The Unsung Heroes of CCD

Ali Zimmerman, Contributor '26

The Unsung Heroes

Last Friday, I met with two remarkable women who keep our school running: Mrs. Ward and Mrs. Habig. We don’t hear much about these lovely ladies, yet they do so much for everyone in the CCD community. I asked them questions to get to know them and bring their hard work to light. Without further ado, Mrs. Ward and Mrs. Habig!


First, I met with Mrs. Ward. You may know her personally, or you may simply know her as the lady outside Mr. Zimmerman’s office. Either way, let’s take this time to appreciate all she does. This is her 16th year working at Country Day, yet she expected to only be here for two weeks! When someone was out sick, she kindly filled in, unaware that they would never return to their job. Ever since then, she has been a great asset to our school.

When I met with her, the first thing she told me was how proud of The Scroll she was. She said, “the students at this school are just so talented, it’s a joy to be a part of their lives. I just love what they’ve done with their creativity in The Scroll.”


Interviewer: So what is it exactly that you do with your job?

Mrs. Ward: Well my job varies depending on the day. It also varies depending on the head of school. Mr. Zimmerman is the third head I’ve been under since coming to Country Day and each one of them brings something new and interesting for me. During COVID I was most busy with the Rapid Response Team, but that has slowly died down. Now, I mostly take care of individual needs that come up. Sometimes students walk into my office saying that they’re thirsty, or need a band-aid, and I always love to help! I also manage events and employment contracts.

Interviewer: What’s your favorite part about your job?

Mrs. Ward: Oh, definitely the community. I’m so fortunate to work in this environment with kids like you. It’s incredible. Every day I come here excited to work. There’s always something new to do and I love it. Really though, the kids make it special. I’m just the lucky one who gets to sit here and watch the magic happen.


As I was interviewing Mrs. Ward, Mr. Zimmerman was on the way to his office. He generously took time to speak with me.

Interviewer: How would you describe Mrs. Ward?

Mr. Zimmerman: Very helpful. She takes care of all the mad people. When the phone rings and someone on the other end is yelling and upset, she talks them out of it in the sweetest way. I’m grateful for that. Do you know the ‘hit by a bus’ scenario? If someone was hit by a bus, would someone else be able to step in and take their place? Well if Mrs. Ward got hit by a bus, no one could take her place. She’s irreplaceable.

I then asked Mrs. Paff at the front desk how she would describe Mrs. Ward.

Mrs. Paff: She’s kind, smart, and fantastic. Is that good? Because I don’t really think I can find the words to describe her.


After speaking with Mrs. Ward, I then went on to speak with Mrs. Habig. Coming from Cleveland, Ohio, she’s been working at CCD for 12 years. When she’s working, she helps new families and students through the application process. She helps them set up shadows and guides them through tours of the school. She also works with students applying for scholarships and financial aid.

Interviewer: How did you first come to CCD?

Mrs. Habig: I’m a bit unusual because this has always been my job. When I graduated from college, I knew immediately that I wanted to work at in independent school. I wanted to share my experiences with families that needed help wading through new schools. My husband was from Cincinnati, so we saw that as an obvious place to be. I looked around and quickly found out that Country Day was the best school in this area. As soon as I could, I applied for the job!

Interviewer: What’s your favorite part of your job?

Mrs. Habig: The students I work with and my colleagues! Connection is very important to me. Before COVID, sometimes I would chaperone Middle School field trips, or cover Upper School advisory’s when teachers were sick. I even did health checks for the Lower School! I really enjoyed that because it allowed me to connect with students from all different divisions.


After speaking with Mrs. Habig, I also spoke to two students that she helped show around when they were new.

Interviewer: Could you both describe Mrs. Habig?

Student One: She was very helpful in making me feel welcome at the CCDS community. I was scared to be at a new school, but I thought, ‘Hey it can’t be so bad, this lady’s nice,’ so she calmed my nerves a bit.

Student Two: She seemed peppy and excited to be there, which then made me excited to be there too. She also matched me with my shadow really well, so I felt more comfortable going into the next year since I knew I had a friend with similar interests.

Finally, I asked a fellow faculty member what he thought about Mrs. Habig, and I think I got the best description of her I had all day.

Mr. Brandt: She does a fantastic job of being the first face that new students coming to Country Day see. Plus, she’s from Cleveland. Can’t go wrong with that.


Having interviewed both these women, I am more confident than ever that the Cincinnati Country Day School community is what makes the school really special. I hope we can always keep that in mind. I also hope that we can have more appreciation for behind-the-scenes people who do so much work for our school. If you see them in the hall, give them a hello. Show your appreciation for the Unsung Heroes.