Linda McGuire On The SSSAS Community:

"It's Rock Solid" A Q&A with the New Upper School Dean

By Harrison Brown '20

mcguire.png

October 2018 Issue

     As you all know, the Upper School acquired a new Dean of Students after Dean Mills left at the end of last year. I sat down with the new Dean in an interview discussing her school philosophy, experience, and how she ended up at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School.

     

On how she heard about the school and what made her interested in taking the job:

     “I heard about the school through someone I know that helped people find positions in schools. I wanted to move from boarding school to day school. I heard great things about the school and that it had strong sets of positive values and curriculum. I liked the location a lot. I didn’t want to move so far from my parents in Philadelphia and sons in New York. Everyone I talked to said it was a strong community.”

Before that, I was an Assistant Dean at the Hyde School and the Dean of Students at the Westtown school. Before that, I was a school counselor, actually.”

 

On what most excites her about joining the community:
     “I think the fact that it’s a positive and friendly place really pulled me in. The students and faculty have been very welcoming. I want to enhance our student leadership program, and I want to look into communicating with students better. I want to follow kids at the school on twitter to keep up with them. I’m excited to work on the dress code.”

 

On her first impressions of the community:

     “Friendly, welcoming. It feels to me that people have been pretty open. I was coming to a school where people really liked the old dean. Students have been helpful while I was asking them a lot of questions. Seems to be a lot of school spirit.”

On her background and outside hobbies and interests:

     “I like the outdoors, hiking, to follow politics, and I love to travel. I’m passionate about diversity and inclusion, finding safe pathways for students to reach to adults, about consent, and gender inclusion not just racial inclusion.”

On if she would like to make any changes to the community:

     “I don’t think so. It’s rock-solid. I think there are things I want to look at with the community like dress code and more opportunities with student leaders. I think I’m coming into a school that’s rock solid.”

On her favorite part of her job:

     “Connecting with students. I’ve enjoyed getting to know my advisees and getting into conversations with students. I want to find a better way to connect with the students and plan my work properly. I have really enjoyed greeting everyone outside in the morning. I’ve never wanted to be a head or a director because I’ve wanted to connect with the students… that’s my biggest priority.”

 

On what will make her first year at SSSAS successful:

     “I’ve been able to make connections with the student body.”

On if she’s directing any sports/after school activities this year:

     “No.”

 

On anything else she would like the community to know about her:

     “That I’m really open to hearing from students about their concerns, and that can be weird because I’m new here, but I’m in it for the teenage experience.”