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Staff Spotlight: The Alumni (part 1)

“No way. I NEVER want to be a teacher.” This is how Elementary Co-Principal Vince d’Assis says his elementary self would have responded if someone told him that he’d work at the school in the future. Elementary Co-Principal Ivy Summers would have said, “I wouldn’t believe them!”

Including the spring and summer, there are 22 Meher Schools staff members who attended the school as children. This is unheard of at other preschool and elementary schools, but listening to our alumni staff members talk about the school, it’s not surprising!

Some others said their elementary selves would have responded with just as much shock or skepticism:

  • “There’s no way I will have time to work at Meher School, because I’m pretty sure I will be busy training to become an Olympic horseback rider, a ballerina, a fashion designer, or a photojournalist.” Karima Hastings, second grade teacher

  • “I thought I'd grow up and be a professional fish tank decorator. Things change, I guess!” Chloe Gilmore, kindergarten teacher

  • “No way! I'm going to be a veterinarian.” Rosanna Allen, preschool teacher

  • “She would laugh hysterically!” Catherine Thompson, elementary P.E. teacher

  • “I would’ve never guessed.” Anna Parker, preschool teacher

  • “I'd be a little confused because I was sure I was going to be a doctor or president.” Adrienne Wallace, garden teacher

Others say that their younger selves would not be so surprised, including Rohan Iyer (D.R.A.M.A. Camp volunteer), Hannah Anderson (D.R.A.M.A. Camp teacher), Amy Wienstein (elementary theater teacher), Beatrice Lindemuth (preschool and elementary substitute teacher), and Warren Wallace (director of community engagement and data).

We asked our alumni staff members a few other questions too, and some of their responses are shared below. We’ll share more in later blog posts.

What is one special memory you have from your time here as a student?

  • Chloe Gilmore: When I was in third grade, there was a boy in my class who I felt would seek me out to say mean things or hurt me. I didn't understand him or his personality, or why we couldn't get along, but I felt negatively toward him, and I bet he felt it. One day my teacher, Ms. (Kim) Leonard, kept us both after school to make chocolate fudge, lots of it. Enough for every single classroom. It took hours. He and I bonded over it, and I'm sure Ms. Leonard slipped in a lot of helpful words while we baked. We passed out all of the fudge together the next day, and I remember feeling like the rivalry was suddenly over and my school life was so much more peaceful. He even wrote about how it impacted him in my fifth grade yearbook.

  • Beatrice Lindemuth: I remember how much fun I had during the summer Drama Camp plays. The excitement of waiting backstage!

  • Vince d’Assis: One of my classmates ran away from school in fourth grade … They were so concerned for his safety and mental well-being, he got a piece of chocolate when they found him. They saw that he needed support most of all instead of punishment.

They were so concerned for his safety and mental well-being, he got a piece of chocolate when they found him.
  • Amy Wienstein: I remember the first day that they put in the play structure … It was the most exciting day for everyone. The line for the monkey bars wrapped around the entire playground, and almost no one could get a turn on the zip line.

  • Catherine Thompson: "When my parents were divorcing and I was a mess, Ms. Toni (Hastings) gave five-year-old me a love-knot necklace. She said I could hold it anytime I felt upset or alone. Twenty years later, I gave it to another little girl at the school whose parents were divorcing, with the same explanation."

  • Rosanna Allen: Singing with Mr. Z (Paul Zwicker, a former teacher who has returned to sing with the children for many years – and now has a grandson here)!

Stay tuned for more stories from our alumni staff members next week!


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