Wendy Blog Photos

Leaning on Community

Finding a dedicated, passionate, and qualified person who also fits is essential when looking to fill a teaching role at the Washington School for Girls. Finding the right teacher can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack because we have a unique educational philosophy and mission. It has challenged WSG to think about creative partnerships to fulfill these very important roles.

One of these great partnerships has been The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program. The ACE program has long been familiar to WSG, with several staff members completing the program over the years including WSG’s former Head of School, Brianne Wetzel. We appreciate the value the program provides to schools like ours. 

ACE is a unique initiative that trains individuals to become quality educators focused on Catholic schools. It’s an intensive program that combines graduate-level coursework with teaching experience in schools, providing a well-rounded experience for aspiring teachers. It’s a win-win for the program’s students and Catholic schools that partner with the program. 

Through the ACE program, we found our social studies teacher, Ms. Wendy Kristell. Ms. Kristell’s commitment to WSG’s mission and values has made a significant impact on our students. Ms. Kristell talks a lot about the support she’s received from both her WSG and ACE communities. She immediately felt embraced and supported by her new WSG colleagues, and with the added benefit of sharing housing with her fellow ACE students, she has a comfortable space to unwind, discuss her day, and seek advice right at home.

In a world that can sometimes feel increasingly disconnected, the power of community is a reminder of our shared humanity – Ubuntu. It’s a testament that, as social beings, we are at our best when we come together, support one another, and work toward common goals. 

It is a testament to the potential of the collective. The Washington School for Girls is blessed to have a community of students, families, staff, individual and institutional funders, volunteers, and partners, like ACE, to support us in the mission-focused work we do, and we are eternally grateful.