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Four Questions with Meg McClellan: Respect for the Early Riser

Meg McClellan has been teaching English at Emma Willard School for over 25 years and currently serves as the Interim Coordinator of the Starzinger Writing Center; We asked her four questions about her experience at at Emma.
What brought you to Emma Willard?

I moved to Emma Willard from Hawaii, where I had been teaching for five years, because the cost of living in Honolulu was just not sustainable, and I wanted to be closer to my family on the East Coast.

What is a typical day-in-the-life at Emma like for you?

A typical day this year begins at the Emma gym, among the other early-risers, and then I make my way to the upstairs of the library, where I do a lap of chair-straightening and magnetic poetry reading before settling into reading email and reviewing my lesson plans for English III and Nonfiction Workshop. In between meetings with students and colleagues, I spend time thinking of new, cool things we could do for the Starzinger Writing Center: A spring break writers’ retreat? A field trip to Grubb Street in Boston? Fully-funded summer writing programs for students? The list grows.

What is one thing about working in English and, specifically, the Writing Center that would surprise people?

People might be surprised to know how excited Page Starzinger is by what we’re doing with the new Writing Center. When I emailed her a photo of the painting from Ms. Daniels’ Creator Workshop and explained how that project combined words and images, she was thrilled. “It’s surreal and wonderful to see the Writing Center take shape,” she wrote, a thrill that was “up there with only one other—when I carried a stack of New Yorkers home with my poem Heliantus in them.”

What is your favorite space, place, or tradition at Emma?

My favorite tradition is cheering for the date in Morning Reports. It makes me smile every time—that unconscious, culturally-affirming moment.
    • Meg in the upper library, the new site of the Starzinger Writing Center.

    • Page Hill Starzinger '76 as featured on one of the screens in the center.

What's Next?

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Honoring its founder’s vision, Emma Willard School proudly fosters in each young woman a love of learning, the habits of an intellectual life, and the character, moral strength, and qualities of leadership to serve and shape her world.
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