Rachel Simpson selected as new head

Liana Lum, Editor-in-Chief

Liana Lum

President Ann Marie Krejcarek announced current dean Rachel Simpson has been selected as the new head of school beginning July 1, during a special assembly held during lunch in the Center on March 7.

“Simpson was able to articulate her vision as a leader and her dedication to the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education,” Krejcarek said. “When considering the various candidates that came through the finalist process, a differentiator was Simpson’s desire to lead Convent specifically. The professional level of the position or the location of our school might have motivated other candidates in the process and when I considered these factors, I wondered if they would ultimately best serve our leadership needs.”

Krejcarek made the final decision as to the new head of school after input from a student advisory group, faculty, parents, alumnae and the four schools’ board of trustees.

“(I wanted) someone who would have my back and know me instead of being a figurehead I don’t really know,” sophomore Marie de Tomasi, who participated in the student focus group, said.
The search began with 340 resumes and was eventually narrowed down to four candidates who underwent extensive inter- views and background checks until Simpson was chosen, according to Krejcarek.

“I have become very attached to the Goals and Criteria of our Sacred Heart education and feel a very devoted commitment not only to the Goals and Criteria but especially to Convent of the
Sacred Heart High School,” said Simpson.

Students looked for similar characteristics in a new head of school and say Simpson’s experience in the Sacred Heart community is beneficial.

“(I looked for) someone who supports the community and tries to make everyone around them better, which I think Ms. Simp- son will do well,” senior Isabella Borges said. “She has been a part of this community for so long and knows what our culture is about. Although people have doubts about her, I think she will do a very good job.”

Simpson, a first-class honor graduate of Oxford’s St. John’s College, came to CSH in the fall 1996 as a French and English teacher, eventually serving as the International Language Department chair. She was also dean of studies at Stuart Hall High School for two years as well as the CHS acting head of school for six months.

“My classroom functions in a spirit of camaraderie and, given the subjects I have taught which are very language-centric whether its French or English, the capacity for students to engage in dialogue in the classroom is something that I have always developed in my classroom environment,” Simpson said. “I would like to see that open-dialogue flourish as an administrator, too.”

Simpson envisions an improved Sacred Heart culture along with students who desire a stronger sense of community, hoping the school can become their “home away from home.”

“We will continue to be a culture at one with our Goals — Goals that focus on prosperity of spirit, academic commitment, awareness of the world outside Convent and a heartfelt connection to one another within the Convent community,” Simpson said. “Very importantly, it’s a culture where each young woman learns to be uniquely and confidently herself.”

Simpson says she also wants to preserve Sacred Heart traditions.

“I hope to continue to lead Convent’s tradition of being a joyful place of learning for its young women and to encourage the growth of a 21st century learning environment where each Convent graduate can feel as well prepared for her future as possible,” Simpson said.