One can expect new students on campus for the first day of school, but we also are welcoming a new teacher to the Lower School. This addition to the RA community is Danielle Getchell, who will serve as head teacher for Grade 1.
Danielle may be new to RA, but she is not new to the profession of teaching. She has honed her skills as an educator in the Darien Public School District, where she has taught Grade 2 for seven years and Kindergarten for another seven. A major accomplishment while at Darien was serving as lead teacher in the district’s work with implementing Teachers College, Columbia University’s Reading and Writing Project. This is the same program that RA launched several years ago in the Lower School.
“Getting hired at RA is another huge accomplishment,” says Danielle. “I feel honored to be part of the community.”
Prior to teaching, Danielle worked in advertising sales for major corporations. She enjoyed the fast-paced work, but found her absolute joy in the classroom. That passion led her to pursue a master’s degree in Elementary Education with a K-6 certification from Fairfield University. She has never looked back.
Danielle is a very nurturing teacher. She strives to make learning engaging, challenging, and fun for her students. Above all, she believes that the material should be really meaningful to the lives of her students. She is thrilled to share the “wow!” moment with her students when they make connections between concepts in the classroom and their own lives.
Danielle has spent the summer focused on her family and preparing for her first year at RA. She recently attended a Fundations professional development workshop in New York City and has been busy setting up her classroom in the Summit Building. And of course, she has immersed herself in David Perkin’s book, Future Wise: Educating Children for a Changing World, which is being read by faculty and staff across all four campuses. “Reading Future Wise goes along with my philosophy of making everything meaningful,” says Danielle.
Danielle lives in Ridgefield with her two daughters and husband.