Farewell Mary Tuck
By Maya L.
May 20, 2019
After a 19-year stint as the Director of Lower School and later on as the Director of Middle School, Westridge says goodbye to one of the most beloved faculty members of the community: Mary Tuck. Having already taught history at Polytechnic School for 24 years, Mrs. Tuck joined the Westridge community on July 1, 2000, as the Director of Lower School.
Mrs. Tuck has enjoyed her work at Westridge immensely, and she thinks that it is the people here who make this campus so unique. “The entire population of Westridge is special,” said Mrs. Tuck. “That begins with its students, its teachers, its parents, and the people who work here. It’s been a joyful experience to be in a community of people who are lifelong learners—you don't find that at every place. People care about each other and want people to succeed. … And of course, it's all girls, so you can focus on what is best for their learning.”
Mrs. Tuck looked back on some of her favorite memories at Westridge. “The council program has been a joy for me because you’re so busy as a division director with oversight for day-to-day operations; teaching council allowed me to get back into the classroom, to connect with kids,” she reflected.
Mrs. Tuck has also become very close with a lot of the faculty. “The teachers are highly dedicated, amazing professionals—they love what they do. We laugh a lot, we find things hysterical. Sometimes we’ll get artwork from younger kids, and somebody will bring something in and I have to guess what it is. … I have no idea, but I think it’s so creative. Mr. Cross comes in and reads to me what students have written, and I get teary-eyed because I think it’s so profound. A lot of my relationships with teachers have been that way.”
Her experiences at Westridge have taught her a lot about herself. “I’m 65, and I don’t think people are full adults until you’re 55. When I started here, I was about 46 years old and still learning. My role as a division director has taught me to continue to listen. To really listen. Listen to other perspectives and points of view, not to rush into a decision. It’s taught me to be more loving and caring of other individuals.”
Mrs. Tuck looks forward to retiring, but she will also miss watching her students grow up. “We just had Chalk Day for seniors, and it was fun to go up and ask them about their college choices. I get to see what happens when you leave my world, see the great things students have done. Over nineteen years, I know a lot of students have gone on to do great things. I run into them in my life, but it will be the contacts, the people—a lot of people I have respect for—that I won’t see on a regular basis that I will miss.”
“I’m so excited for Dr. Kelly,” Mrs. Tuck said. “I think she will have a wonderful time leading the two divisions and getting to know the people here. I feel good retiring knowing that she will take the helm. I’ll come back for graduations and things like that, so I look forward to appearing on campus every now and then. I want to thank Westridge. It’s been a wonderful experience and honor to be an academic director.”