Davis is doing great things at Packer! He is enjoying Advanced Topics Computer Science, ran on the undefeated ACIS cross country team, and is playing on the varsity basketball team. He will be traveling to Rome with his Latin class and looks forward to working at the IT department at Packer this summer.
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DA N I E L H R D L I C K A
EMBODIMENT OF THE MISSION
Rebecca Newman ’01 After graduating from The Cathedral School in 2001, attending LaGuardia High School, studying English and Psychology and earning her master’s in Social Work at Stony Brook University, Rebecca Newman is back in Morningside Heights, working at Bank Street College of Education as an early childhood coach in the Guttman Center for Early Care & Education. Rebecca recently sat down with Cathedral Magazine over hot chocolate at the Hungarian Pastry Shop to share how The Cathedral School has shaped her work as an advocate for early childhood education. How would you describe your role as an early childhood coach? In this position, I give support, professional development, new information, ideas, and techniques—all kinds of things—to daycare centers and home childcare professionals. It’s kind of like being a social worker to a particular daycare center. I like writing, I like psychology, I like education. Being a coach really pulls all of this together. How did The Cathedral School help set the stage for this work? I often say in my line of work that we can’t advise and ask teachers to do something with their students that they haven’t experienced themselves. I am able to share experiences that I had at Cathedral with them—that is, individualized care and instruction, getting to know someone deeply, thinking about what they like and what they’re good at, and growing from there. The individualized instruction is so strong at Cathedral, so perhaps that was the seed. I also had this really interesting a-ha moment last semester in my work. I wrote letters to each of the teachers at the end of the program as a way to say good-bye and sum up their strengths and things we worked on together, and I realized I was going through the experience of writing an individualized report. At Cathedral I would always look forward to reading those reports, asking, “Mommy, where are my reports? What did they say about me at the conference?” I know it’s a lot of work—it’s a labor of love to write them because you want them to be letter-perfect and customized. As you can see, they stay with the child forever, but now I have so much appreciation. Again, I experienced that at Cathedral and was able to share it with other people.
At Cathedral, we talked about values systems, and we looked at stories through the lens of ethics, morals, and developing values. Rebecca Newman ’01
What elements of your Cathedral School experience have stuck most with you? So much of what we did—I loved the arts and humanities curriculum, especially taking Latin and being able to dissect words and think about etymology and the origins of language. I remember my 1st grade teacher ran the World Club, and we talked about our rules for the group—it was all about inclusivity and acceptance of difference. We also talked about values systems, and we looked at stories through the lens of ethics, morals, and developing values. I still remember the Mitten Tree, the Peace Tree, and the food drive—all of these things that we did at Cathedral were really customs and celebrations of community, not greater-than or lessthan, but things that helped develop awareness of the rest of the world—outside of myself, my building, my block, my neighborhood but, rather, globally.
T H E M AG A Z I N E O F T H E C AT H E D R A L S C H O O L O F ST. J O H N T H E D I V I N E