Girl eating in the dining hall
Girl riding bike on campus

Health & Wellness

At Walker's, a healthy community is always our first priority.

At the heart of the mission of The Ethel Walker School is a commitment to the health and wellness of our community. Here, an active lifestyle is encouraged.

Students begin learning about self care beginning in Middle School with the curriculum continuing through a sophomore seminar in women’s health and a self defense class the senior year. The wellness curriculum is offered through seminars on topics including study skills and adolescent development and it is enhanced by special events and assemblies on related topics including body image, self defense, and college readiness.

Fresh and nutritious foods are offered daily in our on-campus dining facility and all students are welcome to eat their meals in Abra’s Dining Hall during the school week as well as on weekends. Students are required to participate in a co-curricular activity each season lending opportunities for exercise, fun, and relaxation while building new skills. An academic advisor is assigned to each student who monitors academic progress as well as her social and emotional wellbeing.

Meet the Staff

Joyce McIntyre

Joyce K. McIntyre

Director of Health Services

Joyce K. McIntyre


B.S., University of Massachusetts

What was it about The Ethel Walker School that made you want to work here? The opportunity to work with the adolescent population. They are bright, outgoing and talented young people. Who is your biggest female role model? Not any one person but all the nurses in the ICUs and Emergency Rooms. Having been there, I fully realize how difficult this is on a daily basis. What is your favorite part of the subject(s) you teach now? I enjoy giving the students the knowledge and skills to help keep them educated and safer. What is your favorite Walker's tradition? Hands down Dogswood Day... just so fun. What is the most rewarding part about working at Walker's? Being able to contribute to the students growth. I so enjoy remembering what each one was like when they first came to Walkers and then seeing them in a white dress at graduation. What other role(s) do you hold on campus? Member of the Wellness Team Certifications:
  • 20 year American Red Cross Instructor in CPR and Automatic External Defibrillator

Joan Skelley

Director of Counseling and Wellness

Joan Skelley


B.A., Wesleyan University
M.A., Saint Joseph College
M.S., Smith College

Joan received her undergraduate degree in anthropology from Wesleyan University, and a Master of Science in exercise and sports studies from Smith College. She later earned a second master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Saint Joseph, graduating in 1998. She has been a CT licensed professional counselor as well as a nationally certified counselor since 2000, and has worked both as the clinical director for a non-profit agency in West Hartford, CT and in private practice. After consulting with Walker’s Middle School in 2006-2007, Joan was excited to join the Walker’s staff full-time as director of counseling and wellness in September 2007. She has a passion for building programs that help adolescent girls develop emotional resilience and works within the framework of Positive Psychology. In addition to providing and directing counseling services for all the School’s students, Joan chairs the Wellness Team, teaches 7th Grade Wellness, and co-teaches the Wellness portion of the 9th Grade Seminar. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Connecticut Counseling Association, and the National Board of Certified Counselors. She lives in Avon with her husband Mel and they enjoy a wide variety of outdoor adventures together.

Andrea Bacon


Lisa Fichandler

Nurse (PT)

Dara Joy Neiman

Dara Joy Neiman