging vaccinations. 

On top of those high-pressure administrative decisions, Mosbacker also initiated innovation for the school. With the addition of academies and enrichment programs this school year, students have more freedom to choose what they are interested in. This idea was not solely Dr. Mosbacker’s, though. “Because we did things differently last year […] I formed what I basically called an innovation committee […] to answer the question ‘what if we did ______?’” said Mosbacker. He also seeks counsel within other members of the school community on a daily basis in order to make informed and level-headed decisions concerning the development of Westminster. 

Micah Gall, Head of Academic Development, interacts with Mosbacker daily, both formally and informally. Gall describes Mosbacker as mildly introverted, deliberate, task-driven, and efficient in his work, while also being deeply rooted in scripture. “One thing about him is that he seeks counsel often, whether it’s me, other members of the Senior Leadership Team, principals, or other staff members. He works hard to avoid making rash decisions,” said Gall. Mr. Gall also appreciates how difficult many of Dr. Mosbacker’s decisions have been over the past few years, especially concerning the pandemic. “Education is a profession where many have left over the past year, and he has stayed through the challenges,” said Gall. 

Dr. Mosbacker’s steadfast, resilient, and driven personality has built the Westminster we have known for the past 4 years. Every decision he makes is for the improvement of the community, and we tend to forget how grateful we should be for school leaders who genuinely care for our well-being, safety, faith, and quality of education. “There are hundreds of millions of students in this world, Christian included, that do not have access to an education that is both Christian and excellent. That is a rare, rare blessing[…]students need to take advantage of it and not waste it,” said Dr. Mosbacker. You heard your Head of School, Westminster: take advantage of what you have here, and know that the administration works every day to improve your school experience.