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Get to Know WJA's Headmaster, Marcus Washington



Is there anything you have ever wanted to know about the Washington Jesuit Academy’s Headmaster, Marcus Washington?  That’s the question we recently posed to our students and they responded with an overwhelming yes!  For the first blog post of the 2017 – 2018 academic year, we invited students to submit questions for Mr. Washington to answer.  From his childhood to working at WJA, they covered a range of topics.  Read below to see what our students wanted to know and how Mr. Washington answered.

Why did you want to teach at WJA?
I wanted to work at WJA for a lot of reasons. I had a Jesuit education and wanted an opportunity to come work with middle school aged kids. I also wanted to be able to give back to kids who grew up like me.
How long have you been at WJA?
I have been at WJA for 8 years; 1 year as Assistant Headmaster and 7 years as Headmaster.
How did WJA find you?
I always knew about WJA. When I first found out WJA was going to open, I told Mr. Whitaker that I wanted to work for him one day. On two different occasions, I thought about applying to teach here but when the Assistant Headmaster position became available, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I always knew I was going to work here one day, it was just a matter of when.
Did you want to be a headmaster?
I did want to be a headmaster one day. I thought it would have been when I was older but things happen for a reason.
How did you become the headmaster?
I was the Assistant Headmaster at WJA initially. My predecessor approached me and told me he would be leaving. I was faced with a tough decision and decided to apply for the job. I definitely made the right choice.
What were your middle school years like?
I attended Holy Comforter St. Cyprian and really enjoyed it. I learned a ton and had good friends.
Was it a hard transition going to Gonzaga for high school?
It was a hard transition but in a different kind of way. The hardest part for me was that I was raised by women and going to a strong, male dominant place was difficult and something that I wasn’t used to. I had never had male teachers before. I was also trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be as well as learning how to give 110% in everything I did.
What sports did you play in high school and growing up as a kid?
In high school I played football and threw the shotput and discus.
Why do you always look so serious in situations that aren’t serious?
That’s a great question. Usually because I have more on my mind than presents itself.
How do you adjust to different socioeconomic environments?
I try to be myself regardless of the situation. I always look for different avenues to relate to people.
Why do we have to wear uniforms?
We have to wear uniforms because we want to make sure all our young men are dressed in a professional manner.  We also want to show solidarity as a community.
How does it feel to control the school?
Heavy. I don’t like to think of myself as controlling the school. I work with teachers, parents, and students to establish expectations. The values of WJA are what really control the school and they always have the students’ best interests first.
Do you ever argue with your wife?
My wife is a lawyer so even if I try, I don’t win.
Do you have any kids?
I have 2 kids. Marcus Jr. is 4 years old and Kayden is almost 2.
What is your middle name?
Crutchfield. And my friends call me Crutch.
When is your birthday?
October 15th
What is your favorite food?
Oh that’s tough. Oysters.
How do we know when you are happy?
I like to keep you on your toes but I’m always happy when you are doing well.
What do you love about WJA?
I love the people -- the teachers, students, parents, and all who support WJA. It is a rare working environment where we are able to work our hardest but still have a good amount of fun and not take ourselves too seriously.
What advice would you give to new students?
Be open to growth as much as you possibly can and to work hard as much as you possibly can. Never be afraid to ask for help.
Why are you the headmaster?
Go see Mr. Whitaker. I was wondering the same thing.