Series of Interviews with The Dynamic Leaders of Hathaway Brown

By: Grace Beedles

As the year is finally coming to an end, students have started to look towards next year and the changes being made. Although HB is amazing just the way it is, change can sometimes be a good thing. Next year as you know, Ms. Sadler will be leaving to take a job as Headmistress of an all-girls school in Baltimore. Ms. Godshall-Ritzman and Ms. Homany will be taking her place and assuming her responsibilities next year. I interviewed these three faculty members to learn more about their transition.

 

Interview with Ms. Homany

What will be your official title staring next year?

“I will be the Associate Head of school.”

Are you still going to be a mentor? If so, will you be as involved?

“Yes, I’m not giving up my mentor group. That’s one thing I made sure stay the same. I’m supposed to oversee the whole school. I will get help from someone else maybe a new faculty and co-mentor with someone, but I will still do the big things with my mentor group. I love my mentees and I will not leave this group. Farah, I’m still going to be your mentor.”

Will you still bake for your mentor group?

“Yes, I will have an office space somewhere for them to with me in the morning.”

Will you miss teaching?

“It’s the hardest part of this of this transition. I’m not done teaching, but it’s a new kind of teaching. I will be working with the faculty in a teaching way. I will still be taking care of my students in a different way since this is a student-centered job.”

What has been the most fulfilling part of teaching at HB?

“Relationships with my students. Just getting to know my students and developing those relationships really; I’m always in awe of what students at HB accomplish. I feel very lucky to be a part of that. One of my favorite, rather most satisfying parts of teaching, is making complex concepts easy to understand. I love explaining something that is extremely complex and abstract in a way for a student herself to understand. I love that.”

What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?

“Well this is really a new role. Many people think I’m taking over Sue’s job, but she’s a wearer of many hats. She was Associate Head of our school and Director of the Upper School. People told that I should apply for this position and I said I don’t want to be the director of the school. Then they told me about Associate Head of School position and I thought why don’t I give it a shot. Anyway, I will be working with faculty on vertical integration of the curriculum. I will make sure that everything being taught is coordinated between each grade. It’s being done now, but no one oversees that. I will also be working on school wide initiatives.”

What individual experience do you possess to help you on the job?

“When I was thinking about my qualifications, I started thinking about things I love to do and my career. I have worked for many years in grading for the College Board and have taught others to do so. My work in Egypt, training teachers, has been a great experience. I had things that I could offer HB that it hadn’t thought about using. I feel that taking on this role is a great way of giving back to the community that has given me so much. I also was involved in the creation of SREP, instituting the carnival, and helped with the Cape Cod trips in middle school. Additionally, I have helped the people who started HB’s flagship programs.”

How long have you been at HB?

“31 years, I was director of the Upper School for a little bit at the beginning of my career, but it wasn’t the right time. I’m going to be an empty nester now that Grace is graduating. Therefore, this the perfect time in life to be doing something bigger.”

How do you feel about this transition in your role? Nervous? Excited?

“Excited, I have already started doing some of the work and I love it. Dr. Bisselle is wonderful person and attracted me to the job. I have long relationship with Jane Brown who works in the prime and I’m excited to work with her. It’s nice to come full circle because the only time I interacted with other divisions was for my children. There’s nothing in this job that I’m nervous about. I still come in to school every single day happy to be here. It’s a joyful endeavor. I’m lucky to say that because not everyone feels that away about his or her job. When people do complain about their jobs, it’s so foreign to my experience and I never have anything to complain about.”

What would like to tell the HB community?

“My gratitude. I’m so grateful and excited to give something to back to you. I don’t want to lose touch in the Upper school and my door is always open.”

Interview with Ms. Sadler

 

What will be your official title?

“I will be the head of school at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore Maryland. It is an all-girls K-12 with a coed preschool.”

How long were you at HB?

“31 years.”

Describe your new school.

“It has similar feel to HB. Though, the campus is very different. They have different buildings for each division. It has more of a college campus feel. I will live right on campus in a house owned by the school and will be able walk to my office. It’s also a tiny bit warmer. The school has a more outdoor feeling. People are outside more and the school has many turf-fields and playgrounds. There is also an outdoor quad for students to hang out.”

How do you feel about this transition from Associate Head of school to Headmaster? Nervous? Excited?

“All of the above. It will be a big challenge, but I’m ready. I’m going to miss everyone. I should be nervous, but I’m in it because I love girls’ education and I want to give my all to girls’ education.”

What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?

“I can get to know the community. I want to work hard to get know everyone in order to be an effective leader. I hope to get everyone energized about girls. They are in the process of constructing a new building, so I will be raising money. I want to make the school a home away from home, the best school it can be.”

Will you carry on the tradition of week-ahead emails at your new school? Any other HB traditions?

(Chuckles) “No there is already a system in place, but I certainly make it a point of communicating regularly with the school.”

What has been the most fulfilling part of your role as Associate Head of school?

“Seeing the growth of the both the school and students. I get to see the kids do something new and it has challenged me to become a better person and educator.”

Is there anything else about you would like to say about the HB community?

“I am grateful for being a part of this village. I plan on keeping in touch and keep feelings on girls’ education moving forward.”

 

Interview with Ms. Godshall-Ritzman

What will be your official title?

“Director of the Upper School. My role is to oversee the upper school academically and in regards to student life and experience.”

Are you still going to be a mentor? If so, will you be as involved?

“Yes, I will not abandon my mentor group. I have some new responsibilities as director, but I will still have some of the same roles that I have had this year.”

What has been the most fulfilling part of being the Dean of Students at HB?

“Working one on one with students to help them problem solve. I enjoyed helping support them and just to be a part of their journey.”

What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?

“It is of the utmost importance to me to fulfill the school’s mission for our students and faculty and our parents. I have worked and lived at HB for the past 10 years. I hope to continue to grow the school in our mission for academic excellence. As well as help everyone grow in her own personal journey. HB Upper School is very special place and I want every student to feel that they are a part of the community. I want to uphold HB’s values and for people to know that they have me as a resource while they are here in high school.”

How do you feel about this transition in your role? Nervous? Excited?

“All of the above! Every new step in life comes with excitement and nervousness. I know that I will work very hard on behalf of the Upper School. I’m excited for a new for set of challenges.”

How long have you been at HB?

“10 years. I’m finishing my tenth year.”

What would like to tell the HB community?

“I want everyone to know that they have a champion in me.”

 

After interviewing each person apart of a change in HB, I’m so happy to know that the faculty is enthusiastic about their new jobs. Ms. Homany and Ms. Godshall-Ritzman are excited for their new roles and will be rising boldly to continue to make HB a place for everyone. They will continue to foster a strong support system in HB. Ms. Sadler is leaving her legacy at HB as a strong, leader for girls’ education. She will do an exceptional job as headmistress and carry HB in her heart.

 

Citation: http://www.hb.edu/page.cfm?p=312 and https://www.glassdoor.com/Photos/Hathaway-Brown-School-Office-Photos-IMG841442.htm