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Marcia Wexler Announces Retirement

Tenure: 27 years

Positions Held at GA:

  • Lower School Math Teacher (1991 – 1995)
  • Upper School Math Teacher (1995 – present)
  • Mathematics Department Chair (2014 – present)
  • House Head (Alcott-Day) (2007 – 2014)
  • Form Head (1997 - 2007)
  • Member of GAIN Team
  • Freshmen Seminar Leader
  • Admissions Interviewer
  • Prom Committee Advisor
  • Member of Pep Rally Committee
  • Advisor to the Jewish Culture Club
  • Co-Head of the Community Service Organization
  • Member of the Senior Project Committee
  • US Assistant Water Polo Coach
  • MS Assistant Tennis Coach

Honors Conferred:

  • Distinguished Achievement Award (twice)
  • Honorary Alumni Class of 1760

Why I Stayed:

"Germantown Academy is the perfect place to teach. The support from administration, colleagues, students and parents enabled me to grow as both an educator and a leader. The students here are exceptional, with talents in so many areas. I have always been amazed by their expertise in the classroom, in the arts and on the fields, and watching them perform so beautifully in all of these areas has been a true gift. I could never forget all of the amazing people with whom I've worked over the years. Their ability to mentor, to share their expertise, and to model incredible teaching are things I will always be grateful for. Most important, I will always remember the many students I have taught as well as formed connections with over the years, something that doesn't happen at many other schools. Being invited to celebrations of all kinds- birthdays, weddings, showers - or meeting former students for lunch has brought a great deal of joy into my life."

Lasting Memories:

  • Working with incredibly talented people in every area of the school
  • My 25-year teaching celebration and being inducted into the Class of 1760
  • Traveling with the Singing Patriots to Poland, England, Scotland, Wales, Jamaica and along the US East Coast
  • Receiving funding to attend incredible workshops, like the Exeter Academy Math, Science and Technology Conference as well as earning Kast Grants to travel to South Africa and work on curriculum.
  • Having a student give me the inspiration to call myself Emmy when I became a grandmother! (It's a long story)
  • Shockingly realizing that a parent I met was actually a student of mine during my first years of teaching

I am thankful for:

  • Everything Germantown Academy has both given me and done for me in terms of personal and professional growth
  • The brilliant educators with whom I've had a chance to work
  • Administrators who, having faith in my abilities, have given me so many opportunities to grow and to lead
  • How satisfying it has felt to make a difference in the life of even one child

Gifts to the Community:

  • The balance and grace of an agile acrobat traversing a high wire suspended, professionally, between true friendship with students and adult authority and influence
  • A master teacher who creates a relaxed, congenial class spirit in the service of true mathematical purpose
  • Dynamic social spaces for students where they congregate comfortably for camaraderie with classmates and find support and reassuring affirmation from one of their favorites
  • An intrepid tour guide who has traveled with students to Poland, England, Scotland, Wales, Jamaica, and Costa Rica
  • An exemplary House Head who demonstrated a stunning level of organization, boundless generosity of spirit, and staunch advocacy for the students in her charge
  • A true school person who can lead or support with equal ease, graciously handle mountains of work, communicate thoughtfully informed opinions honestly and clearly, listen intently, and laugh with ease
  • An unparalleled and elegant Prom Queen who has for years graciously guided students as they planned dazzling GA proms
  • A lightness of touch that informs every interaction and every undertaking
  • A three-letter moniker that speaks volumes about love, trust, and compassion: WEX

What Rich Schellhas Will Remember Most about Marcia:

During her tenure as House Head Extraordinaire, Marcia was one of the first people at GA I got to know well – and what an impression she made. Warm, friendly, kind, smart, energetic, competitive (she never wanted to lose a House competition!), invested, and caring, Marcia set the tone for me for everything GA could and should be.

Beloved by her students, respected and admired by her peers, and a parent 'fan favorite' for so many years, you always know that when Marcia is in charge, everything will be taken care of perfectly and the kids will be the priority. Period. Alums constantly seek her out because she is THE embodiment of the student-teacher connection we pride ourselves on at GA. Because her force of personality is overwhelmingly embracing and uplifting, one might not always remember what a stellar, versatile, thoughtful math teacher she is.

When I learned of her retirement, my heart sank; Wex is irreplaceable. That said, she and Marc deserve decades of happy retirement, surrounded by their children and grandchildren, exploring the world and continuing to make it a better place. GA is by far a better school for the service of Marcia Wexler 1760.

Memorable Quotes:

  • "There are secret opportunities hidden inside every failure."
  • "When life hands you eggs, make an omelet."
  • "Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds."

Next Page of Life:

  • More opportunity to spend time biking, hiking, and kayaking
  • Spending as much time as possible with my grandchildren
  • Time to travel
  • Doing more photography
  • Taking a course or two (finishing a secondary masters in counseling, an art class or possibly a foreign language)
  • Playing the piano more than once every couple of months
  • Moving (not too far)

What I Will Miss Most:

There is so much of the daily routine that I'll miss. The anticipation of teaching mathematics, the wonder of trying different techniques garnered through discussions with members of the department, and the interactions with my students have all made me eager to come to school each day. There is a unique satisfaction that comes from realizing I've been successful at helping students grasp some difficult concepts in mathematics.The exchanges with all of my colleagues in the Upper School, which have been fun, funny, and fulfilling, have always brightened my days at work.

CLICK HERE to share a memory with Marcia

CLICK HERE to make a gift to the Annual Fund in honor of Marcia


From the email to the community:

Dear Friends,

Some people are born to teach. They possess the intelligence and curiosity, the temperament and tenacity, the kindness and compassion, the belief in the goodness and potential of young people, and the innately joyful approach to life that draws students to them, like a powerful lodestone ~ a goodwill magnet. Marcia Wexler, perennially positive, demanding yet flexible, everyone's favorite teacher, colleague, advisor, and friend, was born to do this work. Who doesn't want to spin in Marcia's circle, walk by her side? She can't possibly be ready to retire. Her energy for challenging work: professional growth, new pedagogies, needy students, needier parents...is boundless. She straddles the worlds of the adolescent and the adult like a curly haired Colossus, ever fun-loving, ever wise.

Marcia made her mark as a Lower School math teacher, moved effortlessly to the math department in Upper School, and now retires as Head of that same Mathematics Department. Along the way Marcia served as Form Head and House Head, and nurtured clubs and extracurricular activities too numerous to mention, most recently stepping up with Yvette Marquez to lift the Upper School Community Service Program and keep its spirit alive and strong.

Former Head of Upper School Tony Garvan and former US Math Department Head Ruth Carver once wrote in Marcia's evaluation, "You are one of GA's blue chip people: a prime asset of the school." Nothing about Marcia has changed. She is Wex, Wonder Woman, a full-fledged member of the GA pantheon, sitting alongside Ginny Day, writing GA history, and creating GA culture.

As I struggle to accept the inevitable, please join me in thanking Marcia for her years and years of thoughtful leadership, superior teaching, and for the legions of students who will always have a special place in their hearts for Wex.

Maggie

Maggie McVeigh 1760
Director of Professional Development