Jordyn Clark, Juliet Munn & Joya Tendulkar
Goodwin House’s new dean, Caitlin Brown, began her first year at South this September. She has worked in education for 18 years as a social studies teacher, soccer and track coach and an athletic director at Foxborough High School. She then became the assistant principal at Andover High School, becoming the principal four years later. She is looking forward to working closely with students and joining the South community.
Q: What motivated you to pursue a career in education and ultimately become a school dean?
A: “When I was your age, I did not think I was going to be a teacher, but I realized the impact a teacher can have on a student […] I’m so grateful I took this career path because it really is about students and I think it gave me a unique perspective on how to work with people and see them in different ways.”
Q: How did your family influence you to get to where you are now?
A: “My father growing up was a district attorney […] his work was restorative work, supporting students, especially around juvenile justice. My mother was a social worker, so she likes to talk about feelings. My father is a leader and knew how to work with people, how to manage people, and understand different people’s backgrounds. My mother knew how to listen to people and understand their emotions. What makes them up, kind of made me.”
Q: What about your high school experience encouraged you to pursue education?
A: “Everyone is coming into high school with different backgrounds and experiences, and it was important for me to have a person that would be there to listen to people and not be judgmental about whatever you are experiencing.”
Q: What’s your philosophy on learning and how do you plan to implement it at South?
A: “My philosophy is about being inclusive and making sure everyone is heard. We all walk into this building carrying our own background, our own history, and what my goal is, is to understand that and acknowledge it and then help them be the best version of themselves […] I’ve never in my 18 years met a student who was a bad kid.
There’s always a story behind anything that happens […] I spent a lot of time doing […] work around social emotional learning, and that was really something I’ve enjoyed doing about making sure students emotionally were available to learn.”
Q: How do you plan on fostering a positive and inclusive school community for students, faculty and staff?
A: “My goal is to be present, to smile, to be welcoming, and to make sure people can be heard. Listening is a really important part sometimes and administrators can forget, but the listening piece is really important to me […] I think finding that work- life balance and finding a way to still connect with students is what I’m looking forward to doing here.”
Q: What is your message to South Students?
A: “This is a very caring community and a very kind community. And the rest of the staff from all of the custodians to the secretaries, everyone here is really looking out for your well being. You are all an amazing group of individuals collectively. So I’m really honored to be here […] and learn from the people here.”