A Willow education helps children grow into the young adults they become in high school, college, and beyond, and the lessons learned both inside and outside of the classroom at Willow are taught by Willow’s dedicated teachers. However, like their students, Willow’s teachers must eventually move on to pursue different passions and new opportunities. This fall, four of Willow’s teachers will be moving on to new adventures, and Willow alumni want to wish them well!
Ms. Fontaine has worked in Willow’s lower school for eleven years. Many Willow alumni remember her as their fourth grade teacher, and others might remember her as the co-teacher of the fourth and fifth grade with Mr. Michael Chodroff, when she was responsible for teaching English and Social Studies. Ms. Fontaine’s classes have a strong emphasis on creative processing and hands-on learning, and art is incorporated into many subject areas. The highlight of the year for many of her students was the study of early man, which culminated in the creation of 3D head models of an assigned early human species requiring the individual sculpting of the skull, muscles, and outer features like skin and hair. Ms. Fontaine’s dedication to her students’ personal, artistic, and intellectual growth will be missed.
Ms. Downey has been Willow’s middle school English teacher since the first graduating class reached sixth grade in 2007. For most of that time, she has also been the middle school director or co-director. Ms. Downey developed strong bonds with her students and advisory, and she was always in her classroom if a student wanted to read quietly or discuss literary OR literal drama at recess. Ms. Downey’s investment in her students has continued long after they graduate eighth grade, as any alum who has received a book recommendation or check-in email from her can testify. Ms. Downey’s legacy as one of the founding members of the middle school will endure even as she pursues new projects.
Mrs. Schwartz has been teaching middle school science since 2015. While only three of Willow’s graduate classes took science with her, alumni who had the pleasure of learning in her classroom remember how much she valued hands-on learning. Mrs. Schwartz always made sure her students were both having fun and working hard. Mrs. Schwartz is leaving Willow to spend time with her new baby, but she will be missed in the middle school!
Mr. Glatt taught middle school math for three years. Loved by his students and advisees, alumni appreciate his dedication to his students’ success. One alum said of Mr. Glatt, “he would never let a student fall behind.” Mr. Glatt made sure each student could keep up in class and comprehend the material, a serious asset for Willow graduates. Mr. Glatt’s teaching has helped Willow alumni to excel in high-level high school math classes.