I am thrilled and honored to have been named your Head of Upper School, and as an alumna, I am delighted to return to Hockaday to lead this innovative upper school community! I am grateful to have this opportunity, and assure you I am wholeheartedly dedicated to caring for our students and teachers every day while cultivating a meaningful learning environment.
Hockaday’s purpose and vision underscore my beliefs about how girls best develop and grow, and I value the School's Four Cornerstones, which serve as a foundation for its work. I am inspired by our mission to educate girls to realize their limitless potential and become young women who will make a definitive impact on our world, and it will be my honor to help them achieve their goals.
The 2019–2020 school year will mark my 17th year in education. Most recently, I was the Head of Upper School at Phoenix Country Day in Arizona, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with students, families, teachers, and administrators to improve processes to ensure alignment with the strategic mission of the school. I understand the demands on upper school students today and the critical importance of supporting them as they make the most of their student experience. Throughout my career as a teacher and as an administrator, I have implemented several programs to enhance the student experience. From designing retreat programming to launching student leadership opportunities to refining school policies and standards of excellence to engaging students, families and faculty in transparent conversations, it has been an absolute privilege to see students embrace the learning process and continue to thrive.
I am devoted to this journey with each of you. I look forward to listening to our girls and continually exploring new ideas to meet their needs to create an exciting and purposeful experience. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that change happens best when it is a collective effort from our faculty and our students and our families. I teach, and try to emulate myself, that insights are everywhere. We must actively seek them out to create the best solution for the challenge at hand. We might not always be “right,” but if we listen and make our decisions with integrity, collaboration, and even a sense of humor, we can learn and be better than we are today.
I believe that every girl can realize her dreams, and that the collaboration between home and school builds trust and confidence in students. The person I am today is due in large part to the educators and mentors from my days as a Hockaday student, and I am elated to return to the School I love and support the students throughout their journeys.
Lisa Culbertson '96