Meet the New Boss – Same as the Old Boss

[caption id="attachment_390" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Mrs. Greenwood in her office on the second floor."]Mrs. Greenwood in her office on the second floor.[/caption] Dilara Akgunduz Co-Editor in Chief Along the second floor hallway that leads into the bridge to the middle school, there lies a string of offices with blue doors that many student’s tend to look over. Many of us refer to it as the place where decisions are made and important-looking people preside behind the mystical blue doors. It might be good to know that one room in particular is the office of the next interim head of Latin: Mrs. Shelley Greenwood. An absolute “sports nut”, with the Bears being her first love, Mrs. Greenwood enjoys gardening, prefers to cook for forty people instead of five, and is proud to be an alto singer in Mr. Teolis’s choral singing group outside school. She is more than excited and hopeful to be Latin’s next interim head and ease the transition from one head of school to another. Mrs. Greenwood has been with the Latin community for a long time, and has held a lot of jobs at Latin. She was hired in 1993 as the school’s first director of admissions and financial aid. When the school decided to change the administrative structure a few years later, she was asked to become first the director, and then vice president, of institutional advancement (institutional advancement includes “admissions and financial aid, alumni relations and development, communications and public relations, High Jump, and summer programs”). She is also a current board member of High Jump, a nonprofit program for exceptional low-income students. When the last head of school, Mr. Hogan, decided to retire, Latin found itself in a delicate position. Back then, the Board of Trustees saw that it was impossible to find a new head in seven months, so they went with the idea of having an interim head. The board communicated clearly that any internal candidate for the permanent job could not also serve as the interim. Mrs. Greenwood comments, “There are many ways to make these decisions, but Latin’s board realized this was a very significant time in the school’s history and they wanted to make sure they could attract a fabulous pool of candidates. The decision was not hard for me. I had family responsibilities at that time that would have been very hard to juggle with a permanent job like this one, but I felt I could serve the school well for a year as the interim.” So, does Mrs. Greenwood want to apply for the position this time? “Once the board has determined what they need, I will have the opportunity to make a decision about my own interest in being considered,” Mrs. Greenwood says. She adds that, “This is a very thoughtful and respectful way to handle our situation. We have wonderful leadership and commitment from our board.” When asked if there was any effort on part of the board to have a diverse group of candidates, Mrs. Greenwood said, “There was a real commitment to have male and female candidates, as well as candidates of color for the last search. They were successful in having men and women as semi-finalists, I believe, but it is true the two final candidates were white men.” This time, the Board will make a significant effort to gather a large pool of candidates from all backgrounds. Mrs. Greenwood noted that the board itself is actually quite diverse in comparison to other schools. This year’s board is split evenly in the gender ratio, and 17% of the trustees represent racial and ethnic diversity. Of greater interest to us a students is the fact that, “Right now, the school’s focus is on identifying and hiring more teachers of color in order to better reflect the increased diversity of our student body (JK-12).” As interim head, Mrs. Greenwood hopes to set aside times in her schedule next year to make sure that she can be there to celebrate our accomplishments with the entire community. “It is not an easy task- I would give myself a “B” [for how I did as interim head last time]. [I want to] literally block out time for the many important and wonderful things that happen at our school—assemblies, games, plays, concerts, class presentations, retreats, field trips, parent coffees, alumni activities, faculty and staff conversations— to name a few! I love the generosity of spirit and enthusiasm that greets me every day [at Latin]— incredible colleagues, energized, inquisitive students, talented and active alumni and parents who give so much to our school…This is a community that dreams big and works hard.” Additionally, Mrs. Greenwood would like to try to finish building the last floors of the middle school building, including the new upper school science center and classrooms to accommodate the fifth grade program joining that division. She is excited to see how the newly revised honor code is received, and wants to make sure that she and the Board get feedback about Latin from the Latin community, to pass along to the permanent head of school. Finally, I asked Mrs. Greenwood what she loved so much about the Latin community. She simply replied, “What’s not to love? I can honestly say that the time has flown by and that I will always be grateful to Mr. Hogan for hiring me.” With that said, Mrs. Greenwood encourages us, as students, to stop by and say hello. Who knows? You might find really cool people behind the ever-mystical blue doors along that second floor hallway.]]>