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‘There is nothing more valuable in your early years of teaching than being part of a community dedicated to guiding your evolution as an educator.’

Kristie Gillooly

Community and Equity and Student Support teams and has chosen to coach and become a house parent. “The Wilcox Fellows Program was essential for me, an aspiring teacher fresh out of grad school,” said Fields. “I left my graduate program energized by complex theories and texts, but I was hungry for pedagogical instruction. There is nothing more valuable in your early years of teaching than being part of a community dedicated to guiding your evolution as an educator. I now feel fully prepared for the opportunities and challenges that emerge in the classroom and beyond.” Tom Wilcox recalls a recent visit to campus when he had lunch with Fields and other fellows of that year. “It was so rewarding to meet those vibrant, capable young people,” said Wilcox. “They had been given reasonable working lives as they were learning what it means to teach in rigorous classrooms like those at CA. My hope is that the Wilcox Fellows Program can serve as a beacon for educational outreach, leading the way for CA and other independent schools to become ever more welcoming to a wider world.”

English teacher and former Wilcox Fellow Courtney Fields; former Wilcox Fellow and film teacher Christopher Rhodes Jr. ’07

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because I chose to advise the Alianza Latina, I had the opportunity to work with a wonderfully diverse group of students outside the classroom.” John Drew was Yañes-Taylor’s mentor. “She was amazing from the start,” he recalled. “As a young, high-powered professional dedicated to her field, she became a role model for students.” Yañes-Taylor has worked beside one Wilcox Fellow and served as mentor to another. Though both went on to non-teaching careers, YañesTaylor believes their fellowship experience helped them understand science from an important new perspective. “Teaching forced them to think about science in ways they’d never imagined before. They had to explain why it happens, how it works,” she said. “Learning how to explain scientific principles gave the knowledge more meaning in their own lives as well as in the lives of their students.” In 2010, the mentoring component of the program was enhanced by the addition of a group seminar, led by veteran English teacher Abby Laber. These gatherings allow Wilcox Fellows to share ideas and concerns in the presence of a master teacher. “I love doing it,” said Laber. “The fellows inspire me with their desire to grow, and I like to show them that I’m always working on my own practice. It’s important for teachers to share the challenges of the classroom with other people.” Laber’s seminars were so successful that Dean of Faculty Jenny Chandler chose to offer similar group support to all new faculty members. “My approach to faculty orientation has been directly informed by the Wilcox seminars,” said Chandler, who invites fellows to join these larger gatherings as well. “Wilcox Fellows are an important presence and voice in the school, and they are treated as true colleagues, which helps them thrive. They may not go on to teach in the future, but they could. They become teachers here.” English teacher Courtney Fields joined CA as a Wilcox Fellow in 2012 and was subsequently hired as a full-time faculty member. In addition to her classroom teaching, she has served on the

Ben Carmichael ’01

English teacher and former Wilcox Fellow Courtney Fields

10/28/15 8:08 PM

Profile for Concord Academy

CA Magazine Fall 2015 Issue  

This special issue spotlights create + innovate: The Centennial Campaign for Concord Academy, including a campaign impact report and coverag...

CA Magazine Fall 2015 Issue  

This special issue spotlights create + innovate: The Centennial Campaign for Concord Academy, including a campaign impact report and coverag...

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