Former student now promotes Fox Chapel Country Day School

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Everything old is new again for Fox Chapel resident Britton Wean.

The Fox Chapel Country Day School alum has returned to her childhood stomping grounds, this time to boost its role in the community.

In a newly created position, Wean serves as the director of development and marketing for the 65-year-old school that sits on a wooded campus along Squaw Run Road East.

“Returning to Country Day in this role allows me to give back to a very special school that helped me grow, develop and learn during my childhood,” said Wean, 30.

With a focus on both academics and the arts, the elementary school bolsters students to “step out of their comfort zone and try new things,” she said.

There currently are about 100 students enrolled at Country Day, a school that incorporates its rural setting into the classroom.

Head of School Sharon Smith encourages staff to use the campus, its natural setting and abundant wildlife, in daily curriculum.

“At Country Day, students are encouraged to be creative, whether on the performing arts stage or among the 17 wooded acres of classroom that surrounds the school,” Smith said. “Britton's appreciation for what makes our school special has led her to strike the right tone as we increase our outreach to stakeholders.”

Wean graduated from Shady Side Academy and then earned her bachelor's degree from St. Lawrence University in New York. She worked throughout college in the admissions department, where she marketed the university to perspective students.

After graduating, Wean worked as a teacher for three years in Atlanta before returning last year part time at Shady Side Academy Junior School.

Smith said administrators created the development and marketing position to increase enrollment, improve communication with the Lower Valley community and achieve fundraising goals.

With experience in admissions management and most recently as an art teacher, Wean fit the bill, Smith said.

“She has the outreach experience that will advance the school's mission and a teacher's firsthand understanding of student, classroom and community needs,” Smith said.

And there's Wean's affinity for her elementary school. She is aligned with the school's values and missions, Wean said.

The opportunity to be closer to her family drew her back to Fox Chapel, along with the friendly atmosphere of the area.

“My favorite memory from school is the singing,” she recalled. “On stage or tapping my foot in music class, we had such caring teachers.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or

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