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St. Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco
  • Rethinking Africa: The staff of the African Advocacy Network includes Joe Sciarrillo, pictured here with Jean Elias Xavier, Director Aboudou Traore, Charles Jackson and Clementine Ntshaykolo outside their office in the Dolores Street Community Services building. They help a growing number of African immigrants to the Bay Area who may number as many as 50,000.
  • Retiring Pillars: SI’s faculty surprised Fr. Sauer in May with applause and flowers after the announcement of his reassignment.
  • The SI boys’ lacrosse team enjoyed what may have been best year since its founding nearly a quarter century ago. The lacrosse press ranked the team among the top 15 in the nation as SI turned in another undefeated season in league play – its fourth undefeated season since it joined the WCAL in 2010.
  • Richard Driscoll ’06, a performance engineer for Oracle Team USA that will defend the America’s Cup in September, is among the few locals hunkering down in Pier 80 off Marin Street, where they work 65-hour weeks to make sure that Ellison’s boat sails twice as fast as the wind and maneuvers with precision and power as it takes on challengers from around the world.
  • Retiring Pillars: Since the 1970s, Mary McCarty made sure Latin was a living language for students in her classes.
  • Rethinking Africa: Ira Shaughnessy ’00 spent two years in Ghana from 2007 to 2009 working with the Bormase helping with the cultivation of the Moringa tree, whose leaves are rich in vitamins.

We Are SI

 

Lady Renaissance

Sam Bernstein ’14
Associate Editor

If you still think teachers are vampires who lock themselves in coffins outside office hours, you’ve never met Ms. Wynn.  Students brighten when they spot the affable chemistry teacher in her third-floor classroom, and as former student Schuyler Whiting ‘14 says, “She eased the burn of chemical equations with life lessons and, of course, tales about her dog.” But few know of her many feats outside St. Ignatius’ halls.  From singing to playing sports to pursuing her own academic and charitable escapades, in the words of Ms. Wynn herself, “I’ve had an interesting life!” 

Ms. Wynn’s story begins on the other coast, where a love of learning brought her to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Paying for college with her own singing telegram business, Ms. Wynn set out to make the most of her opportunity.  True to form, she not only earned a double major in English Literature and Psychology, she returned to school for a Neuroscience degree before continuing on to Boston College for a Masters in Education.  While at UMass, Ms. Wynn found time for more than just academics, playing second row position on the rugby team.  However, to limit her to those labels drastically undercuts Ms. Wynn’s talents and achievements.

As the singing telegram business suggests, Ms. Wynn carries a set of pipes. In Connecticut, she ranked as the number two high school vocalist in the state.  While she didn’t play at Outside Lands with her favorite band the Red Hot Chili Peppers, she has performed at Golden Gate Park and with rock and blues groups and Green Day’s original drummer Franz Palencia. Additionally, while running the Dramatic Arts program in Connecticut, she helped rewrite, direct, and produce a stage production of the major motion picture Dogfight.

Now in California, volunteer work consumes much of Ms. Wynn’s life outside SI.  She works with agencies such as “Big Brother of SF” and “Golden Gate Parks,” but her service dates back farther.  After meeting a former gang member, Ms. Wynn started the organization “Project Prentiss” to remove his and others’ tattoos.  “Project Prentiss” received nation-wide recognition through a National Geographic feature and the documentary Skin, eventually earning Ms. Wynn the Distinguished Young Alumni Award from the University of Massachusetts in 2003 and the far more prestigious title of “Tattoo Lady” in the greater Boston area.

At this point in her life, Ms. Wynn does not simply rest on her laurels.  She’s recently attended writing programs at institutions including Stanford (where she’s already published her research on cellular models of epilepsy). But while she desires to “own a farm, write a book, grow my own food, build furniture, grow apples, and raise goats,” she still remains a friend and teacher at SI.

Friend and colleague Coach Guilbeaux ‘01 summarizes Ms. Wynn’s current impact best as he states, “When it comes to teaching her students, Ms. Wynn embodies the spirit of ‘cura personalis’ as much as anyone on campus.  It is in the relationships with her pupils that the truest outcome of her teaching becomes evident: when you genuinely care about your students, they’ll more fully and readily buy into what you’re selling.  Aside from a greater knowledge of sciences, Ms. Wynn teaches compassion.” 

 In the end, like any “Renaissance Woman,” Ms. Wynn’s life cannot be broken down and dissected into any one label, occupation, or achievement.  She is, was, and will continue to be a world-class human. 

 

Singing the 2007 Monterrey Pops Festival

 

Posted by on Friday September, 13, 2013

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