President's Message

Wyoming Seminary president

Welcome to Wyoming Seminary where we believe deeply in the beauty of passionate individuality. In his recent book “Excellent Sheep” William Deresiewicz observed that many contemporary schools funnel students into pre-ordained identities. At Sem we encourage students to seek their authentic voice, to be, as one of our parents described it, “comfortable in their own skin.”

We proudly encourage students to seek out and embrace what makes them unique. Perhaps this results from our confident history as one of America’s oldest continuously coeducational boarding schools, founded in 1844 at a time when schools with high moral aspirations were called “seminaries.” Or it could result from our location, nestled in northeast Pennsylvania’s beautiful Wyoming valley, known as “the valley with a heart,” where a safe, family oriented environment supports self-discovery. Wyoming Seminary’s picturesque setting includes buildings on the National Register of Historic places as well as a state of the art 600-seat Kirby Center for the Creative Arts, which recently hosted the 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winning oratorio, “Anthracite Fields.” Our students thrive in the small city environments of Kingston and Wilkes-Barre only two hours from New York City and Philadelphia.

At Sem we appreciate the beauty of compelling individuals with original ideas. Our outstanding faculty delivers a stimulating lineup of classes, including an impressive array of creative electives that support independent thought. Here you will find that one of the lead actors in the school musical is also President of the “Nerdvana” club and that one of our top, nationally ranked wrestlers also has expressed a passionate interest in pottery.

After graduation Sem graduates span the globe. Our international alumni base includes courageous, independent thinkers: a former U.S. Poet Laureate, professionals who have worked in both the Reagan and Clinton White Houses, and American developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, creator of the theory of multiple intelligences.

Meet President Rea

Kevin Rea joined Wyoming Seminary as its twelfth President on the first of July 2015. He is actively engaged with all aspects and constituencies of the school and has visited with alumni both in the United States and in Asia. As a member of the Upper School English faculty, he has taught the Literature of Freedom and Identity elective and a section of the Literature of Self-discovery course to ninth-grade students. He currently is serving a three-year term as President of the Board of the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS). He also serves on the boards of the United Way of Wyoming Valley, the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, the Swain School, and the Westmoreland Club. Additionally he also holds memberships in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Under his leadership, Wyoming Seminary has introduced the sport of girls’ wrestling to the Olympic level and been accepted as a Global Member of Round Square, a worldwide association of leading global schools which share a commitment beyond academic excellence to character development and responsibility.

Prior to joining the Wyoming Seminary community, President Rea served as assistant headmaster at Hackley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., a kindergarten-twelfth grade, coeducational day and boarding school with 845 students and a 285-acre campus. There he coordinated initiatives integral to the school’s strategic plan, served with the Headmaster in leadership of the school’s $90 million capital campaign, directed the strategic development of the school’s boarding program, chaired several kindergarten-twelfth grade curricular and programmatic initiatives, and coordinated the school’s admissions, development, summer programs, and communications and marketing divisions. He taught several English courses, created the school’s Community Studies Department and headed the residential life program. He also oversaw the school’s participation in Round Square.

Prior to his appointment at Hackley School, President Rea served for two years as chair of the English department at University College School in London, England, taught English and theater studies at Tonbridge School in southeast England (recently named independent boys’ school of the year ), and served as an English, mathematics, French, history, and geography teacher at St. Dunstan’s College in London.

A native of Providence, R.I., he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Providence College, Providence, R.I., and holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English Language and Literature from Oxford University. He also holds a second Master of Arts degree in Cultural and Critical studies from Birkbeck College, University of London.

President Rea and his wife Jennifer have three children, all enrolled at Wyoming Seminary: Stella ’23, Oliver ’26, and Imogen ’29.