When I first met Ms. Dolan in my freshman year, we were both new, total novices in KO culture, and navigating the schedule and community for the first time, as a student/athlete/advisee and teacher/coach/advisor, respectively. Nevertheless, inexperience had no effect on Ms. Dolan’s ability to provide valuable guidance and support to me and the other members of my advisee group during our first couple of meetings. In the two years since her arrival, Ms. Dolan has played an intrinsic role in shaping my experiences and the experiences of several other students on campus.
Ms. Dolan joined KO staff as a first time teacher in August of 2016. Prior to KO, after graduating as an economics major from Harvard University, Ms. Dolan worked as an analyst at Volition Capital, a Venture Capital firm in Boston, where she and a team of other analysts identified technology companies on the rise–the next Facebooks and Googles–in need of funding. After leaving this job, Ms. Dolan found her place in the math department, which she described as supportive and crucial in helping her find her footing as a teacher.
Ms. Dolan expressed how happy she had been to find a career where she had variety, as well as an opportunity to make connections with the people around her. “It’s been really fantastic to have those [connections] on a daily basis, and to get to do new things each day, teaching is the last thing from monotonous,” Ms. Dolan said.
She listed being able to select what course and level she taught each year as examples of the variety she encountered during her years at KO, and reflected on the ways she sought out variety outside of the classroom, like attending last year’s trip to Tobati, or coaching junior varsity girls soccer for the first time.
In the classroom, students commended Ms. Dolan for the breadth of her knowledge of mathematics. “I am always impressed by her ability to open the textbook and immediately start doing any problem that I’m stuck on,” said freshman Emma Henry, a student in Ms. Dolan’s Honors geometry class this year. Other students shared that her personality and teaching methods make classes informative and fun.
“Ms. Dolan is super approachable, which I love,” junior Jacqueline Dugan said, a member of Ms. Dolan’s Algebra 2 class. She described Ms. Dolan as a patient teacher, always willing to meet students where they are in understanding and working diligently with them until they fully understand a concept. “I know I can always go to her with any question or concern I have, and she will always make time to be there for me,” Jacqueline said.
On the field, Ms. Dolan’s passionate spirit defined the teams she coached, especially junior varsity girls soccer. “She brought a lot of enthusiasm to the sport, even though she didn’t know much about it,” junior Maeve McDonald said. “I spent a lot of time with her as my ‘goalie tutor’, and I’m going to miss having her next year.”
Ms. Dolan shared various proud moments and fond memories she will be carrying with her past KO, like her experiences as track coach going to New Englands, serving as a soccer goalie coach to Maeve McDonald, and leading her advisees through their academic journeys.
“Being able to watch them grow as a group, but also individually,” Ms. Dolan said, had been especially rewarding. “They came in as a group of people that really didn’t know each other very well, and now, not only do they know each other, they know themselves,” she said.
Ms. Dolan shared key lessons that she had learned while working at KO, one of which she discovered very early on during her time here: “There are places you can work where you can be nurtured and supported, and also grow,” she said. “KO has taught me that you should keep looking for what’s right for you in terms of what you do with your day-to-day.”
Ms. Dolan also shared some advice for Wyverns still working their way through high school: build up a resume of experiences, and value your relationships with members of the community.
“Try and make sure that you utilize all the opportunities that you have here,” Ms. Dolan said. In her perspective, the key is not to take every course or do every activity on campus, but to do a variety of things you have interest in. Ms. Dolan also emphasized the importance of the relationships students make during their time in school. “Embrace the people that you know here: I’m still best friends with three girls from high school, and I see them all the time,” she said. “High school is a really significant experience. Take a hold of as many opportunities as possible, make connections, and focus on relationships.”
Ms. Dolan will be working at Nobles and Greenough School in Boston next school year in order to be closer to family and friends. Her warm and positive presence on campus will succeed her long after she departs this June.