Illustration by Baylor Fuller ’19
We Are Listening is a blog founded and managed by the journalism students of St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia. We interview a broad spectrum of women about their experiences and tell their stories here to spread awareness of universal women’s issues. Our mission is to empower the St. Christopher’s and Richmond communities to challenge discriminatory gender norms and to become empathetic allies of women.
By Henry Weatherford ’21
Academic Instructional Technologist Carey Pohanka joined St. Christopher’s in 2011 after working six years as a French and geography teacher and World Languages department chair at Fredericksburg Academy. She visits France every chance she gets (photographed here at her favorite chateau in the Loire Valley) and loves to garden, describing herself as “turning more and more into her G-mom every day.” She played field hockey and lacrosse at the University of Mary Washington and received her master’s in educational technology at the University of Florida.
Click here to see the full interview.
The Rev. Whitney Edwards
By Henry Barden ’19
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” - Luke 10:2
(One of the Rev. Edwards’ favorite scripture passages)
The youngest Episcopalian woman to lead an endowed parish, the Rev. Whitney Edwards has come a long way. Her adventures to witness God’s work firsthand have taken her from high school at St. Catherine’s to New Zealand and other exotic realms, crafting within her an empathetic perspective shared with St. Christopher’s students and faculty every chapel. On her path to and through ordained ministry, she faced down demeaning stereotypes and norms that continue to target female ministers. Click here to read about the graceful woman who emerged.
Mrs. Martha Abrew
By Aubrey Bowles ’21
Martha Abrew, who has lived in five countries, joins the St. Christopher’s community as a geometry and calculus teacher. The Peru native graduated from the Naval Technical School in Pensacola, Florida, and holds a B.S. in applied mathematics from California State University Northridge, an M.Ed. in secondary education from Hawaii Pacific University and an M.B.A from Chaminade University of Honolulu. She was a former sailor in the Navy, and her husband is a member of the U.S. Army. She has two boys who are in college, and for the past six years, she has been a teacher and department chair at St. Louis School, an all-boys Catholic school in Honolulu.
Watch this video to gain perspective on being a woman in the military and working in a predominantly male field.
Eleanor Lynch ’19
Mrs. Marsha Hawkins
By Nick Lowsley-Williams ’22
Click here to learn about her career in communications before becoming a stay-at-home mom and then going to graduate school, which ultimately led to her job as St. Christopher’s Upper School head librarian.
Isabel Molster ’19
By Will Eng-Nugent ’19
Isabel Molster uses her leadership ability to set a positive example for girls everywhere. She is a member of Student Council, Political Awareness Club and the squash team. Click here to hear her talk about her perceptions of women in society.
Mrs. Sue Varner
By Joseph Long ’22
Mrs. Sue Varner, who joined St. Christopher’s in 2000, is a Spanish teacher and the World Languages Department chair. Her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2008 entailed multiple surgeries. Click here for her reflection 10 years later.
Ms. Veronica Mayer
Caroline Boyd ’19
By Hunter Gardner ’19
Caroline Boyd heads the Arcadian, the Upper School student publication of St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia. Click here for her reflections on her single-sex high school education and her take on a common misconception about feminism.
Mrs. Tressa Hamby
By Hugo Abbot ’21
After graduating from Marquette University with a B.A. in English, Mrs. Hamby worked as a television producer and film editor at American Broadcasting Company and its affiliate in Washington, DC for 12 years. She chose to be an at home mom as her boys grew up, and was active in the PTA’s at Tuckahoe Elementary, Tuckahoe Middle School and Freeman High School. She returned to work 17 years later in VCU’s Office of Public Policy Training. After her son Patrick passed away at age 19, Mrs. Hamby took time off work to care for and keep her family together. She came to St. Christopher’s in 2002. Click here to learn more about Mrs. Hamby’s grief and healing.
Lucy Farrell ’19
By Joe Brennan ’20
Lucy Farrell ’19 has lead the discussions of Feminism Club at St. Catherine’s School since her freshman year. She co-heads the St. Catherine’s dance group Joni as well as Student Ambassadors, serves as head of the theater group Ampersand, is a Gold/White cheerleader and is active in Political Awareness Club. Lucy will attend Syracuse University, where she plans to major in communications. Click here to learn more about Lucy’s perspective on feminism and other women’s issues.
Ms. Asha Bandal
By Christopher McCormick ’19
Asha Bandal has taught Upper School Spanish at St. Christopher’s for 14 years. She attended the University of Richmond and competed on the synchronized swimming team, of which she is now the co-head coach. Having grown up in St. Paul, Minnesota, she remains a huge vikings fan. Click here to read about her journey to motherhood and her take on our identities as men and women.