June 2022 Employee Spotlight: Rebecca Winters
Q. Where are you from?
A. I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, but have lived in many other places since college, including Kentucky, Texas, and Pennsylvania. I also served an LDS mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and studied abroad in Japan and Mexico. Even though I’ve lived all over the place, D.C. still feels like home to me.
Q. What and where have you studied?
A. I completed my undergraduate degree here at BYU, studying psychology and anthropology. From there, I went on to receive my MEd and PhD in school psychology from Texas A&M University. While there, I specialized in working with children who are English language learners (ELL), particularly with those receiving special education services. I completed my internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Milton Hershey School, a private residential school for children in poverty.
Q. Where have you previously worked?
A. During graduate school, I worked in public schools and outpatient mental health clinics, providing counseling and assessment services. After my post-doctoral fellowship, I chose to stay at the Milton Hershey School, working primarily in their elementary school building (Pre-K–4). I also provided crisis intervention services for all students on campus.
Q. What is your favorite thing about the McKay School?
A. The third-floor ice machine! Just kidding. Although that is wonderful, I’ve been so impressed by how kind and welcoming everyone in the McKay School is. I also love working with our fantastic students. They inspire me every day, and I feel honored to be a part of their journey.
Q. Growing up, what teacher inspired you the most? How?
A. I loved my middle and high school orchestra teacher. She taught us so much more than music theory. She immersed us in the greatest works of music, showing us its power to uplift the spirit, unite diverse people, and heal the soul. When playing together, even as teenagers, we became of one mind and one heart. I will always remember what it felt like to be part of such an amazing group, which was made possible through her leadership.
Q. What was the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
A. I was obsessed with dinosaurs for a long time (Barbie dolls were not my thing), so I really wanted to become a paleontologist or archaeologist. I loved the idea of digging up bones!
Q. Best Halloween costume you have had?
A. I once dressed up with friends as a game of Tetris, which was really fun. My costume was a yellow, four-foot-tall L-shaped piece!
Q. What’s the most exciting thing you’ll do in 2022?
A. I am pregnant with my first child—a baby girl due in late August. My husband and I are so excited for a new adventure with our little one!
Q. What would you rate 10/10?
A. Summer nights and strawberry lemonade slurpees.
Q. Do you collect anything?
A. Books! There are few things I love more than browsing in libraries or bookstores. I also spend hours on Amazon looking at therapeutic children’s book. There are at least 20 books on my wish list right now. I don’t have enough time to read all of my books, but just knowing that I have them makes me smile.
Q. What is your go-to weeknight meal?
A. I am currently six months pregnant, so weeknight meals have been a bit different lately! Thankfully, my husband isn’t a picky eater. I have been craving breakfast for dinner (pancakes, crepes, french toast, and eggs), and I’ve been avoiding anything with meat, which is very different from my usual preferences.
Q. Where is your favorite place to go on vacation?
A. I love to go camping. My family used to camp every summer when I was growing up. There is something so refreshing about unplugging from the world and enjoying nature.