I interviewed Mr. Kelly about his new position as 6/7 dean and here were the results.

Interviewer: How have you been handling the transition as Dean?

Mr. Kelly: I feel great! I’m honored to have the position and am making the most of it. I like working with students and parents in this capacity. I’m also working hard to be visible in both pods and both grade levels. Learning 330 plus students is a daunting task, but one I’m excited to conquer.

I: What goals or visions do you have for the 7th grade class?

K: I’m always mindful of doing all I can to help our students learn and grow as much as they can in our division so they will be more than prepared for the next one. That being said, it’s always my goal to make seventh grade the best year of their Academy experience. I want it to be unforgettable. Not to plagiarize from Mr. Watson’s opening remarks, but the 6/7 division is really where school classes are forged at Academy. I love that image, and it’s clearly one of our main purposes. It’s satisfying to see each class move into the upper school as a true community.

I: What do you want to change?

K: I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve the systems we have in place. I’m a big believer in having efficient and effective systems that allow students to maximize their experience. We’ve already tweaked some processes that I feel is beneficial to students, parents, and faculty. I’m also constantly considering my interactions with students when it comes to school policies and rules. I really do value their input and look for ways to shape policy that benefits the community as a whole.

I: What do you want to stay the same?

K: Obviously, the culture of our division is unique and vital to student success. There are many aspects of what we do that are working tremendously well, and there’s no sense in fixing something that isn’t broken. I love how devoted the staff is and how they always put students first. And I thoroughly enjoy the dedication of the students. They’re eager to excel at the high expectations we have set forth for them.

I: What did you not expect about the position?

K: Time! I’m a bit surprised at the time it takes to manage this position. Last year, teaching full time and being a grade-level Dean was too much for me and my family at home. I know others have been in similar situations and made it work, but I never found that balance. There really was a need for me to be free to handle issues in the moment, and there were times last year where it just couldn’t happen, or I’d find myself spending hours doing follow up at home. Now, despite the added responsibility of an entire grade level (sixth), I have a much more open schedule to spend time dealing with student issues and being able to attend teacher meetings to stay informed. It also frees me up to spend more time interacting with the students…something I need to be doing more of.

I: Do you have any final thoughts you would like to share?

K: It makes me chuckle when I call a student into my office. Their first question is always, “Am I in trouble?” Not everything I do involves crime and punishment. I’m also about celebrating successes!

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