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Jenny Karlen Elliott appointed Head of Student & Academic Life

On July 1, 2022, Jenny Karlen Elliott joined Choate Rosemary Hall as the School’s inaugural Head of Student and Academic Life. Empowered by the Head of School, the Head of Student and Academic Life holds responsibility and authority for day-to-day school operations and decision-making for all student, faculty, and family matters. In partnership with school leaders, Jenny is working to cultivate a vibrant community that promotes, celebrates, and supports academic and personal growth for all community members. In addition, Jenny serves as teacher, learner, and leader, engaging actively in the life of the School and promoting positive working relationships in all areas of school life. She supports, oversees, and partners with the Dean of College Counseling, Dean of Equity and Inclusion, Dean of Faculty, and Dean of Students.

Jenny came to Choate from Phillips Academy (Andover) where she worked from 2010-2022. In her opening years at Andover, she served as a member of the History and Social Science Department, Varsity Girls Squash Coach, and Cluster Dean. Most recently, she served as Assistant Head of School for Residential Life and Dean of Students. Prior to Andover, Jenny held teaching, advising, coaching, and administrative roles at The Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, California and The Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut.

A graduate of Andover, Jenny holds a BA in History from Dartmouth College and a Master’s in Elementary Education from Lesley University through Shady Hill School’s Teacher Training Center.

Jenny is joined at Choate by her husband Grant and their four sons —  Sam (18), Peter (16), George (14), and James (11) — and two dogs. Speaking on her transition to Choate, Jenny says, “My family and I are absolutely loving being part of the Choate community. We have had much fun meeting neighbors, exploring corners of campus, and learning about our new home.”

Regarding the work ahead, Jenny told parents in her opening of school letter, “I will place the safety, well-being, learning, and growth of our students at the center of my efforts. I will seek avenues to support and collaborate with the amazing members of our faculty and staff. Together we, the students and adults of the Choate community, will maintain our community’s commitment to intellectual inquiry, critical thinking, personal integrity, joy, and compassion.”

When considering her favorite aspects of boarding school life, she says, “I love to work with students every day in a wide range of contexts and endeavors—spending time with students, getting to know and support them, witnessing students embrace challenge and care for each other with kindness and compassion is the very best part of my job.” This year she will teach in the History, Philosophy, Religion, and Social Sciences Department during the fall and spring terms, serve as an assistant coach during the winter term, and hold regular office hours in Hill House.

Jenny explained in her Convocation Address to the community, “I was drawn to Choate for its commitment to excellence, appetite for challenge and hard work, diversity of student and adult community, and courage to do and be better. This community is unafraid to ask hard questions, to be honest with ourselves, to listen to students and adult community members, and to try new approaches to teaching and learning. What I found most compelling was the deep and apparent care and affection for young people and their wide range of needs. This is a place where students are centered in everything that we do.”

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