Dear Walker’s Community, Over the last few years, there have been many moments that have fractured our country and our school communities. And with each moment, we, as leaders of…
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Meet the Team
Gretchen was appointed as Walker’s director of advancement in October 2016. Coming from Trinity College, she initially served as director of development, and, more recently, as director of principal gifts and international development. Prior to Trinity, Gretchen’s career in education includes over a decade of fundraising at Cornell University and over a decade of work in admissions at Cornell University, Ithaca College and her alma mater, Wells College.Read Full Profile
Je Banach joined The Ethel Walker School in 2013 with experience in the fields of education and development, law, and arts and culture. She received her BA from Manhattanville College, majoring in English (with a concentration in writing), philosophy, and religion. In addition to her work as Campaign & Prospect Research Manager, she is also a practicing writer. A recipient of the New Boston Fund Fellowship in Fiction, Je has written for many academic and popular venues, including The Paris Review, Granta, Bookforum, Oxford University Press, Publishers Weekly, and PEN. She is the author of teaching and reading guides to works of fiction and non-fiction for Penguin Random House, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Simon & Schuster. Most recently, she wrote guides to Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth, Salman Rushdie’s Luka and the Fire of Life, and the Dalai Lama’s Beyond Religion. She was also a longtime contributor to Harold Bloom’s literary series. In 2013, Je was awarded the state’s Artist Fellowship for Prose by the CT Office of the Arts. She is currently a member of the Residential Faculty in Fiction at the Yale Writers’ Conference.Read Full Profile
Kathryn Bratslavsky joined Walker’s Advancement Office in 2020. She is also known at Walker’s for her role as yogini, a role which facilitated her appreciation toward the Walker’s community. Kathryn earned a B.A. in English from UConn Storrs where she was a New England scholar, graduating cum laude. She earned a second B.A. from UConn Storrs in Psychological Sciences. Most recently, Kathryn served as executive assistant, office manager, project manager and analyst at the Leadership Research Institute in Middletown, CT.
In addition to her yoga instruction, Kathryn is also involved locally in CT Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy where she serves as program director for communications. She has traveled extensively and worked two years as a preschool teacher and program coordinator in Moscow. Kathryn speaks fluent Russian.Read Full Profile
Kelly, a Connecticut native, started her 25-year event management career in Boston where she executed events for emerging tech companies. From Boston, she moved to Los Angeles as an account director for an event marketing and promotions agency. After enjoying several years in the California sunshine, she and her husband moved back to the East Coast to start a family, and have lived in Simsbury for 18 years. For the past decade, Kelly has worked as a freelance event planner working with a variety of organizations including The Necker Cup, an annual Pro-Am tennis event hosted by Richard Branson on his private island, Necker. She is a graduate of Saint Anselm College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Kelly enjoys volunteering in her community and has done so for Simsbury Junior Woman’s Club, Gifts of Love, Dog Star Rescue, and for her children’s schools. She has two teenage boys, two dogs, and loves yoga, reading, and travel.
Allie Harris '13
Allie Harris ’13 assists the Advancement office by supporting and growing technology and donor recognition programs. She graduated cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester in 2017 where she majored in English Literature and wrote for print magazines and social media. She won awards for her work including team MPVP in 2018 for managing business deals at Prolific 1. At Walker’s, Allie was head of day students and head of Cicerones as well as a member of the Varsity Equestrian Team.Read Full Profile
Marion Paterson P'17, '19
Marion joined the Development Office in 2014 as Campaign Manager. A 12-year student of the all-girls’ Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, she then graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and then a master’s degree from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She was then the personal assistant to a conservation architect in Edinburgh, where she met her husband, Guy. Marion lived and worked at the St. Denis and Cranley School, and all-girls’ boarding school in Edinburgh for four years before returning with Guy to the United States. While raising her two daughters here in Simsbury, she managed two businesses from home. Marion held numerous board positions and was then president of the Simsbury Newcomers Club. With both daughters attending Walker’s, she fell in love with the community here and is thrilled to be on campus with them and working for the advancement of the School.Read Full Profile
Leila Wetmore '82, P'18
Leila was born and raised in New York City and came to Walker’s as a freshwoman in 1978. After graduating with degrees in political science, art history and French from St. Lawrence University, Leila returned to New York City and began her career in not-for-profit fundraising and management. Leila worked for and provided consulting services to organizations including Planned Parenthood of New York City, Lenox Hill Hospital, The American Field Service, and the National Academy of Design, among others. In 2001, Leila moved with her husband and two young daughters to Darien, CT and continued her not-for-profit career, most recently as the Executive Director of the Darien Nature Center. Leila’s daughter, Eliza, is a 2018 graduate of Walker’s.Read Full Profile