Menu
Meera with Students

Meet our Head of School

Meet Dr. Meera Viswanathan, our Head of School

Dr. Meera Viswanathan joined Walker’s from Brown University, where she was an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies.

A lifelong educator and scholar, Meera holds her undergraduate degree, her M.A., and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Meera was born in Madras, India and emigrated at age five to Los Angeles.

Meera joined Brown University as a Japan Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies departments. Subsequently, she became an assistant professor and was promoted with tenure. Meera, who is fluent in seven languages including French, German, Latin, Classical Greek, Old English, and Old Norse, received several National Endowment for the Humanities grants and awards while at Brown.

Meera and her husband, Dr. Eric Widmer, former head of school at Deerfield Academy, were asked by King Abdullah II of Jordan to establish King’s Academy, the Middle East’s first co-educational college preparatory boarding school with financial aid. The school opened in 2007. Meera served as the school’s principal architect of the curriculum and dean of faculty. King Abdullah II personally awarded Meera the King Hussein Medal, Jordan’s highest honor, for her endeavors.

Meera, or “Ms. Vis” as she’s known to students, began her tenure as head of The Ethel Walker School on July 1, 2016.

Meera on Mountain Day
Meera with Students
Meera Viswanathan Investiture
Meera teaching a class
Meera on Walkerʼs

“Walkerʼs beckoned me in a way that few schools have ever done. I found its ethos, energy, and devotion to learning irresistible. Discovering Walker’s was unexpected and fortuitous, pure serendipity for me.”

Meera on Girls’ Education

“During my decades of teaching at the university level, I encountered many students who had attended a girls’ school. I marveled at their confidence and poise. At Walker’s, I saw wonderfully strong and capable young women with little time for self-doubt.”

Meera on Leadership

“Leadership entails the ability to forge a path, both for oneself and for others. It recognizes that the needs of the group require each individual to assume responsibility for the welfare of the whole at the appropriate time, leading them out and beyond.”

Meera on the Future

“Founded as a standard-bearer of girls’ education in 1911, may Walker’s continue, amid the numerous challenges evident in the world around us, to be a flagship of teaching and learning for young women. May every one of our future hours be golden.”

Meera in the Media

2019

CPTV — Sharing Connecticut’s “Women’s Work: Stories Behind the Movement”
Meera is featured in the first episode of “Women’s Work: Stories Behind the Movement,” a six-part multimedia series from Connecticut Public, featuring the stories of local women who share a common desire to be part of a collective effort — serving as leaders, trailblazers, artists, educators, advocates, and entrepreneurs. Watch Video

Hartford Magazine
Read a January 2019 article in Hartford Magazine about Meera’s vision for educating, emboldening and inspiring girls at Walker’s. Read More

2018

Simsbury Public TV
During the summer of 2018, Meera was a guest on Simsbury Community Television’s “The Simsbury Woman” with Sheila Guilloton. She spoke about her background, the School’s founding, the value of girls’ education, women’s leadership, and the equestrian program at Walker’s. Listen

KZSU Stanford FM
Meera did an extended interview with the Stanford University radio station KZSU Stanford in January 2018 for their Modern Tek News program about education in the 21st Century. She also commented on how she, faculty and staff mentor girls at Walker’s to foster an environment of leadership. She shared her thoughts on the role that parents play in their daughters’ education and how joy and happiness are critical factors in learning. Listen

2017

WNPR’s “Where We Live” with Lucy Nalpathanchil
Meera Viswanathan spoke with Lucy Nalpathanchil of WNPR’s “Where We Live” about the value of girls’ education and her vision for Walker’s students. Listen

Latest Publication

2020–2021

Having Hope: A Time for Resolve, Resilience and Reinvention (Moffly Media Education Guide)

Moffly Media Education Guide 2020-2021 (Having Hope)

 

For More Reading

2018-2019: Education by Design (Moffly Media Independent School Guide) View

2017-2018: Fire. Earth. Water. Air. Elemental Memories of School Life (Moffly Media Independent School Guide) View

2016-2017: Beyond Bread and Cheese: An Artisinal Approach to Teaching and Learning (Moffly Media Independent School Guide) View