Whether it’s teaching English-as-a-second-language students at School District of Lancaster or kindergarteners in Saudi Arabia, Emily Fields has made a career out of putting the comfort of others before her own.
For Fields, it’s only natural.
“I’ve always worked with marginalized student populations,” she said. “I’ve always been drawn to working with students who either need extra support or who have extenuating or difficult life circumstances.”
Fields, with more than 15 years of experience in education, soon will take on her latest challenge as Lancaster County Academy’s next program director.
She will replace Diane Tyson, who is retiring after 23 years at the academy, in June.
“Emily has a wealth of experience that we feel will help her meet the unique needs of the Lancaster County Academy,” said Gerald Huesken, Conestoga Valley superintendent and Lancaster County Academy superintendent of record. “Her fresh perspective and passion for education will be assets for the school.”
Fields most recently was a kindergarten teacher at Saudi Aramco Expatriate Schools in Saudi Arabia, a country where she wasn’t allowed to drive or step foot outside before covering herself from head to toe.
Before that, she taught at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi, where the only glimpse of Lancaster County could be found in the freezer section at the local grocery store.
Fields said the store in Abu Dhabi sold two flavors of Turkey Hill ice cream: rocky road and cookies ’n’ cream. When she did the math, she said, the containers were about $18 each.
“That was not a luxury that we indulged in very often,” she joked.
Fields’ experience also includes nearly a decade at SDL and several stints at local colleges such as Harrisburg Area Community College, Indiana Wesleyan University and Penn State University.
She has a master’s degree in from Walden University and a Bachelor of Science from Messiah College. She is working on her educational doctorate from Northeastern University.
The wife and mother of two sons will begin her position at the academy officially June 26.
Lancaster County Academy, on the lower level of Park City Center, is an alternative public school serving about 120 students from 10 Lancaster County school districts. It was founded in 1993.