Before meeting with Ms. Cole, the head of school, in the weeks leading up to winter break, I had to make an appointment with her assistant. On the Wednesday of our interview, I walked into her room and saw stacks and stacks of papers on her desk and at the table where she was working.
None of her business has changed since we spoke back in August, but she was not wearing a mask. [Note: this interview took place before the policy change.] Knocking on wood, she was relieved that our Covid numbers are staying down and that the transmission rates were low. She prayed that it would stay that way.
She was also pleased by how respectful students are with students making their decision to keep a mask on. “I see lots of students wearing masks every day and it does not seem to be a social stigma at all, and I hope that that continues,” said Ms. Cole.
Still, she said it’s been tough ”Managing the spectrum of emotions and perspectives that people have and someone is always unhappy with a decision that we have made.” While some are okay with policies, others think that we are “taking too much of a health risk.”
Not only is she managing the school, but she is also an advisor to freshmen and co-teaching a class. She is loving the change of perspective because she used to mostly work with upperclassmen. Working with her advisory, she says that even though they may not be from the same social groups, they have been “gelling” really well together.
Ms. Cole has been especially impressed with the impact of the PAL program on her advisory. “The PAL program is great,” she said, “and I have really seen it benefit my advisory.”
Mrs. Cole loves to be back in the classroom again and “seeing people’s smiling faces.” The class has given her a lot of insight “not only being a Lovett student but being fifteen, sixteen, seventeen in 2021, and all of the challenges associated with that and pressures.” This factors into her thinking as the head of school.
Just as much as we needed the Thanksgiving break so did Mrs. Cole. After loads and loads of work, she was finally able to do and listen to things she loves. Of course, she loved getting to see all of her family on Thanksgiving break, but another favorite activity that she did was play tennis again. She also enjoyed going on walks around campus.
She was also able to try out some fan-favorite TV shows and music. “I tried Squid Games and did not like it,” she said, deciding that it’s best for her to just keep “hanging onto the classics.” Mrs. Cole is waiting for more seasons to come out of some shows including Stranger Things and Outer Banks. She’s really into the new Adele album.
Once on the other side of Thanksgiving Break, she loved getting in the Christmas spirit with all of the art productions and the holiday carols. “I just love all of the seasons of the arts,” she said.
Looking forward, Mrs. Cole is very happy that Mr. Boswell and Mr. Moody are the official heads of the middle and high schools. After a nationwide search to find one, she was glad that we hired in-house candidates. “They are fantastic,” she said.
Even though she is still busy, she says it’s a good busy. “We are picking back up the pre-pandemic activities while keeping the pandemic activities.” And she now gets to do all of those things while in bigger settings and reconnecting with the community.