Edwina has been at Oakcrest from its first years. Since then, the school has moved twice, exponentially expanded its student body, built a beautiful new campus, added to its curriculum and so much more. During that time, Edwina has remained an integral and cherished member of the Oakcrest community.
Edwina wanted to be an educator ever since childhood. She received her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland and has participated in many aspects of education from classroom teaching to curriculum design. Throughout the years, she never lost sight of why she decided to become an educator. “I have always considered education to be a holistic and integrated endeavor,” she says. “That is, I don’t simply want to impart content and skills, I also want to help my students develop as persons so that they can reach their potential as the persons God made them able to become. I want to help them learn to take responsibility for themselves and their lives and, as trustees of humanity, to contribute to society and to the lives of those around them.”
Pat O’Donovan and Debbie Duffy, two of Oakcrest’s founders, knew Edwina and shared her vision of education. To them, educating students in faith, character, leadership, and service was crucial. This common purpose led Edwina to join the Oakcrest community, serving as a teacher from 1979–2000 and then as Dean of Studies from 2000-2007.
Although she left for a while to work elsewhere, Edwina eventually returned to Oakcrest this fall as Dean of Studies. Along with the Academic Dean, she maintains the high quality of Oakcrest’s academic program, which includes everything from structuring curriculum, working with faculty to optimize our students’ learning experience, and helping students who encounter “rough patches.”
Edwina also continues teaching Philosophy to Oakcrest’s seniors. She sees adolescence as a special time in life when young people begin thinking on a deeper level, seeking the “why” of things, and trying to answer life’s most fundamental question. She sees Philosophy as central to a liberal arts education and an education for life because it helps young people think and evaluate ideas critically, to pursue the truth in all things, and to develop the essential human virtues—good judgment, justice, courage, and moderation, which form the basis of “the good life” for the individual and the community.
Edwina’s research interests include philosophy of the person, history of philosophy and ethics of care. She has been given presentations on topics related to her interests in London, Dublin and Notre Dame. “We—men and women, young and old, members of smaller and larger communities—are all interdependent upon one another for living a flourishing life. How to make the most of those relationships is important, and is also connected central to my research interests,” she says.
Noting the way Oakcrest has stayed true to its mission while maturing and growing over time Edwina remarks, “We now have a beautiful campus that so much better allows us to educate so many more young women than we could in our Yuma Street or Balls Hill Road locations, but the spirit among faculty, staff, parents and students is the same. We are all united in the common goal of helping our students be happy by loving God and others and making the most of their personal potential.”
Learn more about our faculty and stellar academic program here