Class of 1979, Dr. Susan Delanty

Abby Beckler, Staff Writer

As a student, one of science teacher and Dean of Students Dr. Susan Delanty’s ’79 favorite qualities of the school was the strong relationships she shared with teachers.

“I felt that [my teachers] were on my side and wanted me to learn,” she said. “They all seemed to love teaching their subjects, which was different from the teachers in my public school.”

A lot has changed since she graduated; however, as a faculty member since 1990, Delanty said that she still regards the passion of the teachers as one of the school’s “greatest gifts.”

Delanty came to the school as a student in ninth grade. “In my public school, it wasn’t cool to be smart,” she said.“When I came here, I was by far not the smartest person in my classes, and people worked very hard. It was a nice change.”

The school opened its doors to women with the graduating class of 1976, and was still adjusting to a changing community when Delanty was a student.

Delanty and her female peers faced sexism from teachers. “One thing I remember was that there was a cohort of male faculty that were not happy that the school went co-ed,” she said. “I remember feeling a bit of that tension but it didn’t really affect me personally.”

While there were challenges to being the first female students, there were also opportunities to pioneer new endeavors at the school. Delanty was a member of one of the first Girls Varsity Softball and Field Hockey teams.

“We started all the teams because we were the first teams of girls’ at the school,” she said. “There hadn’t been any girls teams before us, so it wasn’t too difficult to become a member, and the expectations weren’t too high.”

Delanty also participated in Searchers, the outdoor program in which students learn to hike, camp, and be resourceful in nature, she said.

“We had practice or training every day after school and it was a lot of learning about yourself and your inner resources,” she said.

Delanty stayed in contact with some of her former teachers from the school after graduating, as she had had hoped to return to the school as a teacher, she said.

“They let me know as soon as a job was available and I took it immediately,” Delanty said. “I loved it here as a student and teaching here was the right thing for me in my life. Being a teacher felt like the right thing for what I wanted for myself and my family.”