Mathematics instructor Sandra O’Connor begins her new role as Dean of Faculty this year, replacing Martha Schuur, who left the School after the 2010-2011 school year to become the Assistant Head of Echo Horizon School. For the past five years, O’Connor served as the 7th Grade Level Dean, a position now occupied by Librarian Nichole Gomez. In her 15 years at Marlborough, O’Connor has served as both the 9th Grade Level Dean and 7th Grade Level Dean.
As Dean of Faculty, O’Connor will be heavily involved in faculty development and professional growth. O’Connor said that she often communicates with Schuur, who has helped her adjust to her new job and foster a strong sense of community among the faculty. She will be responsible for communicating with faculty and meeting with the administration about teachers’ concerns. Other responsibilities organizing the new teacher orientation and mentor program and serving on planning committees for everything from the faculty Pumpkin Day costume to faculty luncheons.
O’Connor said that so far, she has enjoyed overseeing the new teacher mentor program, which was created by Schuur. In a manner similar to the 7th and 8th Grade Sisters program, new teachers are paired with returning teachers who help them make the transition into the community and get to know them on a personal level.
O’Connor said that she looks forward to getting to know teachers across different departments and building closer relationships with her colleagues.
“My goal is to make myself very available to the faculty because I want to be there for them if they need me,” O’Connor said.
Jamie ’16 said that O’Connor’s openness and positive attitude made her an excellent 7th Grade Level Dean and Algebra I teacher.
“She was enthusiastic and fun, and she always got work done,” Jamie said.
Another responsibility of the Dean of Faculty is to plan off-campus faculty events. O’Connor said one outing she particularly enjoyed last year was a faculty trip to Lucky Strike Lanes.
She said that although her bowling skills were lacking– she relied on lane bumpers to avoid throwing gutter-balls– she loved getting to know different faculty members in an casual setting.
“It was great fun. I had a blast!” O’Connor said.
Because of her many responsibilities as Dean of Faculty, O’Connor now teaches three sections of Pre-Algebra and Algebra I instead of four. However, she will remain a 7th Grade advisor.
According to O’Connor, serving as Dean of Faculty marks the start of an exciting new chapter in her involvement in the School.
“All of these different steps for me have been very good. I have loved every single one of them along the way… When the position was there, I thought, ‘Why not give it a shot?’”