Do you live in Greenwich?
Yes, in Cos Cob, and in the Greenwich area since 1954.
Are you married?
Do you have any children?
All my children have four feet.
Are you retired?
Yes. I retired from the Greenwich Public Schools system in 2005 after 51 years.
What did you do when you were working full time?
I love to teach and I love kids so I started out teaching French and Spanish at Brewster Academy in Wolfboro, N.H. I won a Fulbright Scholarship to Colombia, South America, to the Universidad de los Andes. I then made contact with a Greenwich assistant superintendent who I knew and was contracted by Greenwich High School in 1954 to teach French, Spanish and Modern Dance. I started the FLES (French Language in Elementary Schools) program and then was named system-wide coordinator of foreign languages. As teachers retired, my job profile expanded and I was teaching English as a second language. In 1978, I was named director of Greenwich Continuing Education. That was really exciting to do. I found I could use all my skills. My French and Spanish came in handy as we have so many non-English speakers needing help. In 1984, I took early retirement to do Continuing Ed full time. But it was a full-time job, evenings Monday through Thursday and Saturdays. I retired in 2005, after 27 years.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I didn't know what I wanted to be until I studied French in high school. That led to a junior year at the Sorbonne in Paris while I was at Tufts, and I then received my masters in foreign languages at Harvard.
What are your main hobbies and interests?
I love travel. I've combined that with study in Spain and France in the winter. My passion is animals. My favorite trips are a safari to Africa, and bird and animal watching in the Galapagos and Costa Rica. I've been to the Elephant Sanctuary in (Hohenwald,) Tennessee.
Are you computer savvy? Do you Facebook/blog/Twitter?
Yes. But not Facebook or Twitter. I'm a very private person and this interview is difficult for me.
Do you have a favorite sport?
Skiing and sailing. In the last weeks of January, a group of us skied in France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. I've chartered a boat four times in the Caribbean and sailed off the coast of Maine and here with friends.
Do you have a favorite book?
I like any book that's about animals. I'm reading "Merle's Door" by Ted Kerasote. I'm a fan of Temple Grandin. She just published her fifth book -- "Animals Make Us Human."
Do you have a favorite work of art?
That Giacometti that just sold for $104 million would look good in my garden.
Do you listen to music?
Do you have a favorite piece of music?
Some of my favorites are Widor's organ concerto. Purcell's "Trumpet Voluntary," Vivaldi's "Four Seasons," anything by Bach, and ragtime.
Do you have a favorite movie?
"Mrs. Miniver," if anybody remembers, and "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Do you have a favorite actor or actress?
What is a TV show that you watch regularly?
Who do you think was the best President of the United States?
Eisenhower -- absolutely -- with his statement of beware of the military industrial complex. Bill Ewald is a good friend of mine as Ike's speechwriter and biographer and he makes me extra conscious of Ike's scruples or conscience.
If you could tell the president of the United States one thing, now, what would it be?
Go back and look at your promises and go back and keep them.
What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Checking my e-mail first thing in the morning. And watching birds at my feeder -- it's time consuming.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Tailgaters, especially on a narrow street like Stanwich Road. And leg traps for animals. Connecticut will not prohibit them.
Do you have any regrets in life?
My one regret (which I'm sure I share with many others) is that I cannot bring home every animal in the shelter!
What achievements in your life are you most proud of?
I'm proud of building Greenwich Continuing Education to being a flagship in the state. And I'm very proud of the people who taught the classes and the people who came to class.
Best piece of advice to give to the younger generation?
Never stop learning and don't put all your faith in 20-minute sound bytes on the Web and TV -- and believe in yourself.
What gives you your greatest joy?
Encountering those students and staff members in town and out of town. It's amazing when you run into people these days.
What are you looking forward to?
Continuing to be active in the Greenwich community. I'm on several boards. I enjoy my work at Community Answers, the League of Women Voters, and Utilize Senior Energy. It's the kind of community where you want to participate, be active, and contribute.