Former Director of Academic Planning Carolyn McKee stepped up to a new position as Interim Director of the Upper School this year, replacing Natalie Demers who left last May to work with the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. Ms. McKee was approached with the offer by former Head of School Dennis Bisgaard and Head of School Thomas Dillow. “It was about recognizing that at that time, trying to hire someone else would be very late in the game,” Mr. Dillow said.
Ms. McKee has been committed to KO for quite some time; she has been the Director of Academic Planning for two years and was also Dean of Students for 14 years. Mr. Dillow said that it was wonderful Ms. McKee agreed to the job. “She has had such a wealth of experience as she had been a former Upper School Director at a school in Massachusetts,” he said. “It was evident and clear that this would be someone that would be a great fit.”
Ms. McKee prepared by spending some time with Ms. Demers, and studying the curriculum over the summer. She described her role as teacher-oriented. “I work more directly with teachers and department chairs around the curriculum,” she said. “I help teachers grow professionally.”
Mr. Dillow agreed that her role was a big one. “She is responsible for all facets of delivery of education,” he said. “She has to make sure that the curriculum is being delivered, as well as support and help faculty develop professional growth.”
In addition to this, Ms. McKee is also responsible for the Upper School budget and for hiring. “It is important to think about what we teach and how we teach it,” she said. Ms. McKee will have first-hand experience with this since she continues to teach psychology in the Upper School.
She also works side by side with Mr. Dillow. “We will work very closely together, since she is part of the student life administrative team that meets weekly to discuss any issues on the academic and extracurricular side of school,” Mr. Dillow said.
Ms. McKee said that she looks forward to the year ahead. “I’m excited for a challenge; I know the school well, and I care about the Upper School a lot.”
Mr. Dillow said that he appreciates Ms. McKee stepping up to the challenge. “I’m so thankful and so pleased we have such a seasoned and experienced educator as thoughtful and as dedicated to students and faculty as she is,” he said.