Practicing transparency

Compared to years past, leadership has been more open to connecting with students


Graphic by Emily McShane

Emily McShane

In the wake of a new leader and school year, administration has made better of an effort to create a more welcoming and transparent atmosphere for students. With issues and complaints from students about not feeling that they are ‘in the loop’ in previous years, the fall of 2022 has been different because administration has become more inviting to students’ concerns. 

We commend the actions made by Interim Head of School Dr. Laura Leathers, Head of Communications Sara Stoltz and Form Deans Dr. Emily Bemenderfer and Jordan Innerarity, to create a better relationship between students and administration. Their openness to students’ thoughts and ideas about the school further strengthens students’ trust in administration to make sure our education and well-being are the priority of this school. 

We frequently see Leathers walking the halls, giving students a chance to talk to her and allowing her to learn our names and stories. As a chemistry teacher and mom of a senior, Leathers has more of a connection to the student body because she sees it more often and knows the girls more personally through her many roles at the school. She also started her own Instagram account (@hockaday_headofschool), posting academic and athletic accomplishments of all Daisies to show her pride in the school and its students. 

Stoltz also is often spotted around campus, taking pictures and talking to students. She runs the Hockaday Instagram and is very active on that account to share how proud the school is of its students. 

Form deans Bemenderfer and Innerarity connect with the students and are always willing to talk about anything a student is struggling with. Even though they are the rule-makers and enforcers, they are transparent about why these rules are in place and why a student may have received an infraction. Both are advisors, making it easier for them to create bonds with students and understand the stress and issues students experience. 

In past years, some members of administration have been disconnected from the student body and not as integrated into the day-to-day life of Upper School. With COVID, it is understandable that their jobs might have been harder, making it difficult to click with the student body, but administrators need to continue to make it a priority to connect with students.

We are hopeful the administration keeps up this transparency and continues to create bonds with all students, ensuring that our education is their No. 1 priority.