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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 8 months ago

Influencer of the Week: Stephanie Jackson, Windermere Preparatory School

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Stephanie has nine years of administrative experience and enjoys working with crafts and quilting, and reading in her spare time.
by: Jim Carchidi Former Associate Editor

Stephanie Jackson is Windermere Preparatory School’s new Lower School director. She has nine years of administrative experience and oversees the PK3 through Grade 5 programs.

How long have you been with your school and what was your previous job before coming to Windermere Prep?

I assumed my current role in the summer of 2021 following nine years in an administrative role at an independent school in Winter Haven. 

What are your job responsibilities?

As the director of Lower School, I oversee grades PK3 through 5. This includes the day-to-day management of the division, as well as curricular programming and student services.

What brought you to your school?

The diverse student body and Windermere Prep’s status as a member of Nord Anglia Education were two important characteristics that drew me to the school.

What do you love most about your school?

I really love the people! The faculty, staff and our families are very much a community, and everyone works hard to make WPS a special place for children to grow and thrive. 

What is your motivation?

I am motivated every day by the smiling faces and the bright lights I see in our students’ eyes when learning clicks. It is magical!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I am in a position where I can contribute to really building an environment where every student can find success.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy working with crafts and quilting, and reading. I have had the opportunity to live abroad and really love experiencing other cultures, so I travel as much as I can.

Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

Mrs. Maria Kurchbardt, my high school art teacher. She really was a mentor for me and helped me grow creatively. 

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I have always been interested in the arts and continue to enjoy this field as an adult. 

What is your favorite children’s book?

“The Black Cauldron” by Lloyd Alexander. This book introduced me to the world of fantasy. It continues to be one of my favorite genre choices today as an adult. 

If you could be any cartoon character, who would it be?

Dora the Explorer, because she represents diversity and goes on adventures, just like me!

If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?

My superpower would be the power of empathy, so that I could have a better understanding of people. As we live together in this diverse world, it is so important for us to be aware of the experiences that others live so that we can connect in positive ways.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

It really wouldn’t matter where, as long as I could be near my family.

 

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Jim Carchidi was an associate editor for the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. 

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