Willamette Academy executive director named

by University Communications,

Emilio Solano ’09 will take over leadership of Willamette Academy at the end of September.

  • Emilio Solano
    Emilio Solano ’09
  • solano
    Emilio Solano ’09 brings his passion for education to Willamette Academy as the program’s next executive director.
  • Solano
    Emilio Solano ’09 was a part of the Teach for America Corps and for the last four years served as a teacher at the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.


Dear Colleagues,

I’m delighted to announce that Emilio Solano ’09 has accepted our offer to become the new executive director of Willamette Academy. Emilio is not only a graduate of the CLA, but also a former Willamette Academy tutor; moreover, his brother, Nicholas ’11, was a member of the Academy’s inaugural cohort before attending Willamette himself.

Emilio’s deep personal connections to Willamette University, Salem and Willamette Academy — coupled with his passion for education — made him an ideal candidate for this important role. 

After graduating from Willamette, Emilio was accepted into the Teach for America Corps and relocated to Los Angeles, where he served as dean of students for the ICEF Inglewood Charter Middle Academy and held the roles of corps member advisor, learning team leader and school director. For the past four years, Emilio has taught seventh and eighth grade history and eighth grade language arts at the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, where he also designed a middle school ethnic studies curriculum.

At Willamette, Emilio majored in history and American ethnic studies, and was a member of the Bearcat baseball team. He went on to earn a masters degree in urban education from Loyola Marymount University and completed coursework through the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education (NAATE). 

I’d like to thank the search committee, co-chaired by professors Ellen Eisenberg and Kelley Strawn, for their tireless work reviewing applications and interviewing candidates over the summer. The committee included members of all stakeholder groups and took special care to solicit widespread participation from Academy staff members, student mentors, parents and current students throughout the search process. Professors David Douglass and Emily Drew, Rebecca Moore ’07, MAT’08 and the Willamette Academy staff are also to be commended for their work managing Academy operations at the end of the last academic year and over the summer. Drew will continue to guide the Academy during the next few weeks of transition to ensure that when Emilio arrives to take the reins he'll be able to hit the ground running.

Emilio will officially begin his position on Sept. 26 but will be on campus to meet Willamette Academy families and welcome students during orientation on Sept. 12. His office will be Smullin 113, in the Deans’ suite, and I encourage you to stop in to greet him once he’s here — I’m certain there will be many opportunities for our community to get to know him in the coming months. 

Please join me in welcoming Emilio back to Willamette.


Ruth Feingold
Dean, College of Liberal Arts

Willamette University

University Communications

Waller Hall, Fourth Floor
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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