For the first semester of the 2012-2013 school year Director of Admissions Jeanette Woo Chitjian and English instructor Brett Quimby served as 7th Grade Level Deans, filling in for Librarian Nichole Gomez, who is on maternity leave until January.
Woo Chitjian and Quimby were selected by Director of Middle School Robert Bryan once Gomez learned she was pregnant last year and would give birth during first semester.
Woo Chitjian and Quimby’s main responsibilities are to oversee the Class of 2018 by organizing activities with 7th Grade parents, managing activities such as class meetings and the class trip to Canyon Creek, advising the Class Council and serving as the leader of the 7th Grade team of advisors.
Quimby and Woo Chitjian also make sure that the Class of 2018 comes together, watching over girls socially to ensure they feel comfortable as they adapt to Marlborough culture. Quimby said that he informs the girls about how to go about a school day and gives advice on how to handle being at a new school and interacting with new teachers.
Woo Chitjian and Quimby have used the all-school book, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, to start a conversation about not having any “outsiders” in the class.
“We’ve talked about how it feels to be on the outside, if you have ever felt like an outsider, and if you have ever made someone feel like an outsider,” Woo Chitjian said, explaining that they then discuss how to make everyone feel welcome in the grade.
Woo Chitjian has served as an advisor every year during her 18 years at the School, for Grades 7, 8, 9 and 10, but mostly for Grade 7. Woo Chitjian said she has been enjoying working with the class as a whole as opposed to the small portion in her advisory.
Quimby agreed that in years past he only knew the students that he taught or that were in his advisory, but now he is able to know more girls and know the grade as a whole.
“I have really enjoyed getting to know all of the students in the 7th Grade in a different, more holistic way,” Quimby said.
Emma ’18 said she believes that Quimby and Woo Chitjian have been excellent Deans.
”They have always been there to help us and give us advice,” she said. Emma explained that Quimby and Woo Chitjian are both open and welcoming people, and that she feels comfortable to go to them for help when needed.
Once Gomez returns at the beginning of second semester, Woo Chitjian and Quimby will be relieved of their duties as Deans but will remain a part of the 7th Grade team as advisors.
Quimby and Woo Chitjian both said they believe that stepping down will be bittersweet.
Quimby said that he is looking forward to working with Gomez again, and that he will still be involved in the grade.
Woo Chitjian says that she has enjoyed working with the students, Quimby and the other advisors, and that acquiring the responsibility of being an interim Dean has been one of her favorite experiences at Marlborough.