Welcome Back From Liza Lee
Posted August 15, 2012
Dear CSG Parents:
I hope that you and your children have enjoyed a happy, peaceful summer. The slower pace of life over the past eight weeks has given me time to reflect on the joy that the entire CSG community has brought me, and on the excitement and passion that permeates these halls and playing fields. It’s a wonderful school, and I am treasuring my experience here.
As always, August is a reminder that the opening of school is complicated with ambivalent feelings of regret that the summer is over and excitement that a new year is beginning. This year should definitely have an emphasis on the new: we will open our Wellness and Athletics Complex, we will begin planning for our theater, we will enjoy some new and innovative curriculum changes, we will enjoy a new playground in the PYC, and in the spring we will welcome an accreditation team to the school. For those of us who work in schools, the first day of school has always carried far more excitement and promise than the beginning of the calendar year on January 1. There is the pleasure of working with students, the play of minds, the freedom to explore.
But for many parents and their children the start of school is an anxious time, because they are aware of the challenges ahead. Both our students and their parents want terribly to have the year be happy and successful, and it’s hard not to see the opening of school as an end to pleasure, to play, and to freedom. There is an interesting article titled “Raising Successful Children,” by Madeline Levine in the Sunday Review of the NY Times. She points out that, “The central task of growing up is to develop a sense of self that is autonomous, confident and generally in accord with reality,” and suggests that children deprived of the very challenges we fear are deprived of “the tools they will need to handle the inevitable, difficult, challenging and sometimes devastating demands of life.”
Our task in schools is to set high expectations, but to help children have what she calls “successful failures” as well, so that all school experiences result in growth. I do think that this year and every year is a new beginning for all of us and generally a time of happiness – a time when we can give thanks for the past year and welcome the new one with open arms. My small prayer for the new school year is always Dag Hammarskjold’s,
For all that has been––Thanks!
For all that shall be––Yes!
In that vein, just as we ended last year with great thanks to our departing students and their families, and to our departing faculty and staff, we begin this year with a grand “yes” and welcome to our new families and our new faculty and staff. I’m certain that you have been introduced to them in your division director’s letters, but you may not have met our new administrative staff members; They are:
Jenni Biehn is our new Director of Admission and Financial Aid. Jenni graduated from CSG in 1988 and earned her B.A. in International Relations from Bucknell University. Jenni was a competitive swimmer at CSG and Bucknell. At Bucknell, Jenni captained both the swimming and water polo teams. She began her career in the Bucknell University Office of Admissions as an Admissions Counselor and then went on to work at the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan as the Dean of Upper School Admission, the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia as the Director of Lower School Admission, and the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr as the Director of Enrollment Management. Jenni moved back to the Columbus area with her husband and three young boys.
Kelly Brown is our new Assistant Director of Communications. She joins us from the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia where she has been the eCommunications Manager and Assistant Director of Alumnae Relations since 2005. Kelly received a B.S. from Ohio University and Master’s degree coursework in Educational Media from Appalachian State University. Kelly is relocating to Columbus with her husband and 2 young daughters. Her daughter Sophia will be in our 4/5 Class.
Katie Kessler Chatas joins CSG as Co-Interim Director of Development & External Relations. She graduated from CSG, and received her B.A. from Williams College in History and German. After working in Corporate Finance at Citibank in New York for three years, she left for a middle school teaching position at Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, Connecticut. She felt right at home at Greenwich Academy since the atmosphere was so reminiscent of CSG. After relocating to England with her husband, Katie earned her Master’s in History in Education from the University of London. Over the last 14 years, Katie has been a stay- at- home mom and active volunteer, devoting much of her time to organizations she cares deeply about like Columbus School for Girls. Much of her volunteer work has focused on fundraising and development. Katie’s daughter, Sophie, graduated from CSG in 2012 and her son, Jack, will be a sophomore at St. Charles.
Kim Rice Wilson joins CSG as Co-Interim Director of Development & External Relations. After graduating from CSG, Kim attended Denison University and received a B.A in Economics. She spent 10 years at Bank One in Columbus, Ohio working in Operations and IT. She continued her career with the Hugo Bosca Company as Communications Director and The Borden Company as Director of Change Management in their IT subsidiary. For the past 11 years, Kim has been an independent consultant, primarily partnering with S4 Consulting, assisting clients with communications, process management, project management, and executive coaching. While at Bank One, she co-founded Six String Concerts, a non-profit, all-volunteer arts organization. She has served as president for 23 years overseeing operations, concert production, grant writing, and other fundraising activities. Kim also has been heavily involved in many other volunteer activities, including Columbus School for Girls and the Center for Balanced Living, where she served as Chair of the Development Committee. Kim lives in Bexley with her husband, Jim, and daughters, Meg and Kate, CSG Class of 2017.
Karlene Yamamoto joins the Development Office as our Development Coordinator, after having begun her role with the office as a parent volunteer. Karlene and her husband have 3 children. Their oldest daughter, Bethany, is in Form VII. Karlene has a B.A./B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and a law degree from Pace University School of Law.
Three faculty members have moved to administrative positions: Perry Rogers will be the Assistant Head for Academic Affairs and Community Outreach, and Lindsey Smith and Leonie Tureck will be the Interim Co-Directors of Athletics.
Let’s welcome everyone to a new year of great promise and excitement as well as challenging work and comforting routines. Let’s remind ourselves as we move into a year of classwork and homework that within the ordinary routine of school lies the bright promise of growth and discovery as it always has for every student -- in the same way that under the blanket of the hot Columbus sky of summer lies the miracle of the cool fall rain. Welcome to days of hot sun, cool rain, human understanding and divine promise.
Elizabeth M. (Liza) Lee
Head of School