We are delighted to welcome Interim Upper School Division Head Lillian Howard, who has hit the ground running during the past several weeks to embrace the Nueva community and learn all there is to know about the upper school. In the following Q&A, Lillian shares her enthusiasm and vision for the months ahead. Welcome, Lillian!
Q: What attracted you to the interim upper school division head position?
A: I’ve watched the upper school at Nueva grow from a distance since it first opened, and I have always been interested in this dynamic school. I love working in high schools, and I love working with gifted students, so the combination seemed natural. I also really enjoy getting to know new school communities where I can offer guidance from my own practice and grow my skills and experiences. I have already found Nueva to be a truly dynamic school community where students are doing incredible things every day!
Q: How has your background prepared you for this new role?
A: I’ve worked in independent schools my whole life (about half the time as a teacher, the other half as an administrator). Most of those years have been in high schools. I’ve also served as a mentor for gifted students throughout my career and as academic dean at Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth on the Stanford campus. In the past two years, I’ve had two interim leadership roles in the Bay Area where I’ve come to understand and appreciate the unique need and meaningful impact of interim leadership positions.
Q: What new ideas do you have to share with the Nueva upper school students?
A: One of my main goals as the interim upper school division head is to move the school forward in a manner consistent with Liza’s vision. We are moving the school safely to more on-campus learning and (re)building the community connections that were distanced by our year physically apart. I strive to listen to community members, partner with students, and work to identify ways to make things work better for everyone in the upper school.
Q: What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you?
A: I started my career as a Latin teacher. Jamika McNally in admissions was my Latin student!
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I create mosaic tile work, do jigsaw puzzles, and watch marathon Netflix series.