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Aimeclaire Roche follows a classic approach to education

Aimeclaire Roche is the 11th head of school at The Bishop’s School. She is a cum laude Classical Diploma graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, and a cum laude graduate of Harvard University, with a bachelor’s degree in Greek and Latin. In 2005, Roche received a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Her choice to become an educator at the secondary level is both the natural evolution of her academic interests and a testament to the value placed upon education during her years growing up in Pittsburgh. Her parents afforded each of their five children the benefit of an independent school education during their high school years.

Roche’s teaching career includes tenure at The Williams School, St. Andrew’s School, and at her alma mater Phillips Exeter. She has taught all levels of classical language instruction and has enjoyed a full spectrum of faculty and administrative duties, including work as coach and dorm head, department chair, and director of college counseling. Prior to coming to Bishop’s in 2009, Roche was the Assistant Head of School at the Groton School in Massachusetts.

What brought you to La Jolla?

My new post as the Head of The Bishop’s School was the inspiration for my move to La Jolla.

What makes this town special to you?

I love the way in which La Jolla is still a small town, with passersby who greet each other on the sidewalks, warm neighbors who welcome you into their homes, and merchants and business owners who recognize you and always have time for some advice on the best way to tend an orchid, on the latest best-seller, or on where the best ocean views are. I love that La Jolla boasts lifelong residents and newcomers who feel equally at home.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

In a snap I would erase all the car traffic in summertime!

Who or what inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by the young people and the teachers with whom I am lucky enough to spend my days. I love to watch students grow into adulthood and take on challenges that didn’t exist when I was in school with integrity, ambition, and joy; and I am inspired by the teachers who love not only their disciplines, but their students with abiding patience, good humor and respect.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., former Headmistress of Bishop’s and La Jolla resident Mrs. Rosamond Larmour Loomis, my mother and father, Mother Teresa, journalist and landscape architect Frederick Olmsted, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour.

Tell us about what you are currently reading.

“The War That Killed Achilles,” by Caroline Alexander is a fascinating book that explores the ageless questions of warfare and soldierhood through the lens of the classical archetype. Also, “They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky,” by B. Deng, A Deng, and B. Ajak is the remarkable depiction of the flight to safety of three young men, all under the age of seven, during the Sudanese civil war.

What is your most-prized possession?

A Bishop’s colleague recently gifted me 100-year-old ancient Greek grammar book that belonged to long-serving (1921-1953) Bishop’s Headmistress Caroline S. Cummins. I am a classicist and currently teaching a class in Ancient Greek. While I very much live in our digital age, I treasure this dog-eared, well-scribbled and loved tome of a Bishop’s legend.

What do you do for fun?

For fun, I love to read, enjoy the sun setting over the Pacific and talk on the phone with my family and friends back East!

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

I cannot imagine that I have yet experienced my greatest accomplishment. When I do, I hope that I will have contributed something meaningful in the field of education or done something to ensure that the world is a more joyful place.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Tempus fugit! And so we must remind ourselves to make the most of it, and respect the time you have to share and engage with others.