Dalo to replace Delanty as Dean of Students

Andie Goldmacher and Rowan Mally

After over a decade as Dean of Students, Dr. Susan Delanty announced that former grade dean and Spanish teacher Michael Dalo will take over her current position in the 2019-20 school year.

She is returning to the classroom after 22 years in the Deans’ Office.

Delanty will likely teach chemistry and the new biochemistry elective next year, depending on the school’s needs, she said. “My favorite part of everything I do here is actually working with students and their families,” Delanty said.

As Dean of Students, Delanty pioneered many Dorr initiatives for the Upper Division, including Upper Division Orientation (UDO) and Senior Dorr. “Dr. Delanty loves Dorr, and she has done a lot to ensure that the Upper Division spends as much time at Dorr as possible,” Head of School Dr. Jessica Levenstein said.

Levenstein has joined Delanty at Dorr for both UDO and Senior Dorr. Her favorite memory with Delanty was during a Deans’ Office overnight trip, during which she got lost in the woods with Delanty and grade dean Stephanie Feigin. “We kept seeing the same tree over and over again, and then we just got hysterical,” she said

Delanty frequently coordinated initiatives with the Community Council (CC). “Dr. Delanty always brought a level-headed atmosphere to the CC,” class president Madhav Menon (10) said. “She is always open to meet and does not run CC meetings like a monarchy,” Menon said.

“[Delanty’s] points always made us rethink ideas and refine our goals as a group. She has such a wealth of knowledge and great guage of the HM community, so she has always been a great sounding board to test ideas on,” CC member Adam Frommer (10) said.

While students are sad to see Delanty leave the position, both students and faculty said they are excited for Dalo to take over and implement his new ideas. “Mr. Dalo is creative, well organized, has a great connection to the school and faculty, and is optimistic even when stressed,” Levenstein said.

Dalo’s current and former students, Ryan Jonas (11) and Annabelle Xing (10), said that Dalo is a caring and compassionate teacher. “He cares about us in and out of the classroom, and his dedication to the students will make him an amazing Dean of Students,” Jonas said.

“His most important quality as a teacher is understanding how student life is. I appreciate that he tries to lessen the burden of tests and quizzes,” Xing said.

While Dalo does not officially assume his new position until July 1st, Delanty and Dalo have already been working closely together, and Dalo has helped plan events for the coming year.

Dalo is looking forward to implementing the school’s upcoming curriculum changes and diversity initiatives, he said.

“Going back to the Deans’ Office is going to give me an opportunity to interact with students outside the classroom that I lost once I stepped down as a grade dean,” he said.

Dalo hopes to thoughtfully reflect upon and “discuss the advisory program from both the faculty and student standpoint,” he said.

“I also want to take a deeper look into student government, and ensure members of different positions are working cohesively for a conjoined purpose,” he said.

This is not Dalo’s first time in the Deans’ Office, as he was dean of the Class of 2017. “[Being a grade dean] helped me gain a deeper understanding of what students are dealing with at Horace Mann and all the things they have on their plate,” he said.

As Delanty’s time as Dean of Students comes to a close, the immeasurable impact she had on the student body has become increasingly clear, Menon and co-student body president Janvi Kukreja (12) said. “I absolutely love Dr. Delanty, and as sad as I am to see her leave the Deans’ Office I know how much she loves teaching and I am excited she will be able to do that full time,” Kukreja said.

Levenstein expects the change to be seamless and positive for everyone, she said. “[Dalo] will look at the possibilities and figure out how to modify and change things so they work for him. He will find places where his new ideas can flourish,” Delanty said.