The Loomis Chaffee Log

Ask the Head – Week of November 5th 2018.

How do you feel about students in the Loomis community calling you by your first name? I’ve heard some of my friends do so around campus, and was wondering what you thought about this.

I am fairly informal in how people address me – I have at times been known as Dr. Culbert, Professor Culbert, Dr. Sheila, and Sheila. I would, however, urge students to be respectful of faculty generally and to be sure to use their preferred form of address.

How is teaching history at Loomis different than being our Head of School? What are the biggest similarities between these two roles, and does one (maybe a favorite…) teach you a lot about the other?

Teaching at Loomis is a lot of fun – it gives me the opportunity to really get to know a small group of students well and to discuss something that I am passionate about – the Civil War. There are certainly a lot of overlaps between teaching and being head. After all, I am essentially the head master, or the head teacher, and ultimately my first concern always in both roles is about the students and whether they are getting what they need to grow and learn. I am very interested in pedagogy and in how students learn best and that interest informs both roles.

Being head also involves a lot of other decisions that are more akin to running a business. In addition to being the head teacher, I am also the CEO of a medium sized company and have to understand the budget, the market for our school, as well as communications and marketing. I am also responsible for our 300 employees, the physical campus, and all of the complexities that come with that. Finally, I also need to fundraise and encourage our parents and alumni to support the school. We cannot do what we do without their support.

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Ask the Head – Week of November 5th 2018.