Former college guidance counselor Dean Jacoby is now the 10/12 Dean of Students, a position previously held by 10/12 Division Head Christine Lenhart.

Jacoby chose to apply for the position of 10/12 Dean in order to challenge himself with a new job. After spending 25 years working in high school college counseling and college admissions, he decided to try something different. He explained that he often told the students he counseled to take measured risks and step outside of their comfort zones. “I realized I should listen to my own advice,” Jacoby said.

Already the job has challenged him, and he is in the process of adjusting to his new duties. Jacoby explained that after years of working in the College Guidance Office, he interacts with many of the same administrators in his new job, but he has had to learn the logistics of systems that make the school operate effectively. His position gives him a new perspective on Albuquerque Academy. “It’s humbling to see how people pour so much work into the school to make it run,” he said.

Not only will the new job challenge him, the position will allow Jacoby to connect better with students. As an admissions counselor, Jacoby worked with kids regularly, but often on an impersonal basis in which he focused on student data. Later, he became a college counselor for high school students, which allowed him to learn more about the students he was advising. Now, as 10/12 Dean of Students, Jacoby hopes he will have even more opportunities to interact with students and he is confident that his previous work experience will translate well to his duties as dean.

Despite his new role, Jacoby plans to continue to work in the College Guidance Office quarter-time, which means he will counsel a few seniors in the college process and write senior appraisals. His new office location in Brown Hall will

Dean Jacoby; Photo by Dan Packer

make him more accessible to students who have college questions. However, the new Dean is directing most of his energies toward his new job.

Jacoby has two goals as 10/12 Dean of Students. First, he plans to support the existing systems to ensure that the school runs smoothly. Already, he and Ms. Lenhart are working to strengthen the support systems available to students in the division by expanding the adviser system. Jacoby said, “An adult in a student’s life can act as a mentor who helps the student to succeed.” Given this philosophy, the administration plans to devote more time to the program and introduce organized activities to give adviser meetings greater direction.

Second, he intends to remind students of Academy values. In particular, he wants to make the school a great place to learn. “Students have a strong role in shaping and perpetuating the culture of this school. They have the power to make this a wonderful place to be,” Jacoby said. “My job is to remind them of that.” Jacoby aims to help provide a rich learning community for students. For him, discipline, standards, and expectations are at the heart of an education. “I want to make the Academy community as fair and equitable for as many students as possible,” Jacoby said.

The central aspect of his philosophy as 10/12 Dean is getting to know and understand his students. “If we want someone to give their best, the only way that is going to happen is if we take the time to know them,” Jacoby said.

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