I just completed my 15th year of employment at Dana Hall School. This landmark means that I’ve worked at Dana Hall longer than any other place I’ve ever been employed and I’ve lived in a house on campus for longer than I’ve lived in any house/apartment as an adult. It also means that I’ve been a part of the educational journey for more than 1,000 academically, artistically, and athletically motivated young women. What a privilege it continues to be to share in the successes and challenges that our students and their families encounter during their time at Dana Hall School!
Encountering Dana Hall alumnae in the “real world” is an extension of this work, and something that brings me tremendous joy. This past summer, I was reminded of the power of mentoring young women as I witnessed a former student of mine work with a young woman near and dear to my heart — my own daughter.
My daughter attends an arts summer camp at a nearby school, and the dance director at the camp is a Dana Hall alumna. My daughter loves to dance, and she seeks out opportunities to pursue her passion during the school year and summer. Every day, she came home from camp with reports about what her dance teacher told her, demonstrated for her, and taught her. She never came out and said, “wow, I really look up to my dance instructor!”, but it was clear that this was the case.
On the day of the final performances and presentations, I had the opportunity to thank my former student, and my daughter’s mentor, in person. It is both humbling and entirely appropriate that this young woman who once sat in my college counseling office, considering her post-secondary school options, is now the expert in my own daughter’s life. She is boldly and confidently following her own dreams of being a dance instructor and owning/running her own studio. I hope that my own daughter, and Dana Hall students for generations to come, can learn from her example and the examples of so many accomplished, brave, and brilliant Dana Hall alumnae.