Instructor in French Wendy Levithan Receives Endowed Teaching Chair

In an All-School Meeting on Jan. 31, Instructor in French Wendy Levithan P’23 was awarded The Edgar M. Cullman Teaching Chair, which recognizes faculty members for outstanding teaching and commitment to academic life. 

Marrilee Mardon, associate head of school, dean of faculty, and instructor in economics, presented the chair, which was established in 1992 by Joseph F. Cullman ’31, in honor of his brother, Edgar M. Cullman ’36. 

Levithan came to Lakeville in the fall of 1998 to teach French, having completed her masters in French literature at Indiana University-Bloomington. During her years at Hotchkiss, Levithan has served on a wide array of committees, including a curriculum review committee, a dress code committee, the gender issues committee, among others. She has been a proponent and supporter of the Independent School Gender Project (ISGP).

Levithan has been a key supporter of innovation and change at the School. She collaborated with her colleagues to revamp the French curriculum to include a more diverse array of voices and experiences. Along with her colleagues, she has supported broader curriculum change in the languages department to improve the cultural competencies of all our community members. Levithan was an early champion and key visionary in developing the Quebec immersion program and she also designed and co-led two School trips to Morocco with fellow Instructor in French Sarinda Wilson P’14,’17.

Wilson noted Levithan “can be self-deprecating, but I've found her to be one of the most articulate and clear thinkers. She has a really strong sense of sang-froid — she keeps her calm, she knows how to take time to consider an issue, thinks carefully, then acts.” 

For the past three years, Levithan has chaired the Classical and Modern Languages Department.

One of Levithan’s early successes as department head was the reimagining of the now defunct Language Lab, which was brand new when she started in 1998 and has been refurbished as the Language and Culture Center. She is currently leading the department in post advanced placement curriculum design, and shaping her department’s commitment to a curriculum that helps students develop cross cultural competency.

Watch a video of the ceremony.

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