Q&A: Getting to Know Ms. Cynthia Webb

Caitlin Levine ’21

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Following an intensive search, the Ramaz administration appointed Ms. Cynthia Webb as the school’s new Learning Center Director. Ms. Webb has a law degree from Boston University, an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and a MEd in Private School Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. She began her career in commercial litigation but eventually found her passion for education. Before her arrival Ramaz, she directed a private upper school where she focused on learning differences among students. Most recently, she was the founding director of a Montessori middle school. Ms. Webb is known to be an innovator in education, guiding students with a wide range of learning profiles. A respected authority on parenting and education, Ms. Webb has also written many magazine articles, online book reviews, and even two novels! The Rampage had the opportunity to interview Ms. Webb to share her background and messages with the students. 

 

Caitlin Levine: What was your professional background before coming to Ramaz?

Ms. Cynthia Webb: I love going to school! I worked as a litigator in my practice of law, but I found my true career in education. I have worked in public schools, private high schools, Montessori schools, international schools, and now, I’m here at Ramaz.

 

CL: What excites you most about your new position at Ramaz?

CW: I am deeply excited by this opportunity to work in a Learning Center that truly helps students take ownership of their learning as they grow into life-long learners! I work with three amazing colleagues in the Center and all day long I work with Ramaz students. It’s a great place to be!

 

CL: Do you have any plans for changes, and if so, how would you like to change the learning center this year?

CW: Everyone in the Learning Center is working together and having conversations among ourselves and with everyone else in the school, to find ways to make the Center even more helpful to teachers and students. I am enjoying listening to and contributing to these conversations.

 

CL: What have you learned from your mentors over the years?

CW: I am lucky to have had some wonderful mentors. Among the things they have taught me is that people (and students are people!) matter deeply, and education is at the very center of our hopes to build a better world. Last, but not least, my mentors taught me that a school is the best place to work because that’s where the students are!

 

CL: What are the greatest challenges facing children today?

CW: I think children right now face the greatest challenges of any generation. Among those challenges—climate change, inequality, hate—the most difficult one is to maintain hope and humanity while facing those challenges. I think that Ramaz is a place that teaches students to do that.

 

CL: What is the role of parents for students in the learning center?

CW: Parents’ role is to support their children and communicate with the school. Every parent I’ve met at Ramaz strives to do that.

 

CL: What message would you like to leave the students with? 

CW: My message for students is that the Learning Center is here to support you! It’s here for you because learning is what school is about. I’m so happy to be here and so grateful for the warmth with which the Ramaz students have welcomed me.

 

So far, Ms. Webb is a wonderful addition to the Ramaz family. Ella Hiltzik ’21 said, “Although the year has just begun, I have really enjoyed working with Ms. Webb. She is a great learning center teacher and a great fit for Ramaz.” In describing his vision for Ms. Webb’s role in the learning center at Ramaz, Rabbi Stochel said, “Ms. Webb’s extensive experience in educational leadership correlates with our conception of the Learning Center as a center of learning—a department that not only delivers services to students assigned to it, but also extends its reach to all students of varied levels of need and all faculty in their pursuit of renewing their instructional practice in the classroom. We imagine a Learning Center that is a hub of innovation in teaching and learning, and acts as an academic ‘influencer’ in our school culture.” We welcome Ms. Webb to Ramaz and are excited to see how her talents and dedication will improve the overall educational experience at our school.

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