Welcoming New Faculty to the Community

By Gia Bharadwaj and Suzanne Pogorelic

The October issue of the Banner introduced three new faculty members to the Winsor community: Mr. Dauphinee, Ms. Tu, and Mr. Vierba. In this issue, we will introduce Ms. Valenza, Ms. Valenzuela, and Nurse Sue.

After working from home for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Valenza is excited to join Winsor and return to the art studio in person. Learning with students in the workshop is, as Ms. Valenza put it, “like a dream come true” and she “feels like [she’s] back home” in the art rooms. Previously, Ms. Valenza taught elementary aged students at Kingsley Montessori School, and she now shares her expertise with both Lower and Upper School students at Winsor. At Kingsley, Ms. Valenza said that she “helped students prepare art portfolios to apply to Winsor” and was consequently “very curious about the programming” at the school. In her classes, Ms. Valenza loves connecting with her students and said that she has been “impressed with students’ maturity and artistic skills.” In terms of her favorite classes to teach, Ms. Valenza loves sharing her knowledge surrounding animation, ceramics, and printmaking. When she’s not in the classroom, Ms. Valenza also loves spending time cultivating plants and experimenting with ingredients in the kitchen. 

Ms. Valenzuela is eager to begin teaching at Winsor. She previously taught biology and created a new health curriculum at Northfield Mount Hermon in Gill, Massachusetts. Her work included extensive teacher training, curriculum planning, and providing support groups for students. Upon arriving at Winsor, she was impressed with the strong foundation behind the health courses at the school and was excited that the school has “the structure and the resources and the commitment.” She is “really happy to be here” and believes that with the current design of the wellness program at the school, “Winsor is ready for more.” She is particularly interested in exploring the question of “What is wellness?” and hopes to continue conversations about prioritizing mental health in a high-achieving environment.

Nurse Sue was interested in working at Winsor because she had been an administrator at her previous job, but did not work with students. Winsor balances Nurse Sue’s administrative duties with student interaction, making it her “perfect job.” So far, Nurse Sue’s experience here has been really good. She says, “I get to see a lot of different things, and I get to help with a lot of different issues.” Winsor’s sense of community and inclusion has stood out to her, especially after SASA’s assembly performance for Diwali. “I don’t think anyone has ever even acknowledged Diwali as a celebration,” she explained, “and Winsor was just so open to it… that was really special to me.” Nurse Sue has always worked in health; she particularly enjoys being a school and summer camp nurse because she can offer support without enduring the sadness of a hospital environment. Outside of her work in health, Nurse Sue has a passion for dance, which she and her friends use to connect with each other. Ultimately, she appreciates the inclusive environment that Winsor offers and looks forward to helping students as much as possible.

We are so grateful to have these new faculty members teach at Winsor and cannot wait to share more Winsor traditions and include them in this close community.