Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

A muse of her own making

Abigail Schachner ’93 celebrates self-expression onstage

Abigail Schachner ’93Nothing thrillsAbigailAbby” Schachner ’93more than creativity and self-expression. (And forming random rhymes when the inspiration seizes her.)

Schachner is an artist who has written and performed more than 12 solo stage shows. One recent show, Schachner vs. Schachner, received multiple accolades along the fringe theater circuit, including awards for best solo show, best female performance and the audience award. The 45-minute show explores family, identity and attempted homicide.

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Coming full circle

Meghan Conley Peterson ’99 Meghan Conley Peterson ’99 consistently seeks out opportunities to build connections with others—no matter what field she works in.

Throughout her career, she has thrived building strong relationships with clients, including during her four years working at a major finance firm and during her near decade as a mental health therapist at a social services agency. Her recent endeavor of establishing her own private therapy practice in Boston’s financial district bridges these worlds.

As a student at Wheaton, Peterson double majored in psychology and Hispanic studies.

“I was interested in how people think and why we do what we do,” she said of her desire to study psychology.

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Good principals

Married alums both lead Massachusetts middle schools

Timothy Allen ’00

If 15 years ago husband and wife Timothy “Timmy” Allen ’00 and Nikcole “Della” Allen ’01 had been told that they both would end up as middle school principals, they wouldn’t have believed it.

“We were both interested in working with kids, but neither of us was sure enough of our path to actually do student teaching at Wheaton,” Timmy said. “So while we both thought we’d end up in education, the fact that we have the exact same job definitely was not the plan.”

The couple first met at Wheaton when Timmy was a sophomore and Della was a freshman. A friendship between the two took off when Della switched her dorm room, ending up adjacent to Timmy’s room in Meadows North.

Nikcole Allen ’01The students had plenty in common. Both were student-athletes—Timmy as a player and eventual captain of the men’s basketball team and Della as a player on the women’s soccer team. Also, they both majored in psychology and enjoyed working with children.

Now, many years later, Timmy and Della are married, and they are the parents of two young children. They both enjoy successful careers in education administration as principals at two middle schools, one in Longmeadow and the other in East Longmeadow—both suburbs of Springfield in western Massachusetts.

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Vermont’s rising star

Jared Duval ’05 recognized for work

Jared Duval ’05Vermont Business Magazine has named Jared Duval ’05 a “Rising Star.” The Rising Star recognition award calls out young professionals under the age of 40 in Vermont who demonstrate a commitment to business growth, professional excellence and involvement in their communities. Duval is the economic development director for the state. He says his liberal arts education at Wheaton has helped him succeed, providing an important foundation to his career in public service, policy work and economic development. “Anyone who works in the field of economic development benefits from broad interdisciplinary preparation, including economics, politics and behavioral psychology, to name just a few,” he said. “Questioning assumptions and thinking critically are vital in this job because economic development can mean so many different things to different people.

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