Mimi Blackwell brings a rich and varied background to her position as Goshen's Head of School. An enthusiastic student of Quaker education and practices and a champion of progressive and joyful learning, Mimi has worn just about every hat during her ten-year tenure at Goshen Friends School.
Mimi's connection to the school dates back to 2003, when she and her husband, Tom, enrolled their son, John, in the preschool. Daughter, Hannah, joined her mom one year later in the school's Mommy & Me class for 2-year-olds (now called "By My Side").
In 2005, Mimi joined the staff as Coordinator of Special Events and Marketing. In 2011, she became Director of Marketing. During these years, Mimi successfully launched the school's new website, instituted a parent-to-parent mentoring program, developed and managed a weekly communications bulletin, and oversaw updates to the lower school's curriculum. In 2012, Mimi was named Assistant Head of School, where, in addition to her communications duties, she supported the Head of School in daily staff, student, and parent interactions. She is a co-teacher of the Quakerism class for third- through fifth-graders and serves passionately as a member of the school's diversity committee.
Mimi has attended a number of professional development programs, including Educators New to Quakerism and Facilitating Quaker-Based Decision-Making in a Friends School. She also served as the co-clerk of the Diversity Peer Network of Friends Council on Education.
Mimi also completed The Leadership Institute, a two-year program sponsored by the Friends Council. This program "creates a strategic network of Friends school leaders who work together as a learning community focused on personal transformation and developing capacity and skills for leadership in Friends schools."
Mimi grew up in Pittsburgh, where she attended Sewickley Academy. She graduated from William Smith College in 1989 with a degree in Psychology, then went on to obtain a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She practiced family law with a private law firm in western Pennsylvania from 1994 to 2001 and served as mediator in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas Custody Mediation Program. Mimi elected to stay home with John and Hannah before joining the staff at Goshen Friends in 2005. John (GFS '11) and Hannah (GFS '13) both now attend Wilmington Friends School.
In all of her work, Mimi's love and respect for children shine through. On any given day, one might find her having lunch with third-graders, enjoying a snack with the pre-schoolers, reading to the kindergartners, helping fifth grade with a research project, or attending weekly Meeting for Worship. She is a fierce advocate for the students of Goshen Friends and has an approachable, easy style the children love.
In her free time, Mimi is an avid skier, a love she shares with the entire Blackwell family. Mimi also loves to travel, whether it is to upstate New York for a weekend at the family farm or to Seattle. In 2011 she visited South Africa with fellow members of the GFS community to do volunteer dental work with her mom and build houses with Mosaic, South Africa. In the summer of 2014, she returned to South Africa, this time with her entire family. "Sharing the beauty of the South African people and landscape with my children and husband was a dream I will never forget," said Mimi.
Fifth grade graduates are effective communicators and creative problem solvers and approach transitions with self-assurance. They are not only prepared for a middle school setting; they are "ready" in every sense.