Will Gardner graduated from Wesleyan University and began his teaching career as a Teach for America corps member in Greenville, Mississippi. In Mississippi, Will served as an elementary school music teacher and later as a 3rd grade teacher in a program for students behind in reading.
Following five years in Mississippi, Will returned to his home state of Massachusetts to run an out of school time site for Citizen Schools in New Bedford. While running a Citizen Schools site for middle school students, Will saw firsthand how too many students in New Bedford enter middle school unprepared to succeed at the high levels that a college track demands. At the same time, he witnessed that students can be reignited academically when challenged to do rigorous, meaningful and service-oriented work.
The desire to see more students doing incredible work and to put more kids in New Bedford on the path to college led Will to complete Harvard’s School Leadership program and dedicate two years to creating Alma del Mar.