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Women of Canterbury Annual Celebration

Meredith Berry-Toon

On Sunday, April 28, the Women of Canterbury (WOC) hosted its annual celebration to honor the 2019 Woman of the Year, Alison Bailey. Alison serves as the Director of the Donovan Center for Learning (DCL) as well as a faculty member in the English Department. She was elected as the Woman of the Year by members of WOC for her warmth, care, and dedication to her students. 

Alison attended the Taft School, CT, as a boarding student for four years. After graduating, she went on to study at St. Lawrence University, NY, where she focused primarily on humanities. Before joining the faculty at Canterbury, she worked at Fay School, MA, Northwood School, NY, and The Pennington School, NJ. Through her role at Canterbury over the last five years and her specific role within the DCL over the last two, Alison has spent dedicated time working one-on-one with students. Alison reflects that this work has changed her perspective both on teaching and coaching. 

In addition to being a teacher, tutor, coach, and advisor, she takes pride in being a mother. “Living and raising [my son] Griffin on the hilltop has been an extraordinary and special experience for my family.”

“Alison is not only my advisor but someone I have felt close to since Third Form year when I had her as an English teacher,” noted one of the members of WOC. “I think she is an amazing representation of someone who truly cares for the people around her, and she does so much for the community as a whole.”

Alison’s commitment to the development of students as the Director of the Donovan Center is truly inspirational, and her work has helped foster many community members towards success, confidence, and self-sufficiency. While her contributions to the community are endless, they certainly do not go unnoticed. As reflected by all the members of WOC, Alison was chosen as the 2019 Woman of the Year because everything she does, she does with passion, grace, and a smile. “It is an honor to know her and a privilege to have her in our lives,” concluded Whitney Schwitter ’19, WOC board member.

Women of Canterbury seeks to develop leadership potential in young women and install an appreciation of the role women can play in local and global communities. Established at Canterbury in 1991 by longtime Science Department Chair Sandy Behan, it has been spearheaded by Paige Root for the past three years, faculty member in the Language Department. 

The annual celebration brought together all students and faculty as well as mothers, sisters, and other guests to honor the year-long work of the organization. Head of School Rachel Stone introduced the WOC core members who each took a moment to enumerate many reasons why Alison was named Women of the Year!  

Congratulations, Alison!

Photos of WOC 2019 Brunch