"I’m fortunate that, at Fenwick, the administrators still get to teach a class," says Assistant Principal Ms. Pendleton, who also is the Orchestra Director
What is your educational background?
LP: B.M.E. – Illinois Wesleyan University; M.Ed. – Loyola University Chicago
What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick?
LP: Fenwick was my very first job straight out of college.
What are you currently reading for enjoyment?
LP: The Brain Body Diet by Dr. Sara Gottfried. I have a bit of an obsession with natural medicine.
What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?
LP: With twins (age 2) and a daughter (age 1) I have so little free time. The one thing I still strive to make the most time for is yoga. I find that squeezing in 15-30 minutes does wonders for keeping me calm and centered.
To what teams and/or clubs did you belong as a student?
LP: When I was in high school I was in the band, marching band and winter guard. Given my high school was very competitive in these activities there wasn’t room for much else. In the month I had between winter guard and marching band I played in the musical pit orchestra.
Which clubs/sports/activities do you run at Fenwick?
LP: I am the orchestra director.
What quality/characteristic marks a Fenwick student?
LP: Fenwick students are mature and intrinsically motivated. I enjoy working with students who strive to do well daily and for whom high achievement in school is a top priority.
When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field?
LP: I have always wanted to be a music teacher. I knew that the unstable life of a professional classical musician was not for me and find it so much more rewarding to share my love of music with students. I never thought I would be an administrator but after a few years of teaching I decided it was the right next step for me. I’m fortunate that at Fenwick the administrators still get to teach a class.
What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching?
LP: I think students find me to be fair and consistent. My expectations are what they are and they will not waiver. I’m also organized and run a pretty tight routine; again, so student know what to expect each day they enter my classroom.
What are your favorite classes to teach?
LP: I only teach orchestra right now, but one of my favorite classes to teach in the past was fine arts. I loved getting to know more of the student body and sharing my love and knowledge of music with students who might not otherwise be exposed to it.
What is the greatest success you have had in teaching?
LP: My greatest success in teaching is having students come back and visit. I’ve never gone back to visit any of my high school teachers, so when a student comes back and is excited to see me and tell me about their life, it really makes me feel like I had an impact on them. Also having a handful of students go on to be music teachers is pretty cool, too.
What challenges face students today?
LP: Mental health -- students are struggling with anxiety (and more) much more than I even noticed five years ago. The stresses and issues that students deal with today just didn’t exist when I was a student and they probably aren’t going away. Students need a new set of tools to deal with stress and anxiety so that they can be successful in the classroom.