Dear Head of School…A Spartacus Special Series

First Installment: Middle School Speaks


Photograph by K Davis

Mrs. Finny’s Advisory

As Miami Country Day School honors the end of an era under the guidance of Dr. John Davies, we now look toward welcoming the new Head of School, ushering in the next chapter to our vibrant and active Spartan community life. All around campus, many Spartans look forward to meeting Mrs. Mariandl Hufford. In an effort to give voice to all members of our community and to collectivize the hopes and wishes that we have for what our new head of school will bring to enrich our whole child experience, Reporter Abbey Tomkinson will be traveling across campus to capture the sentiments, wishes,  hopes and questions of Spartans across grade levels.

This is the first in our new series “Dear Head of School.”  

My first journey brought me to Mrs. Finny’s sixth grade advisory. The keen students there participated in an active round table discussion with me. Students presented qualities which they believe makes a strong head of school, including respect, strong collaboration skills, good listening, empathy, good planning skills and active involvement with the community. The students ardently agreed about the importance of interaction between the head of school and the student body.

“Something we’d like from a headmaster is for them to know the school and students in a good way, to be able to understand them get and involved with their school work and what they are going through,” said sixth grade class officer Caterina Serrano-Bigles. She added, “Interaction is what makes a good leader.”

Other students eagerly proposed numerous ways the new Head of School could get involved with middle school students, from simple things such as visiting middle school during break to a get-to-know the head of school type of “game” event.

Students expanded on the previous concepts of respect and good listening skills to apply them to interactions between the head of school and students. Students voiced that they believed a head of school who could adapt to students creativity, and help implement this creativity in classroom learning, would enhance their classroom experience.

Class officers Jack Eaton and Victoria Alves agreed. “I’d like a head of school who is thoughtful towards the student’s experience and how they may want to participate,” said Jack. Victoria agreed, adding, “It’d be nice to see more democracy in what students get to do, to be able to adapt to the learning style of students and how they want to interact in class.”

With all the talent and inquisitive thought that imbues the Middle School, there is no doubt they would do amazing things with their classroom learning and add to the community experience. From what I’ve heard, middle school most looks forward to getting to know the new head of school on a personal level as someone who will support their creativity and independent thought.

Stay tuned for more reflections on what the Spartan community hopes for the coming school years under the new Head of School.