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The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

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Dr. Sheehan Appointed as New Assistant Head of School

Dr. Sheehan poses with Mr. Goldberg, former Head of School, and her daughter, Kelly Sheehan, during the Lower School’s Halloween Parade.

(Photo from Benjamin School Archives)
Dr. Sheehan poses with Mr. Goldberg, former Head of School, and her daughter, Kelly Sheehan, during the Lower School’s Halloween Parade. (Photo from Benjamin School Archives)

The 2024-2025 school year will officially include one large change, there will be a new Assistant Head of School. This title was announced on December 6 to the Benjamin community. The job will be filled by none other than the Lower School’s current Head, Dr. Kristen Sheehan. Dr. Sheehan has been at the Benjamin School since 2007 and is very enthusiastic as she prepares to fill this new position starting July 1.

“What I’m looking forward to the most is having the opportunity to be on both campuses and to be in classrooms and getting to know the students much better. I think that’s a really great way of getting to tie our school together and to remind us that even though we are two campuses, we are one big school,” shares Dr. Sheehan.

Mr. David Faus, Benjamin’s Head of School, shares that in order to fill the spot of Dr. Sheehan’s current job, the school is directing another nationwide search to find the best candidate to fill her shoes.

This position did exist before Covid and the last person to hold this title was Mr. Ken Didsbury, which newer members of the Benjamin community may recognize from the Didsbury Learning Commons, or “DLC” on the Upper School campus. However as Mr. Faus came into his job during COVID, he wanted to get accustomed with the school’s environment before finding someone to take on the responsibilities of being an Assistant Head.

Now that Mr. Faus has spent a few years with the Benjamin School he decided to start the search for the job. He shares that he, along with a group of faculty members, conducted a national search for the best candidate and came to the conclusion that Dr. Sheehan is the best for the position.

“I received a lot of input from the various constraints of the school. I established an advisory committee made up of faculty and staff that helped me narrow down the field and then interviewed semi-finalists and finalists. A group of students on each campus had lunch with each finalist too,” explains Mr. Faus.

One important message that Dr. Sheehan wants to share with students who may not know her is that she cares very deeply about the Benjamin community and the well-being of the students.

“I am there for them and school is about students. It’s important that their voices are heard and I am part of the administration that’s there to make sure that their experience at Benjamin is second to none,” shares Dr. Sheehan.

Another point that she would like to get across is that she is “passionate, and not only passionate about Benjamin but about education. I always believe there are two sides to stories and we have to listen and find solutions that are the best for everyone,” says Dr. Sheehan.

As an educator and administrator, patience and fairness are two crucial traits that Dr. Sheehan recognizes. Her past jobs include working at a school in Atlanta, Georgia, the Palm Beach County public school district, two independent schools, and then joining the Benjamin School as a Lower School teacher and making her way to the new Assistant Head of School.

Dr. Sheehan has an inspirational story about how she came to be an educator. She originally was studying in college to be a veterinarian, which was her childhood dream. One day, the education coordinator at the zoo where she was working went into labor early and someone needed to take over. The zoo put Dr. Sheehan in her place temporarily and she was in charge of bringing the animals to elementary schools in the area. After visiting the schools and children, she realized that she had found her new passion and dream career. Since then, Dr. Sheehan has put her all into becoming a teacher and a positive role model in her student’s lives.

In the past years, the Benjamin School has continued to expand in size and opportunity. The addition of the new position as Assistant Head will help the administration organize and improve the growing community.

“Dr. Sheehan will bring a new set of eyes to our academic program, and she will be able to work with me to ensure our faculty has all the tools they need to do their job in the classroom. She believes in Benjamin and the school’s mission. She is a life-long learner and a student-first leader – she cares about the Benjamin student experience,” explains Mr. Faus.

Adjusting from the Lower School to the High School is certainly a challenge as the students know and having to do that as part of a career is no exception. Dr. Sheehan will be sure to face new experiences and tasks to complete but with her accomplished past, they should be no issue.

“Because she has spent most of her time on the Lower School campus, she needs to get to know the Middle and Upper Schools in more depth but I have received positive feedback from her colleagues, parents, and the Board of Trustees,” says Mr. Faus.

Dr. Sheehan begins to prepare for her new role with an energetic attitude looking forward to the future and adding her positive presence to the Upper School. With her thirst for learning and greatness, the new Assistant Head’s position will be filled graciously and skillfully.

“I’m always looking for the opportunity to grow as a leader. So, having it be at Benjamin and happening to be the Assistant Head of School just made it all more perfect,” shares Dr. Sheehan.

The Pharcyde Welcomes Dr. Sheehan to the Upper School.

Dr. Sheehan speaks to a crowd of Lower School families during Grandest Friend’s
Day. (Photo from Benjamin School Archives)

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About the Contributor
Caroline Groffman, Associate Editor
Caroline Groffman is a sophomore at The Benjamin School. She is going into her second year on The Pharcyde and is excited to continue her writing. Caroline has been a part of The Benjamin School community since Kindergarten. She loves seeing family and friends, and going to the beach.

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