Windward’s WLS and Admissions Administrative Assistant and Platinum Circle Member Joan Barrett will retire after 24 years of dedicated service to The Windward School at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year.
Ms. Barrett spent her early career working for brokerage firms on Wall Street, and she found her way to Windward when she returned to the workforce following a 10-year hiatus to raise her two small children. She had just completed a course through Westchester Community College (WCC), which focused on updating skill sets for women who had been displaced by divorce, layoffs, or extended periods away from work. Someone at the WCC had heard about an opening at Windward, and they shared with Ms. Barrett that she would be a good match. Their intuition was correct, as Ms. Barrett immediately felt at home at Windward during her interviews.
Beginning her tenure at Windward in the business and development offices, Ms. Barrett spent four years working with those departments before moving to the WLS main office, where she divided her time between assisting WLS families and answering inquiries for the admissions department. And even though at times the work could be hectic, Ms. Barrett noted that she always found it a pleasure to come to work, especially within the close-knit environment of supportive colleagues.
As she spent more time working with admissions, Ms. Barrett found herself drawn to the job of reassuring prospective families and answering their questions. She credits this time as the period when she truly learned about Windward. Ms. Barrett enrolled in courses such as Expository Writing and Multisensory Reading Instruction: PAF, which gave her further insights to share with prospective families. Ms. Barrett noted, "I found it very rewarding to talk to them, answer their questions, and calm them down. I would tell them, 'There's an answer, and the answer is this school, so don't worry.'"
Ms. Barrett's impact on Windward students and their families has been undeniable, and she's always felt that one of the most gratifying parts of her job has been the student success stories she has been a part of over the years.
Her colleagues have also benefited greatly from Ms. Barrett's time at Windward, noting her consistent support and ever-present willingness to lend a sympathetic ear to those in need.
Ms. Barrett's warmth, kindness, and commitment to Windward's mission will be greatly missed. Countless members of the Windward community have been positively affected by Ms. Barrett and her steady presence. She is owed a debt of gratitude for her many years of dedication to Windward.