Thank You, Bill
Polly Chatfield P '71, '79, Former Teacher
Kate Bluestein P‘90, Former Teacher of English
“As a mom of a ninth grader, Matthew Rich, around 1990, I was worried sick about my son's lack of interest and skill in reading. He landed in your Ancient History course and started reading the Odyssey and that completely turned him around, an astounding awakening! Thank you and all good wishes to you.
Ellen Rich P'94
“I can never adequately express my gratitude to you in particular, but also to all the other amazing educators under your tenure at Commonwealth, including Farhad Riahi.
My son, Duncan, went from a kid who was told he should “stay away from math because he had no aptitude for it” to someone who leads a team of 25 engineers, putting satellites into space to study a multitude of problems, including climate change, population movements, deforestation, as well as to provide intelligence for large disaster operations.
Duncan will be also be awarded his Ph.D. in Aero/Astro Engineering from Stanford this April Fool’s Day—4 days before his 30th birthday.
What an amazing launch pad you created at Commonwealth!
Anne Eddy P'09
Bill had invited three of us trustees ahead of time to accompany him to the game; I was fortunate to be one of these invitees, and the only woman.
After a brief glass of wine and a bite of cheese and crackers in Bill’s office, the four of us set off for Fenway Park, walking down Commonwealth Avenue. This was going to be my very first visit ever to Fenway Park after more than forty years living in the Boston area!
We got there, found our seats, and soon enough, the game began. I watched with enthusiasm, although short on knowledge of all the maneuverings. I ate the obligatory hot dog and drank a small glass of beer, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. And then it started to rain: a sprinkling, at first, which soon turned into a New England downpour. The players valiantly attempted to continue, but before long the game was called.
The announcement was made that the game would continue in an undetermined amount of time after the rain subsided. The two other trustees decided to stick it out--and as it turned out had a wait of almost three hours! Bill and I decided we would leave, not knowing how long the interlude would be.
It was impossible to find a taxi but Bill suddenly saw a rickshaw powered by a young man on a bicycle, which he successfully hailed. We climbed in, the rain drenching us in spite of the little canopy, and laughed about this adventure while simultaneously worrying about what an ordeal this was for our young "driver." We proceeded to have a hilarious ride back to Commonwealth, where Bill's car was parked, and then he was kind enough to give me a ride back to where I was staying.
I fondly remember this day when I discovered that Bill, whom I had known for many years in his serious role as an academic and as headmaster, had a gleeful love for baseball. That remains my first and only baseball game and I’m happy it was with Bill Wharton and two fellow Commonwealth trustees.
“Thank you, Bill! After a tumultuous middle school application experience, you invited Muhammad into Commonwealth with open arms. We found you to be kind, supportive, calm, reassuring, and encouraging. Muhammad has flourished in his time at Commonwealth. Thank you for your support, kindness, and dedication. We wish you the best in your next journey.
Family of Muhammad Abdur-Rahman '22
Eric Davis P’89, P’90, P’08
“It was Vergil who led Dante through the Inferno; Mr. Wharton led me through Vergil. That Latin IV class may have been my favorite at Commonwealth. Mr. Wharton's drawing our attention to Vergil's attention to sound (as when he slowed down the scene by ending the line with the rare double spondee "circumspexit" to signal Sinon's sly looking around at the Trojans to see if he'd tricked them) and his palpable love of the text brought it to life for this Latin student; he let that text be mine, for all of my shaky command of grammar. Timeo Daneos et Dona Ferentes, but the gifts Mr. Wharton gave are with me still nearly thirty years later. Maybe when we round those thirty years I will in my head start calling him Bill rather than Mr. Wharton... but in the meantime, Mr. Wharton: thank you for hiring me for the best job I can imagine; for years of conversations, book recommendations, and for so many excellent assemblies, and for Vergil.
Melissa Glenn Haber '87, P'15, P'19, History Teacher
“Dear Bill, your personality was a big part of the 'essence' of Commonwealth School! So glad you were Headmaster when Asha and Alok were there. We will always remember you fondly, as will so many of your graduates I'm sure. Wishing you peace, good health and happiness in the years ahead. Thank you for everything.
Jyoti Ramakrishna P'19, P'20
“From On Writing Well, to speaking truth to power, to living with intention, I'm lucky to count myself among your many grateful students and colleagues. I hope you enjoy more free time and have every happiness on your new adventure.
Sophia S. Meas, Director of College Counseling