We recently had the chance to sit down with the new Director of the Learning Center, Rebecca Dickinson. Currently the Director of the Learning Commons at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, Rebecca has presented at both national and regional independent school conferences and has served on outside evaluation teams for learning centers at several private colleges. She shares a bit about her background and educational philosophy below.
Education and Background
I graduated from Wellesley College with a double major in East Asian Studies and History. I went directly to the PhD program in Chinese at the University of Chicago, but quickly realized my passion was not academia and transferred to and graduated from University of Chicago’s MAT/Social Sciences program. I also completed extensive additional coursework toward a second MAT in mathematics from Columbia University. Since then she has been a history/math teacher and school administrator (Assistant Head, Academic Dean, Dean of Faculty, Division Director) in various independent schools (and has never once regretted leaving the PhD program).
I’m excited to join The White Mountain School community. I began my career in a small boarding high school (125 students) in New Jersey and feel have come full circle back to a small boarding school community similar to the one in which I began my career and which shaped my educational philosophy and approach to working with students. Even though my career has taken me to a wide variety of other independent schools, I value the small boarding school community because of the close relationships with students and colleagues, the ability to be involved in students’ lives, and the potential to make a meaningful difference in students’ development and progress.
When I visited WMS, I immediately felt at home. Aside from the obvious beauty of the setting, I was impressed with the warmth of my welcome by administration and faculty, the friendliness of the students, and with seeing the mission of the school in action. This is a school that knows what it should be doing and constantly reflects on how to do it even better. I embrace that and am eager to be a part of such a vibrant community!
I have a 10 month old goldendoodle named Tucker and a 12 year old Great Pyrenees/retriever mix named Hank.