Natalie Warganik ‘94
- Deerfield Academy, 1997
- Skidmore College, B.S. Business & Management, 2001
I’m currently working as a VP, Director of Human Resources for Hill Holliday, an advertising and digitalcommunications agency. I’ve been there for about seven years, working in all aspects of Human Resources – recruiting, benefits, compensation, employee relations, performance management, learning & development, and operations.
Over the past three years, I’ve spent the majority of my time building and delivering a variety of L&D programs to our employees. In particular, I focus on leadership and management training and coaching, as well as using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) to improve communication, relationships, team performance, and overall organizational behavior.
Working in Human Resources for an ad agency has been a wonderful experience – each day I am inspired and motivated by the creativity, passion, and work ethic of the people around me. It also happens to be a lot of fun. And it’s pretty cool to see a Dunkin’ Donuts ad on TV and know that I played some small role in hiring, coaching, or advising the people who made it!
Favorite Applewild Memories:
I spent nine years at Applewild (1st through 9th) and have favorite memories from every single year! In Lower School, I will always remember recess in the rock garden, sledding on the hill, and dressing up as Indians and Pilgrims to celebrate and learn about Thanksgiving.
In Middle School, my best memories are playing field hockey and lacrosse for the first time, learning to play the French horn, making life-size paper-mache puppets for our sixth grade play “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”, and participating in wonderful school-wide events like the Spring and Winter concerts, the Harvest and Ethnic Fairs, and Field Days.
Upper School is where I formed probably my fondest memories: dances in the theater, all of the amazing teachers who put up with our antics, working on the yearbook, and the incredible friends I made – some of whom are still close friends today.
There are so many! Mrs. Page, Mrs. Quail, Mrs. Tower, and Mrs. Spiegleman, who continued to take care of me throughout my years at Applewild, even after I left their classrooms. Monsieur Chamas, Mr. Jones, and Mr. Rabideau, who always brought fun to the classroom and were incredibly patient when we sometimes abused that privilege! Mrs. Kahan and Mrs. Marino, who are completely responsible for unleashing my success in math and science, which led to my career in business. Mrs. Marcus, Mr. Hamilton, and Mr. Goodwin, who were all wonderful teachers and coaches outside of the classroom.
But this is by no means a complete list! Every single teacher I came into contact with at Applewild influenced me in some way. The culture of the school always felt like a family, and the teachers set that example by being incredibly nurturing, encouraging, and fun. In that awkward adolescent/teenage stage of life, the teachers at Applewild provided a safe environment to just be ourselves, and they helped us figure it out if we weren’t sure.
I can honestly say that my experiences at Applewild played a huge part in shaping me into the adult that I am today. The environment was one that both challenged and supported me at the same time. I was continuously pushed to succeed in academics, arts, and sports, while also being nurtured and encouraged to find my own path. I think I came out of Applewild with a strong work-ethic, drive, and curiosity that has stayed with me throughout all of my other academic and professional experiences.
Applewild is a model of successful elementary education: a well-rounded curriculum, teachers and administrators who truly care, and students who want to be there and work hard to stay there. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a student there for my entire adolescence.
Posted: November 4, 2010