Country Day School Head's Page

January 2018

Good afternoon, Country Day families,

As we are enjoying this beautiful spring-like day, it is difficult to believe the children were enjoying “Snow Fun” just last Friday! As you may have heard, Country Day’s snowy hills afforded the best experiences in sledding, playing, snow sculpture building and fun! Everyone had a great afternoon!

January has been filled with activities and preparations for class events. Your children’s teachers have informed you of curricular highlights in social studies, math and reading. Many projects demonstrate coordination of multiple disciplines. First and second grade students are preparing their class musical plays, showcasing their confident musical and acting skills. The third grade students are creating plans for zoos, which challenge their research, cooperation and math skills. The students in fourth grade are preparing for their stage performance which incorporates knowledge gained in social studies classes about the United States with skills in acting and music. Fifth graders are completing their research projects of ancient Egypt. Their writing, research, computer, cooperation, artistic and communication skills are challenged to an amazing level resulting in the most impressive projects ever. As always, we invite you to join all grade events in order to preview (or post view) the accomplishments of the Country Day students. Please refer to the monthly calendar for dates of the performances. 

With a huge shout of gratitude to Maya and Chris Tuttle for providing the opportunity, I hope you heard of the recent visit from “Anzu Wyliei.” Anzu, the most recently discovered dinosaur, was named in honor of Country Day’s third grade student, Wylie Tuttle, by their family friend, Dr. Matt Lamanna. Anzu is on tour with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The Country Day students enjoyed his visit and learning more about dinosaurs during the presentation. Thank you again to the Tuttle family.

Country Day students (Kindergarten through fifth grade) have been invited to attend the Pittsburgh CLO Gallery of Heroes performance of Arriba Arriba at the Hillman Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, April 4. Arriba, Arriba is the musical play depicting the life of Roberto Clemente. We are grateful to the Engel family for this opportunity. Parents are welcome to attend the performance!

As we move into February, we are celebrating with Anne Shelby and Colleen Mientkiewicz as they prepare for the arrival of their babies! However, with that great celebration comes the realization that Country Day students will miss them in their classes. We have been extremely fortunate to confirm two highly recommended teachers who will be with us during Anne’s and Colleen’s time with their families. 

Raquel Kramer will join us in second grade. Many of you may know Raquel from her involvement in many Shady Side and Fox Chapel activities. Raquel has more than eight years teaching experience most recently in second and third grades at Shady Side’s Junior School and St. Edmund’s Academy. We have been fortunate that Raquel has been with us several times in the past few months and will join Anne in second grade in the week prior to Anne’s due date. 

Kelly Bellini will join us during Colleen’s absence. Kelly has been in to teach with Colleen and to learn more about Country Day in the past few weeks. She comes to Country Day with several years teaching art to elementary students at Mount Lebanon School District and Shady Side’s Junior School. Kelly will also join Colleen during the week leading to Colleen’s March due date.

I am certain you will enjoy meeting and welcoming Raquel and Kelly to Country Day!  

Sharon Smith 

Sharon Smith

Sharon SmithSharon Smith has been head of Country Day School since 2012. She joined Country Day in 1999 as a pre-kindergarten teacher and continued teaching while taking on the roles of director of admission in 2007 and associate head of school in 2010.

A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Marian University and spent the first seven years of her career with the Indiana State Department of Welfare as a social worker with Child Welfare and Family Services and a supervisor in adoption and foster care placements.

After living in Louisville, Ky., and Kansas City, Mo., she and her family moved to Pittsburgh in 1983. While taking time away from the professional world to raise her two children, she pursued a master’s degree in counseling at the University of Pittsburgh. She then spent eight years as a pre-kindergarten teacher at Good Shepherd Preschool of Fox Chapel, where she discovered a passion for teaching and working with young children.

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