About Us


Welcome from the Head-Elect


Dear Willows Prep Community,

I’m honored to join Willows Prep in support of the talented faculty and students at the school. I’ve lived in the area for many years and watched the growth of Willows Prep with enthusiasm. I am eager to learn more about all the special qualities of WPS as I develop relationships and connections in this community.

I am also excited to bring my passion and experience to WPS. With over thirty years of teaching and educational leadership, including positions at the Overlake School, Seattle Academy, and my most recent position as Assistant Principal/Dean of Students at Seattle Preparatory School, I can’t wait to contribute to this school’s development and especially the growth of the high school program.

Willows Prep, with its beautiful campus, well-grounded mission and strong community has unlimited potential. With many new faces, it will be important that we take the time to get to know one another, so we can work in trust for the benefit of the students and families at the school. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve you and Willows Prep in this role, and I will do my best to listen and learn as I meet each of you and we work together to inspire this next generation of students.

Rich Stearns


Our History

Bellevue Children’s Academy® (BCA®) was started as a tutoring center in 1992 by Yuka Shimizu. The success of the tutoring center led to the opening of BCA in September 1999 with nine students. By 2013 the school occupied three campuses in Bellevue, offering programs for Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8. In early 2014, Bellevue Children’s Academy purchased the 15-acre site of Washington Cathedral Church in nearby Redmond. BCA relocated the middle school to the new site and was branded Willows Preparatory School (WPS®). The popularity of the middle school led to the development of a high school on the same campus. WPS’s first graduating class will be in 2023!

In 2015, BCA® began working to have  International Baccalaureate® (IB) accreditation. BCA® and WPS® are now accredited for  Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, and Diploma Years Programme.

WPS is a proud member of the International Schools Partnership® (ISP®), a consortium of 50 international schools of choice recognized across local communities and the global education sector for amazing learning, ambition, and growth.


Why choose WPS?

  • World Class Education through our International Baccalaureate World School Accreditation
    • Promoting a global perspective through a collaborative and rigorous learning environment using the IB framework
  • Academic Excellence
    • Advanced robust curriculum that inspires students to thrive
  • Depth vs Acceleration
    • Beyond pure memorization of facts into understanding and application
  • Inquiry-Based Learning
    • Fostering curiosity and developing the skills needed to acquire knowledge both inside and outside the classroom
  • Small Class Sizes:  14 students per class (average class size)
    • Nurturing and student-centered classroom environments
  • Specialist Classes: Art, Music, Physical Education, Spanish, Design
    • Creating a well-rounded learning experience
  • Before/Afterschool Programs and Clubs
    • Varied Academic extracurriculars, clubs, and sports designed for competition and enrichment
  • Global Experience Opportunities
    • International exchange programs in collaboration with 50 other schools around the world
Graduation @ 7 pm
Thespian Induction Ceremony 7 pm
Theatre Performances (5A, 5C, 5E) 6-8 pm