Kelly to lead MD for 2018-2019 school year


Madison Li, Staff Writer

At the start of the new school year, Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly will be taking on the temporary position of Middle Division Head while maintaining his current role in the school.

Head of MD Robin Ingram’s decision to transfer positions was discussed too late in the school year to allow for a thorough and thoughtful search for a new head, Kelly said. Therefore, Kelly has decided to take on the position for the time being, he said.

Next year, Kelly will be working closely with the MD Department Chairs and a “cabinet,” which will be comprised of MD teachers, he said.

“We want to make sure that we are thoughtful about our work and mindful of any changes that take place in the Middle Division,” Kelly said.

“The deans and their team of advisors are contemplating the possibility of rising with their class throughout the three years of the Middle Division,” Eighth Grade Dean Carlos Aguilar said.

Other changes include the possibility of having advisors stay with their advisees for all three years, similar to the advisor system in the Upper Division, and the possibility of reforming students’ physical education schedules to add a larger mix of options, Kelly said.

In addition, the division as a whole will work together to take a look at where they are going with technology, especially iPads, he said.

“As [Kelly] would say, he’s going to get ‘down in the weeds’ to see what’s working and what’s not working in the Middle School,” Ingram said.

Aguilar thinks that MD students will be positively affected, since, like other changes that are implemented in the division, it is in their best interest, he said. Also, many students are already used to being in contact with Kelly, he said.

One benefit of having Kelly in the division is that students will have direct contact with both the Head of School and Head of MD, so it’ll be easier to reach him for any reason, Brooke Gomez (6) said.

“I think that Dr. Kelly can bring a lot of fun activities and events to the Middle Division, and while [the division] may be a little different than how it is right now. I’m excited for the new changes,” Jack Komaroff (7) said.

Overall, Kelly will bring a lot of experience and new ideas to his new role, and his vast knowledge and genuine interest in the MD will have a positive impact on everyone in the division, Aguilar said.

“I am sure he will embrace this new role with the same commitment and advocacy that he brings to his position as our school Head,” he said.

“Dr. Kelly has a great understanding of the full student experience, from Nursery to 12th grade, and how students transition from one division to another, so he will be able to bring that experience and knowledge to the mix,” English Teacher Isaac Brooks said.

“It’s going to be very exciting to be working with Dr. Kelly, as department chairs meet with division heads once every other week,” Foreign Language Department Chair Valerie Mate-Hunt said.

With the majority of the construction and the “HM in Motion” campaign moving towards completion, Kelly now has more time to help reform the MD, Kelly said.

“Every year we have new initiatives going on that require greater portions of my bandwidth; I see my work in the Middle Division as no different,” he said. “I am excited to have the time within my schedule to spend more time in the division, as there are so many exciting conversations taking place and so much to consider.”