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Faculty Profile: Jackie Condie

1. I know you just ran the New York City Marathon. My vault contains a story we did way back in 2003 when you ran your 2nd marathon, and said the first one was 17 years previous. Had you run any others between 2003 and now?

Yes, and this year was my fourth and last.

2. Why quit now?

It takes up a lot of time and I really want to focus on my speed.

3. So you’re still running, just no more marathons?

I’m actually more committed to running. Last year I’d turned 50, it was a bucket list thing to run the marathon. Then Sandy happened, so I had to wait and do it in 2013.

4. What’s your brand?

I was a Saucony loyalist, forever. Now I’m intrigued by barefoot running and I haven’t gone that far yet but I did switch to Brooks which are lighter.

5. How long have you worked here?

This is my 25th year. Silver anniversary.

6. What were you doing 26 years ago?

I had been a classroom teacher and computer teacher here as well as at another school. I’d had 10 years of teaching. I was drawn toward taking on some bigger picture tasks. I was the first coordinator of the first annual 5th and 6th grade Frost Valley trip, I got that going.

7. Did you set out to become the head of a lower school?

Carol Wood was the head of the Lower School and Middle School at that time and I became her Administrative Assistant. The following year, ’95 or ’96, they hired a new Middle School Head and hired me as Acting Lower School Head. A year later I became the full Lower School Head.

8. Where’d you go to college?

I went to the University of Utah to ski and get a college degree at the same time.

9. Got it. So you’re a big skier?

Yes. I was a high school ski instructor and had lots of jobs working with kids.

10. So education seemed like the way to go, I guess. How did you get from the ski slopes of Utah to New York City?

I got my masters degree from Teachers College in Technology, Communication and Computing. I’m a total Luddite now but back in the day…

11. Where did you grow up?

Cleveland, Ohio. I was the only kid in my high school to go to college west of Indiana. In 1980 everybody went to Ohio State.

12. Do you still ski today?

We do but we’re pretty snobby about it. We only ski in Utah. I mean we don’t just go there to ski, we also have family there.

13. Who’s your family here in New York?

My husband Vance who I met in college in Utah, and a daughter, 14, Rain. We live in Manhattan in the Columbia University area.

14. What else do you do when you’re not busy in the Lower School?

Rain’s a soccer player so we spend our weekends on the soccer field. Before she came along we’d whitewater kayak, and that involved a lot of car camping. Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho. But we have not sold our kayaks, and our camping gear is still stored in Tupperware containers on our patio. I hope that we return to it.

15. Are you a Quaker?

No but my first job after grad school was at Newtown Friends School in PA for two years. I had had the teensiest exposure to Quakerism from my sleepaway camp in the 1970s. It was run by Reform Jews, and every evening our cabin would perform a service. It was the 1970s so that mean we’d sing a Joni Mitchell song, read some poetry and say a Hebrew prayer. One night our cabin decided to do a Quaker style service, so we sat in silence in a field. That was my first exposure to Quakerism.

16. What’s your sign?

Aries. April.

17. Do you fit the Aries profile?

Yeah I think so. Stubborn.

18. What’s one thing that’s always in your fridge?

Whole milk for coffee.

19. Most importantly, the desert island question. What 3 things?

Does the Internet count?

Um, yes, the Internet counts as a thing to have on a desert island!

Okay, the Internet. Also my iPad–which will be to download books…Except I do want to play Words With Friends with my friend in California.

20. And the third thing?

A ukelele. I want to learn to play an instrument and that seems like a good one.