Jeanette Woo Chitjian
Director of Enrollment Management
Tell us about your role here.
I oversee all of enrollment management, so this includes admissions and financial aid. Ultimately, my job is to ensure that the admissions experience that our families have feels like and reflects the Flintridge Preparatory School experience. My goal is that any individual who has interactions with our community leaves the school as an ambassador.
More than anything, I want people to feel welcomed because that’s who I think we are as a community.
What attracted you to admissions work?
When I was in college, I was on financial aid and the admissions office had positions for work-study students, so I signed up. I got to learn a little bit about the world of college admissions. At that time, I thought I wanted to be a physician because I wanted to work with people and I wanted to change lives. When I realized that I did not want to pursue medicine, I decided that admissions was an opportunity to work with people and change lives.
My whole family, including my husband, both of our children, and me, benefited from private college experiences. My daughters benefited from independent school education. I think we can impact and change the trajectory of children's lives and, in some cases, change the trajectory of a family's life.
What do you think makes our community so special?
When I think of our community, I separate it into two groups, I think of our students who are curious and interested and have each other's backs and are always wanting to be their best selves even when they make mistakes. And then I think about our educators, and when I say educators, I mean that in the broadest terms, because I think everybody on this campus contributes to the education of our students. I think we always have students in mind and want to make sure that our students are seen and recognized on this campus.
What's your favorite thing about working here?
The students. I feel really lucky to be in an office where there’s lots of traffic coming by, so students can just sort of pop in.
There was a day when I felt a little bit of imposter syndrome, and a student popped in to say hello. When he asked me how I was doing, I mentioned something about feeling a little stressed. He gave me a little pep talk and he said, “Ms. Woo Chitjian, you’ve got this. I think that you actually are not thinking about all the great things and the ways that you've been prepared for this moment. And if there's anything I can do to help, let me know.” It was absolutely what I think is the best of Flintridge Prep, which is that we always have each other's back. I love that.
What do you wish everyone knew about our school?
I'm not sure people know how open we are to change, and I think that's been so lovely to experience. We're an institution that's been around for 90 years, we have a very rich history, but we're an institution that is very much evolving and looking forward.
What would our community be surprised to find out about you?
I make a great apple pie!