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Get to Know Ms. Weinheimer

Aadhya Ramineni and Molly Briggs

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Aadhya Ramineni ’19 & Molly Briggs ’19, Editors-In-Chief

Your Editors-in-Chief had the chance to sit down with our Ms. Weinheimer, our new Upper School Head. We talked about everything from her hobbies to her best life advice. It was a great conversation that touched upon her past as an educator and her hopes for her future at CCDS. If you want to learn more about Ms. Weinheimer, we invite you into our interview:

What was your old school like?

My old school in Wilmington, Delaware had a very similar demographic to Country Day, going from age three to age eighteen, and being just a little smaller than it is here. It’s known as ‘the family school,’ because every child is known by people on campus and it operates with compassion and empathy, emphasizing that mistakes are what help children grow. I was there for two years as the Director of Student Life (which is like the assistant head of the upper school).

 

Compare living in Cincinnati vs. Philly:

The school I worked in was in Wilmington, DE, but we lived nearby in Philadelphia, PA. Philly has a vibrant residential downtown area. Lots of people live in the city; It’s like NYC. Cincinnati is more like Pittsburgh, PA, because downtown is more of a financial district rather than a residential area. I miss living in the city, however, I have a 4 year old so it’s nice that we have family friendly attractions like the Cincinnati Zoo and EnterTRAINment Junction, the world’s largest indoor model railroad display. What’s great about living in the midwest is that everyone is super friendly.

 

What are some of your hobbies?

Shocking though it is for an English major, I love to read. I also listen to several podcasts. One of my favorites is called How I Built This, about entrepreneurs starting up businesses. Another one I like, called Still Buffering, compares the teenage experience between the previous generation and the current one.

 

What’s your favorite thing about CCD?

I love the way that I see students and teachers interacting. I went to boarding school where teachers and students were very close. I was also an advisor for a girl when she was just 14; Years later I attended her wedding, and now she’s 28 and a neurologist. Fostering relationships is very important, especially in school.

 

How did you become a teacher and then a Head of Upper School?

In college when I got to take a senior Shakespeare class as a sophomore, I figured out i loved English and comparative literature. Because I had been a student at a private boarding school, I knew that I wanted to return to that same environment with a closeness between students and teachers, and wanted to recreate that in the role of the teacher. I find the fact that everyone’s opinions tell something about them and what they value very interesting, which inspired me to teach.

 

Rank your favorite subjects in school:

In high school I thought I was a Math and Science person, and I went to college to become a doctor. Surprisingly, in college I found my love for English. I love teaching writing. It shows that sometimes the areas we have to work harder on, what we aren’t naturally talented in, are more rewarding in the end. If I could redo high school I would spend more time on History, because it’s something that fascinates me now. Likewise, I wish I had developed more of a passion for math. Creative math teachers and interesting projects, like we have at CCD, would’ve helped me develop my interest in Math.


What is your vision for CCD this year?

I don’t have a defined vision for CCD this year. I don’t want to turn this school into a school just like one I’ve already been at, because I can’t force it to be another school than the one it is. This year, I want to spend a lot of time paying attention. I know last year was a tough year and I would like to bring some calm to the school. People feel uncomfortable when they don’t know what to expect from someone, so I want people to know what to expect from me. I plan to listen to kids and teachers about their concerns and things that they miss from previous years, and try to incorporate them as well as I can.

 

What’s your mantra?  

Safe, Seen, and Supported: This is my mantra, especially for the school community. I believe that everyone should be safe, receive the help they need and feel supported. People need to see one another for who they are and stand alongside each other. You need someone to help you push through the hard parts.

 

What’s your advice to students?s 

I believe it’s not about getting it right the first time, but about doing it until you get it right. High school is a one-shot deal; you never get to experience high school again. It’s easy to get caught up in stuff like school or friendship trouble, but do your best to accept who you are right now because you’re going to look back on this when you’re older and you don’t want to have any regrets. And of all the places where you could experience high school, you’re very lucky to do it at a place like CCD

Adults tend to say to kids that it’s okay to fail, but they don’t do a good job of modeling it. What they don’t tell you is that they’re barely hanging on too and just making it up as they go. It’s important to take risks and to take advantage of the opportunities you get, which is why I like the idea of X-week so much, because you can take a risk and try something new in a place without grades where it’s safe to fail.

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