Many people know Mrs. Berry for teaching middle school French. In fact, she’s taught the language since 2010 and has spent much of her time focusing on making language learning more enjoyable. This year, however, Mrs. Berry steps into a brand new role: Head of the Middle School.
“I was anxious for this moment,” she said. “Since last year, I knew that I was going to be the Head of Middle School, and I was very excited.” Mrs. Berry has been working hard to achieve a smooth transition. Last year, she took on leadership roles including the Middle School World Language Department Chair and the Director of the Fellows Program.
Last year she also collaborated with Mr. Yavenditti and Mr. Chuhta to create the new middle school schedule. She boasted, “I absolutely love it [the new schedule]. The hardest thing for me with it is that I don’t know when the reading period ends because I love reading.” When speaking of the role she played in the schedule’s development, Mrs. Berry explained,“Mr. Yavenditti and Mr. Chuhta made the schedule and I confirmed from the options what would be the best for students considering student behavior.” Additionally, with her new role as the Head of Middle School, she has more time to see students and their behaviors at a closer level.
Although she can see the middle school students during their classes, she misses being a full-time French teacher. “I love French and I miss teaching it,” she explained. This year, Mrs. Berry only teaches one 8th grade French class.
As the Head of the Middle School, she would like to see more times when the middle schoolers and high schoolers can interact. “Creating those moments where 5th through 12th graders can get together for something meaningful is an addition that I would like to coordinate,” she said. She loves having the AC gym packed with 5th through 12th graders to come together as a community and celebrate the events like the Pep Rally and Yearbook Dedications.
Her message to the Upper Schoolers is to visit her more often and to interact with the middle school more. “The new schedule makes it more difficult for me to see the Upper School students that I taught. I miss them.”