Independent K-12 School in Atlanta

The Paideia School

Donna Ellwood

How long have you helped plan Paideia graduations and what are some of your favorite graduation memories?

I have worked on graduation for 15 plus years. What I love the most is watching the seniors line up for the walk in. The nervous energy is wonderful.

In your opinion, what’s one of the biggest differences between Paideia now and when you started in 1989?
There have been many changes over the last 25 years. I think one of the biggest differences in the high school is the increase in the number of students which in turn has brought all kinds of new faculty, classes and programs.

What’s your favorite Paideia tradition?
My favorite Paideia tradition is the cross-age relay. I love viewing students of all ages running down the field at Candler Park and the encouragement that comes from the sidelines.

What has been your favorite course to teach thus far?
It is hard for me to choose which course is my favorite. I have taught Revolution and Society for so many years. The material is still relevant. In the last couple of years I have written a number of courses that have energized me including Art and Society, Stealing Fire: History and Culture and Caste, Class and Empire. I just don’t think I can choose. The one I am teaching at the time tends to be my favorite.

Over the years you have cultivated many meaningful relationships with students, leading some to believe that they are your favorite. Without naming names, do you in fact have a favorite student of all time?
No, but I do have a number of students who I felt a deep connection with over the years. There have also been students who taught me to look at my world and myself differently which cause me to grow. I am grateful for them and think about them often.