Maybe you’ve had him as a coach or a teacher, or maybe you’ve just seen him walking around with his adorable children, but chances are you know Matt Hall, and starting next year, you can get to know him even better as the Dean of Students. As Dean of the Class of 2012 for the last four years, Mr. Hall said that he has enjoyed the unique perspective “of seeing those 100 students in a way that you really can’t replicate as a teacher or as a coach.” In his new position, Mr. Hall hopes to be able to widen that experience to the entire Upper School.
The job of the Dean of Students includes dress code, discipline, and honor violations in the Upper School. The major transition from being a class dean to the Dean of Students, according to Mr. Hall, is going from “an advocate for the students of your class to being an advocate for the standards of the school.” Head of Upper School Mr. Gannon credited current Dean of Students Mr. Day for changing the job of Dean of Honor and Discipline to that of Dean of Students, which was really in accordance with the school culture. Mr. Gannon commented, “we are not a military school; we are a relationship school.”
One major emphasis of the Dean of Students, for Mr. Day and now for Mr. Hall, is being a proactive influence in the community to build relationships rather than being a reactive and draconian enforcer of honor and discipline. Mr. Day, known for his approachable and funny yet gruff manner, as well as his passion for the environment and legendary beard (No Shave November is over, Mr. Day.), will become chair of the science department next year. Current science department chair Julie Hall, also known as Polly Atomic, is returning to the classroom full time due to her busy schedule of AP Chemistry classes, roller derby practice, and her husband’s bustling restaurant, Local 3. This staffing shuffle also includes Mr. Fleming, a junior English teacher, who will be taking on the new freshmen class as dean of the Class of 2016.
As for the question on everyone’s minds, what will happen to that funny, yet simultaneously awkward, dress code PowerPoint? Mr. Hall definitely has some new ideas. Students next year can look forward to possibly some new media, maybe even some video incorporation from Mr. Hall, while Mr. Gannon suggests a return to the old tradition of an appropriate/inappropriate fashion show (the less fun cousin of Hot or Not).
By Annie Riddell, Editor in Chief ’12