It’s with great excitement that we introduce Nicole Hager, who has been unanimously selected by the search committee to be the next Director of the Upper School, effective July 1.
An administrator and educator for more than two decades, Ms. Hager has had a long and satisfying career at Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH), a 9–12 coed boarding and day school in Gill, Massachusetts, where she’s been the dean of students since 2003. There, she oversees residential and student life programs, collaborates with the dean of faculty on hiring and training new teachers, conducts performance reviews for teaching and administrative faculty, and serves on the senior leadership team as a close advisor to the head of school. Before that, Ms. Hager was at Deerfield Academy, as an English teacher, college advisor, coordinator of multicultural education, and associate dean of admissions.
At NMH, Ms. Hager has worked extensively on diversity, equity, and inclusion, most notably with the Gender Inclusion Working Group and engaging in antiracist education. She is committed to student well-being and social justice.
“Kent Place School is preparing young women to lead,” she says. “Our country needs young women who are brave and brilliant, and in the time I've gotten to know this school, I know this isn’t just a catchy alliteration. I see it in the faculty and in the programs; Kent Place is intentional in its mission to grow brilliant minds and nurture brave leaders. I'm excited to be part of a leadership team in support of the faculty, who mentor these ambitious young women and partner with their parents.”
Ms. Hager earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Dartmouth College and is a member of its Athletic Hall of Fame. She’ll be coming to Kent Place with her wife, Sarah Jahries. (Ms. Jahries grew up in Summit, and two of her aunts attended Kent Place.) They have four children, two daughters in college and two sons in boarding school.
“I have admired Nicole Hager for almost twenty years, as she’s helped to shape our school community with intention and care,” says Charlie Tierney, associate head of school at NMH. “She’s a talented and dedicated teacher and advisor, school leader, communicator, collaborator, coach, and colleague. So many of us are better educators and student advocates because of Nicole's inspired commitment to creating an inclusive, supportive, and dynamic living and learning community.”
Ms. Hager is succeeding Elizabeth Woodall, who led the Kent Place Upper School for 13 years. We thank Julie Gentile for acting as Interim Director and look forward to finishing the academic year with her.
"As we celebrate 125 years of KPS, we’re thrilled to imagine the future of the Upper School under Ms. Hager’s leadership," says Dr. Jennifer Galambos, Kent Place Head of School. "The search committee was impressed with Ms. Hager’s many years of visionary leadership, working closely with students at NMH, and grounding faculty in skills to best support students in their classrooms."