Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Christina Grenier


Credit: Sean Ma

Caroline Li, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Mrs. Grenier has been working at Pingree school for more than 12 years. She is the head of the Writing Center, a 9th-grade English teacher, and a fun advisor. She has helped numerous students enhance their writing skills and has always encouraged students to revise their own work rather than directly editing it herself. As an English teacher, she provides clear instructions, establishes a fair class environment, and values equality through her teaching. As an advisor, she has provided fun activities like UNO during advisory and has always been there when students need her. Her beloved personality has made Pingree a warm community. The following interview with Mrs. Grenier has been lightly edited for clarity.

How would you describe the Pingree culture?

I believe the Pingree culture supports students in their academic and athletic journeys, as well as their interpersonal relationships. If I had to use four words to describe Pingree, I would say:  vibrant, enlightening, fun, and provocative. 

What was your most memorable experience at Pingree?

My most memorable experience at Pingree has been Springfest. I like how it takes place outside, allowing students to interact with people from different grades and friend groups. Back when we had a bouncy house, It was fun to watch the kids put their shoes on after playing inside it. Since they needed to participate in the next activity, they would rush to put their shoes on. It was chaotic but also diverting. 

Another event I remember deeply was when the writing center moved down to the first floor. In the past, the writing center was set up on the second floor (the current quant center’s location), and the first floor was a hub that helped with students’ tech issues. The writing center’s new site encouraged students to come together and support one another and create many memories together. 

I know you have three different responsibilities in Pingree, the head of the Writing Center, an English teacher, and an advisor. What do you think these positions mean to you? What qualities do you bring to these positions? 

I emphasize student-centered learning when I’m teaching my classes. One time, I let my students stand on tables and read poems. I think I enjoy interacting with students and hanging out with my advisees.

Would you like to recommend a book for the Pingree community?

I would recommend that students read some collections of nonfiction short stories, such as the Reading the World: Ideas That Matter by Michael Austin, because I think short stories are easy to access and they encourage discussion. One story from the collection that I found very engaging is Rabindranath Tagore’s “To Teacher.” It talked about how going outside is the best way to learn, and I employed this theory in my teaching style. My favorite novel Siddihartha conveys similar ideas. It is about a young Indian man’s journey to explore Buddhism, and by experiencing society’s complexity, he finds himself. I feel that your life is your best teacher, and literature is a window for students to understand human experience from multiple perspectives. 

Could you share with us your plan for the next step?

Since my kids are off to college, I think my next step is to adjust to a quieter household and find new ways to engage with students and communities. Also, I’m planning on trying to sleep more. 

What advice would you give to the future Pingree students?

My advice for future Pingree students is to take risks outside of their academic comfort zone and find disciplines and ideas that might push them forward. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I love pumpkin pie.