Sandy Harrison – Lower School Assistant Director; Director of Guidance Grades 1-3

Sandy Harrison, Lower School Assistant Director; Director of Guidance Grades 1-3

Favorite adult book recommendation —  Lean In: Women, Work, and The Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

I found this book a necessary read for understanding the difficulties women still encounter in today’s workplace.  Even with laws and activism for equal opportunity and compensation, problems persist. Sandberg’s insightful narrative informs those in positions to hire and those candidates wanting chances to participate to recognize the internal, external, and institutional obstacles that block professional ambition and upward mobility.  

The author’s messages and concrete suggestions were inspirational and encouraging for “leaning in” and standing strong for equitable, satisfying, and successful opportunities.  It’s a reminder for all women and the daughters they raise to persevere with their ambitious goals and not be deterred by gender exclusiveness when talent and equity should be front and center.  To reach for the sky and to educate the world of the inequitable landscapes women still navigate was the rallying cry.



Favorite children’s book recommendation — Wonder by R.J. Palacio

As a school counselor, I read this book with heartfelt sensitivity for the plight of the facially deformed student, Auggie.  It made me think of the many disabled children, who on a daily basis, must navigate the able world, which at times, can be quite unwelcoming.  Auggie’s parents adored him and taught him at home, but they knew at some point he would have to go school and face the real world. Auggie has many ups and downs and learns to endure the harsh realities of people seeing his facial disfigurement without unadulterated sensitivity.  

I would recommend this book for many reasons. The author shared perspectives of each character’s interactions with Auggie, which helped the reader sense and understand their positive and negative feelings and impact on Auggie.  It is also a call for every one of us to be empathic, friendly, and caring. It emphasizes that no matter how we perceive someone’s looks or judge someone based on cultural standards of beauty and ugliness, we all want to be accepted, whether different or not.  It’s a message to be remembered.

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