Meredy Benson Rice
Directory of Teaching and Learning
B.A. English Literature, University of Sussex, England
B.Ed & Teaching Credential, York University, Toronto
M.A. Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University
Certificate in Evidence Based Coaching, Fielding University, Santa Barbara
Associate Certified Coach, International Coaching Federation
How many years have you worked at Oak Grove?
I joined Oak Grove as a parent in 1991, came on staff in 1994, and have been in my current position since 2015.
Why do you work at Oak Grove?
This school is in my bones. I am deeply committed to the mission of the school and believe that we are involved in the most important work ever — the transformation of the world, one student at a time.
A quote that inspires your approach to your job.
“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” -J. Krishnamurti
Where is your special spot on campus?
I have three: the oak grove itself, the lost meadow, and the lunch line.
Coffee or Tea?
Hot lemon water or ginger tea.
What makes an Oak Grove education unique?
It is a model for “it takes a village.” OGS children/students are surrounded by multiple caring adults who love them almost as much as their parents do and want each of them to reach their full, glorious potential.
How do we prepare students for their life ahead?
By helping them develop sensitivity, empathy, resilience, and awareness of self, others, and the world, while at the same time making sure they have the 21st century skills necessary to function in the world.
What outdoor experience has been most impactful for you?
Every back-packing trip I participated in, whether near or far (Sespe Wilderness, Southwest United States) and the two senior India trips I chaperoned.
The best live music performance/concert you ever attended is …
The 2014 Spring High School Showcase when Sophia Montano sang “Cry Me a River” with the High School Jazz Ensemble. It still gives me chills. Here is the link!
Which teacher in your life affected you greatly? How?
My father. He taught me all about integrity, perseverance, and the importance of living a purposeful life. He also taught me a brilliant but simple business concept: the product sells itself (i.e. if something is really good, people want it).
Name something that nobody knows about you.
But then everyone will know!!! Oh, okay. At one point I was half-way toward becoming a mid-wife, and I became a teacher instead.
Person (dead or alive, famous or not) that you’d most like to share a meal with.
Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t yet.
Argentina, so I can dance the tango.
What is your most bizarre OGS experience?
Being the sole chaperone of seven students, one in a wheelchair, as we traveled in India.
Share a hilarious OGS experience.
Being dropped in a trash can by a High School student (I couldn’t get out) and every trip I ever did with Jake Ainsworth.
How many Patagonia clothing items do you own? How many are you wearing now?
I can’t even count. Right now, two.
Favorite Oak Grove expression?
“Once a Lizard, always a Lizard” (I made it up) and “Best Non-Competitive School in the Valley” (which I also made up).