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.
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. Joan 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.Read Full Profile
Dara Joy Neiman