The Dean of Students Office at Bay is undergoing some exciting changes this school year. Foremost is the arrival of our new Dean of Students, Aaron Plantenberg.
Aaron was drawn to The Bay School by the opportunity to do the job of Dean of Students the way he thinks it should be done. “I’d like to be able to be someone working to uphold culture and expectations without doing it in a dogmatic or draconian way — keeping room for considerations of individual needs, keeping problems right-sized, modeling that for my colleagues, and being proactive instead of reactive.” Aaron has a deep appreciation for Bay’s precepts. “When you are thinking about culture, conduct and community standards, having something like Bay’s precepts front and center is very reassuring. Even if we aren’t always able to live up to them, having them as a base for school life and culture is very appealing.”
Aaron began his career in education as a Spanish teacher, which allowed him to stay in touch with a subject and a culture and gave him an incentive to learn and travel. As he transitioned into an administrative role, Aaron enjoyed examining school culture and supporting students, teachers and advisors. He comes to Bay from the Edmund Burke School in Washington, DC, where he was Dean of Students for the past seven years.
When asked if he has been surprised by anything so far during his time at Bay he answered, “I’m pleasantly surprised by how welcoming the students have been. They’ve been pretty receptive to me floating through the building.”
Students also seem pretty receptive to Aaron’s introduction of music to the end of the lunch period. His idea to use music to encourage students to clean up and transition back to class was inspired by the pre-school clean up songs he and his wife played for their now 2 ½ year-old son. According to other Bay staffulty, the music seems to be getting the job done for high schoolers as well.
Supporting the Dean of Students are four designated class deans, one for each grade level. The class deans are grade level specialists who support the students and their advisors, who grow with the students as they advance through their four-year arc. The 10th– through 12th-grade deans are classroom teachers as well, all in different disciplines. Mio Berk, Assistant Dean of Students and 9th-Grade Class Dean explains, “This new structure allows our office to have a variety of perspectives.” It also allows for a dedicated person to be more intentional about what activities the students should be doing at each grade level.
The introduction of the four class deans provides the opportunity for the Dean of Students to focus on the totality of student programming including co-curricular classes, clubs and social events. “I’m very happy with the new structure,” says Aaron. “I feel like this team is able to give a lot of support based on the time and resources they have. I’ve been very pleased working with the four class deans; there is a lot of energy, interest and ideas being brought to the team. It’s been great so far.”
Left to right: Aaron Plantenberg, Mio Berk, Lucci Lautze, Abram Jackson, and Nic Fiszman
Dean of Students Office:
- Dean of Students: Aaron Plantenberg, ext. 127
- 9th-grade Class Dean & Assistant Dean of Students: Mio Berk, ext.166
- 10th-grade Class Dean & Mathematics Faculty: Lucci Lautze, ext. 148
- 11th-grade Class Dean & Humanities Faculty: Abram Jackson, ext. 187
- 12th-grade Class Dean & Science Faculty: Nic Fiszman, ext. 149
- Student Activities Coordinator: Cole Stevens, ext. 193
Upcoming Grade Level Parent/Guardian Coffees:
- 11th-Grade: September 21, 2018
- 12th-Grade: September 25, 2018
- 10th-Grade: October 11, 2018
- 9th-Grade: January 11, 2019