Brett Benzio hails from sunny South Florida where she was a multi-sport athlete in high school. In her four years at Jensen Beach High School, Brett was a state champion in basketball and volleyball – winning the State Tournament MVP in volleyball and Player of the Year in both basketball and volleyball as a senior. JBHS inducted Brett into their hall of fame in 2013. Brett chose to pursue basketball in college and was a four-year starter at Tulane University. During her time in New Orleans, Brett solidified her impact on the program in the record books and most impressively as the second woman in school history to score at least 1,000 points and pull down at least 1,000 rebounds. After completing her collegiate career, Brett continued playing professionally for MB Slovenka in the Czech Republic and DJK Brose in Germany.
As an athletic professional, Brett has both collegiate and prep school experience. As the director of operations for the Harvard women’s basketball team, Brett was instrumental in managing the program’s travel, events, and day-to-day operations. Brett gained more collegiate experience as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball program at the University of Vermont, where she was the compliance liaison, marketing director, and academic advisor for athletes in the program. With a combined seven years of experience at the New Hampton School and Lawrence Academy, Brett has had the opportunity to familiarize herself with operations within NEPSAC.
Brett holds a BS degree from Tulane University in Management and a MBA from Lynn University in Athletic Administration and Media & Marketing Management.Read Full Profile
Tavia, a New England native, joined Walker’s in 2022 after serving many years as Director of Communications for an independent middle and high school in Houston, TX. In addition to her time in school communications and marketing, she has taught communications, film, theatre, and business & economics at the high school and college levels. She also spent five years directing an academic summer program for high school students. Tavia has an extensive film portfolio which focuses on short-form documentaries and also includes nationally distributed feature-length documentaries and television commercials. She and her family live on campus.Read Full Profile
Pamela Safford '81
Pamela holds a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Carleton College and an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, she was the Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid at The Country School in New Canaan. Pamela has also been employed as Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Deerfield Academy; Associate Head for Communications, Enrollment and Planning at Concord Academy; and Director of Admission at Northfield Mount Hermon School. Pamela is a founding trustee and former chair of the board for the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP) and she currently serves on the board of the Enrollment Management Association (EMA). Committed to supporting professional development among her peers, Pamela regularly presents at various national conferences including IECA, NAIS, SSATB, and TABS.
Beth McWilliams P'28
Beth joined Walker’s in November 2020 as the School’s Chief Financial and Operations Officer (CFOO). She is the former chief financial officer at Shattuck St. Mary’s Educational Services in Bath, ME. Prior Beth worked at independent schools in the northeast in financial operations. She holds an MBA from Robert Morris University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Gannon University. She is a former board member for the Massachusetts Association for Non-Profit School and Colleges, a member of the Independent School Association of Northern New England, and the National Business Officers Association. Beth’s daughter, Gabby, is a sixth grader at Walker’s.Read Full Profile
Dr. Ned Edwards P’07, ’10
Dr. Ned Edwards P’07, ’10 earned his B.A. from the College of Wooster in psychology and religion, an M.Div. from Yale University with a focus on philosophical theology, and a D.Min. from Hartford Seminary in sociology and the history of American Protestantism. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Ned has served four churches as senior minister, and has considerable experience in various capacities in secondary independent education including two other girls’ schools as chaplain, director of social services, teacher, dean of faculty, and assistant head. He has taught Hebrew scriptures, Christian scriptures, world religions, ethics, philosophy, advanced placement psychology, and school of rock: the history of American politics and rock and roll from 1950-2000. His commitment to girls’ schools and girls’ education was born out of his daughters’ experience at Walker’s, and is seen not only in his career choices but in his engagement with the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools and his co-authored, peer-reviewed article on adolescent girls’ brain development and spirituality which speaks to the unique ways adolescent girls process information, extrapolating to subjects far beyond spirituality. Ned lives in Simsbury with his wife, Gwen, and enjoys woodworking, learning luthier skills, building guitars, and boating.Read Full Profile
Dr. Meera Viswanathan
Meera 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.
At Brown, she earned the Barrett Hazeltine Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the John Rowe Workman Medal in the Humanities. She delivered Brown University’s Convocation Address, has received several National Endowment for the Humanities grants and awards, and has been both a visiting scholar and professor abroad. Meera has served as a reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, on the review board of the journal, College Literature, and on the board of the Community Preparatory School in Providence. She is a Trustee of the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. She has frequently led seminars locally and nationally about developing curriculum and resources on Asian literature. Meera has studied and speaks a number of languages including Japanese, French, German, Latin, Classical Greek, Old English and Old Norse.
Meera and her husband, Dr. Eric Widmer, resided at Deerfield Academy during his 12-year tenure as Headmaster. While there, she taught English for a year while on sabbatical from Brown. At the behest of King Abdullah II of Jordan, Meera and Eric co-founded King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan, the Middle East’s first co-educational preparatory boarding school with financial aid. There, she taught and served as the curriculum’s principal architect and dean of faculty. King Abdullah II personally awarded Meera the King Hussein Medal, Jordan’s highest honor, for her endeavors.Read Full Profile
Gretchen was appointed Walker’s Assistant Head for Advancement in October 2016. Coming from Trinity College, she 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
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, Mark studied at Richmond College in London where he met his wife. Settling in Houston, Texas, Mark worked at The Emery/Weiner School as a teacher, network administrator and then finally as a director of technology. Throughout his career at The Emery/Weiner School, Mark transformed it from one that used little technology to one where every member of the staff and student body now leverage technology to work and learn.
Mark also spent two years teaching adults technical skills ranging from Word and Excel to web development and programming. He has worked with special needs children in first and second grade, taught sixth, seventh and eighth grade digital literacy, and taught video editing to high school students.Read Full Profile
Elisa Del Valle
Elisa Del Valle is a transformational educator and deep believer of young people. She was raised in East New York, Brooklyn and molded by resilient ancestors: strong women who, despite hardship, yielded joy, and her own children who remind her each day that she is here to be taught by them. It is from these wisdom guides that she has learned the most about unconditional love and the power of sisterhood.
Elisa’s relationship to justice work is an embodied practice rooted in her own liberation and the liberation of others. She defines her work not by what she is against, but by what she is for and the world she wants to be part of. She moves in the world as a complex human with the understanding that she became this way because she was simultaneously harmed and loved by family and strangers alike. She models vulnerability, radical love, transparency, curiosity, and accountability for the young people she works with. They are her greatest motivator for this work and they are who keep her spirit light.
At Walker’s Elisa serves as the Assistant Head for Student Life and Director of Social Justice and Inclusion. Prior to her arrival at Walker’s in 2016, she spent 12 years working in higher education in residential life, student activities, leadership development, and new student orientation at Mount Holyoke College and Wesleyan University. While at Mount Holyoke, Elisa utilized her passion and graduate degree in Social Justice Education to design a more inclusive curriculum for the residential student experience. At Wesleyan, she pursued her passion for justice work on the Presidential Task Force for Equity and Inclusion and was an active voice on issues of Equity and Inclusion amongst her student affairs professionals.
Elisa attended an all-girls high school in New York City before attending Smith College in Northampton, MA. As a first-generation college student, she majored in Government and minored in Spanish. While working full-time at Mount Holyoke College, Elisa also attended graduate school full-time at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she graduated with a Master’s in Social Justice Education.
Elisa is currently the Chair of the Commission on Diversity in Independent Schools (CODIS) through Connecticut’s Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).Read Full Profile
Clarissa Basch P'15
Clarissa Basch has served as Walker’s director of college counseling since February 2004, where she guides students through the process of investigating, applying to, and selecting colleges.
Before joining Walker’s, Clarissa spent seventeen years as a college admissions officer at Drexel University, Endicott College, and Hampshire College. She was lured to “the other side of the desk” because of the opportunity to work directly with students on their post-Walker’s plans, and to be part of this vibrant boarding school community. With professional colleagues at colleges and universities all over the country, she loves to welcome them to Walker’s when they come to meet with her students in the fall.
Clarissa is an avid exerciser who swims and helps guard at the Walker’s pool on weekday mornings. She is an active volunteer for numerous organizations in the greater Hartford area and at Walker’s serves as one of the faculty advisors to the Community Partnerships Program. Clarissa put her college counseling know-how to use with her daughter (EWS ’15), and both survived the experience intact. Following graduation, her daughter enjoyed a wonderful gap year in England as an English-Speaking Union Scholar, before enrolling at Susquehanna University from which she graduated in 2020. Clarissa lives on campus with her family which also includes her husband and son, currently a senior at University of Connecticut.Read Full Profile
Isabel Ceballos P'29
Isabel Ceballos was born in Medellin, Colombia, and raised in Connecticut. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Modern Languages with a concentration in Spanish Language, Literature & Culture from Central Connecticut State University. She is currently working on her Ed.D. in Leadership and Learning in Organizations from Peabody College Vanderbilt University. Isabel Ceballos has been a member of Walker’s Language Department since 2013, and is the founding executive director of Horizons at The Ethel Walker School, the first all-girls Horizons program in the country.
Named one of Hartford Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2016, and a recipient of The Thelma Ellis Dickerson Community Bridge Builder Award, Isabel is an active member in the community. She serves on the Board of The Aurora Women & Girls Foundation, and is a member of the United Way Community Engagement Committee.Read Full Profile