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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Ms. Eaton: A Warm Welcome to WIS


Ms. Beta Eaton, the new US dean of students, takes on the job of Ms. Polland, who took her leave at the end of last year. She runs assembles and interacts with students, answering their various questions and solving academic and technical issues.

As Eaton is new to WIS, having never done anything with the IB program before, students have yet to learn about her background, as well has her passionate and supportive nature.

Before WIS, she worked in Baltimore and Philadelphia in various administrative jobs in different schools, though she’s never been a dean of students before. For the past few summers, Eaton has also worked as program director for Sail Caribbean, an adventure program for teens, where she helps train and manage the staff as well as planning the program for kids. (Learn more here).

One of her strongest memories of working outside of WIS was at Oldfields School, a boarding school just outside of Baltimore, where she worked as a field hockey coach in addition to her position as assistant dean of residential life. (See their website here). Their team had been on a three-year long losing streak. One year when she was helping to coach, they worked hard and ended up at the championship games. Although they eventually lost the championship, making it there was a win in and of itself, and Eaton was proud of her team.

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“It exemplifies work ethic, and commitment, and motivation,” Eaton said.

She believes that having a team behind you, having someone to support you, is important – especially in high school, when there’s always so much pressure from school work, peers, and time-consuming extracurriculars. “It’s really hard to do things just on your own,” she said.

After learning about WIS through the website, with the added bonus of having some friends living here, Eaton moved to D.C.

As the dean of students, her official job is to supervise campus programs and to coordinate school events, such as assemblies, or discussions with grade coordinators. Beyond that, however, Eaton believes there’s more to it. She wants to encourage academic and extracurricular success, as well as help students to develop leadership skills and passions.

Eaton is also a biology teacher of one 9th grade class, a subject she’s been interested in for a long time and studied in college. Michelle Svhira, a student in this class, enjoys having Ms. Eaton as a teacher. She believes that Eaton’s relaxed classroom environment helps the students’ learning.

“She’s nice and understands the students. She knows how to limit us and how to help us,” Svhira said.

Gaebriel Tafara thinks similarly.

“She doesn’t over complicate information. She keeps it simple and goes at a good pace so we learn all the information that’s necessary. She’s relaxed and honest,” Tafara said.

Having a new teacher can sometimes be nerve wracking. Are they going to be strict? How well will they know their subject? Svhira wasn’t nervous.

“All through middle school I have had different teachers for science,” she recalled. “Ms. Eaton is definitely a good biology teacher because she knows when to stay on topic and when to have some fun in class.”

Tafara admits that he was a little nervous. “But after the first week of school, I felt comfortable with having Ms. Eaton as my bio teacher,” he continued. “She knows what she’s doing and she cares about her students.”

Eaton recognizes that high school may not be the easiest or simplest thing. She offers her own advice to a student in high school, saying that “all of these things that you’re learning in school may not be your favorite.” But even though you might not use the formulas for conic sections you’re learning in math class, you are developing problem-solving skills that will be useful later on in life.

“Teachers help you learn how to write, how to think, how to explore,” Eaton said.

If you are ever in need aid and have no idea who to turn to, Eaton describes herself as committed, supportive, and passionate. Not only does she like to see things through and recognize that it’s hard to be alone, she knows that you should have something to believe in.

“I think it’s important to have a purpose,” Eaton said.

Featured photo: Eaton with her biology class

By: Kanitta Cheah

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