I have been a teacher and a learner all my life. I was born in Norfolk, VA, and grew up in Hanover, PA, near Gettysburg, where I went to public school through tenth grade, playing JV basketball in my one year of high school there. I boarded at Mercersburg Academy [PA] for my junior and senior years, graduating Cum Laude, and went off to Yale [BA in Philosophy] and Harvard [MA in East Asian Studies], and, much later, Wayne State University [MA in English: Literature, Theory and Composition].
All this sounds rather linear, but hidden in my experience at Yale was a five-year hiatus between sophomore and junior years where I had the opportunity to grow up. To put it bluntly, I flunked out. I had arrived at Yale at age 17 with perfect SAT scores, a high GPA, and, though I wasn't aware of it, no interest in working hard or having an intellectual life. In over my head among kids who seemed much smarter than I was used to, I spent my time playing bridge and pickup basketball, going to movies, parties and girls' colleges, anything to numb myself from the disappointment of doing nothing with my time.
When the Dean "suggested" I take some time off, I did. With a gentle assist from my stepfather [my dad was killed in WWII], who said when I flunked out that I could live at home, but was on my own otherwise, I joined the US Army. There, I met Sergeant Biggers, Ft Dix, NJ, who was not impressed with the Ivy League, my charm or my SAT scores, and put me through a relentless stint of basic training. "Work hard. Don't complain. No excuses. Suck it up. Carry your own water, AND that of your buddy. Take pride in what you do."
My pampered self absorbed these lessons that somehow I had earlier managed to avoid, and the US Army paid me to grow up for three years at the Defense Language School [Modern Greek] in California, and at National Security Agency HQ in Frankfurt, Germany. Germany taught me that there were whole nations in the world unconcerned about my existence, and that history was a factor to be reckoned with. After my discharge, I stayed in Germany for two years, one working at an American Episcopal church and one enrolled at Goethe University in Frankfurt, where for the first time I began to enjoy an intellectual challenge.
I went back to Yale, paid for it with my Army savings, and relished my last two years. I won three Yale Fellowships at graduation: a Rockefeller to go to Seminary, the Athens College Fellowship to teach in Greece, and the first Yale-in-Japan Fellowship to teach at a Japanese university. I chose Japan and taught there for two years, which inspired me to go to Harvard, where I got a Master's degree in East Asian Studies, and began a career immersed in and teaching about Japan and China.
I began teaching at International Christian University in Japan, and have taught at Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, Verde Valley School in Arizona, Friends School in Detroit, and also in the Detroit area at Academy of the Sacred Heart and University-Liggett School.
In my many years in independent schools, I have encountered and been supportive of families and children with all sorts of needs. While in Michigan, I did extensive one-on-one and small-group tutoring for both enrichment and remediation, and preparation for the SAT/ACT and other tests. I also did college essay and career counseling and was a member of the Yale and Harvard alumni committee that interviewed local area applicants.
As an administrator, I have been Dean of Students, Academic Dean and College Counselor. While I was Head of School at Friends School, I was President of the Association of Independent Michigan Schools. I am a founding member of Southwest Boarding Schools and Western Boarding Schools, organizations which cooperate in their admissions efforts. In doing these jobs, I traveled extensively to junior and college-prep boarding schools throughout the country.
For my teaching, I have received numerous encomia from parents and students for inspiring my kids to do their best and take over their own education. I have been recognized by Stanford University as an exemplary teacher.
I have been a member of the governing Board of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and am a Certified Educational Planner. I have been on the faculty of the Association's Principles and Practices Institute, which introduces new consultants to the profession, and I am a permanent member of the Outreach Committee, pairing veteran Mentors with Mentees who are just starting out. I have mentored several consultants as they began their practices. At present, I am on the membership committee, which evaluates applicants to our association. I have been a presenter at both consultant and therapeutic program conferences.
I have the expertise to help families find special needs and learning difference programs, and wilderness and emotional growth programs where their children can thrive. My lifetime vocation has been helping young people take over their own lives and make good choices.