Faculty Spotlight: Wendy Livingston

Associate Director of College Counseling
Department and Program Affiliations:
Tunstall Upper School, College Counseling

Academic background:
B.A., Government and History, College of William & Mary
M.Ed., Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership, with a concentration in Higher Education Administration, College of William & Mary
How long have you been at Norfolk Academy?
This is my third year at Norfolk Academy.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator:
My position as a campus tour guide morphed into a one-year contract as an admission counselor upon graduation. Twelve years, four different roles, and a master’s degree later, I found myself absolutely in love with a profession that allows me to help young people find the campus that will mean as much to them as mine did to me. My father was a college professor, and I was brought up to believe that education at every stage is transformational, and it’s a privilege to be a part of that work.

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?
The opportunity to get to know students. It’s that simple. At Norfolk Academy, I am humbled to get to know the students with whom I work (and many with whom I do not work directly). I learn what excites them, what makes them tick. I learn about their interests, their values, and their quirks. And most importantly, I am an advocate – trumpeting the strengths, successes, and value of our students to the colleges they wish to attend.

Norfolk Academy is unique because…
...it’s not just a school, it’s a community. From advisors to lunch tables to lounges, there’s a collegiality about this place that transcends title, grade, and station. We are all Bulldogs, here to support each other as we collectively navigate our own individual paths.

Last book read: 
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. I have enjoyed reading memoirs of late, and this one was particularly compelling, offering a first-person perspective on an often overlooked part of our culture.

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?  
I love to spend time with my family. We enjoy bowling, watching movies, and traveling when we can. I also enjoy running, watching football with my husband, and spending time with friends.
Favorite food?
A Coney Island knish – nothing else quite measures up.
Fun fact your students might not know about you/might find surprising:
While some of the students I work with know this, I am a huge Cleveland Browns fan (despite their best efforts to have me go in search of another team to root for). My father has season tickets, and I meet him in Cleveland for a game when I can. I also play fantasy football with surprising success. This past season marked my third league championship, making me the most decorated franchise owner in my longstanding fantasy football league.

“When I grow up, I want to be…”
Honestly, I very much enjoy what I do. I am honored to have worked in the world of college counseling and admission for my entire professional career. That being said, I’ve always thought it would be fun to open a high-end, independently-owned restaurant, much like the one at which I worked as a teenager.