Welcome back, Ms. Stettler!

ms stettler-by Faith Danglo- While the hallways of Winsor are filled with smiling faces, one less smiling face has been there to greet students this fall: our Director, Ms. Stettler, who was on sabbatical in Europe this semester. Along with many outdoor activities, including cycling with her husband from the Czech Republic to Austria and hiking in Italy, Ms. Stettler also became a student. But what, we ask, could Ms. Stettler (or any faculty members) have left to learn? She told the Panel that she “immersed [herself] in cello studies in Florence, learned some Italian, and relished being a beginning ceramics student at an extended workshop at an arts center in the countryside.” Ms. Stettler admitted that learning a new language “was truly a challenge. I so admire my colleagues in the World Languages department and the many Winsor students who all learn new languages with apparent ease.” She hopes to make some of her learning experiences applicable to the Winsor environment; besides new cello music, Italian grammar and pottery, “some unintended lessons were the frequent reminders of what it felt like to be a student, and finding myself attuned to the approaches In the classroom that were most effective.”

Although Ms.Stettler was enjoying some well-deserved some time off, it was not completely work-free. She attended British Girls School association conference in Newcastle on Tyne, a city in Northeastern England as a representative of the United States’ chapter of the same organization. During her “fascinating visit,” she found that “not surprisingly, the challenges they face, the topics of interest to them and direction of their schools are remarkably like Winsor’s.” Despite her amazing experiences overseas, Ms. Stettler still missed the Winsor environment. She looks forward to “hearing about the fall from the point of view of students and faculty, arts and sports and plays and activities, seeing the campus again, and the progress of the Center for Performing Arts and Wellness.” Ms. Stettler has a full agenda this spring, including “significant progress on important academic initiatives, like a new schedule and revised upper school homework policy,” overseeing campus development, accepting new students “who will thrive here” for the 2014-2015 school year, and helping the Class of 2014 enjoy their last semester as Winsor students.

Although our wonderful director has returned, our community must bid a sad farewell to Ms. Ciccarelli, our interim director, at the end of this year because she is leaving for a new job as director of a girls’ school in Ohio. Ms. Ciccarelli is returning to her role as assistant director this semester, but she enjoyed her time as director of the school. She said, “I actually enjoyed being one of the last people turned to when some decisions had to be made,” although she confessed that “having to make the final decision for the snow day was pretty nerve wracking!”  During her time as director, Ms. Ciccarelli “became more fully aware of how incredibly supportive all of [her] colleagues are,” describing them as “smart, generous, and incredibly thoughtful.” She commented that “Winsor is an amazing community full of smart, dedicated, kind, joyful people” whom she will miss. “Everything we do reflects our belief in the importance of an inclusive community of learners–I will miss that dearly, and I hope that the next school community to which I belong will possess those values.” Ms. Ciccarelli will spend her remaining time at Winsor “fully appreciat[ing] all that is Winsor: the celebrations, the day-to-day rhythms of our School, the friendly colleagues and students I’ve gotten to know so well,” and, as strange as it sounds, making preparations for the next Assistant Director to “help set that person up for success in the role that [she] has enjoyed so much.” With a great attitude like hers, Ms. Ciccarelli is sure to thrive in a new environment, as much as she will be missed at Winsor!

Image courtesy of winsor.edu