After working as Country Day’s director of admission for three years, Hadley Keefe has accepted the same position at Kingsley Montessori School in Boston. She worked in admissions at Lycée Francais de San Francisco before Country Day.

Before Keefe, Lonna Bloedau was the director of admissions at Country Day.

Keefe moved to Boston in early May with her family but will continue to work for Country Day remotely until the end of June. She will begin working for Kingsley on July 1. 

“It’s going to be a different job in many ways,” Keefe said. “It’s located in the center of a big city. The school itself doesn’t have much outdoor greenspace. It also only goes up to sixth grade.”

However, Keefe said Country Day and Kingsley are similar in other ways — one of the reasons she chose to work there.

“Of the jobs I considered, all in the Boston area, Kingsley really stood out to me,” she said. “Similar to Country Day, it was a happy, creative, energized place. I liked that there were improvements that the school needs to make that I’ve already successfully made at other schools and yet also some new challenges for me to take on professionally.

“Also, much like at Country Day, I get along really well with Kingsley’s Head of School and leadership team. I am also a big fan of the Montessori method, which is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children.”

Keefe plans to increase Kingsley’s enrollment of 340 students.

“I hope to improve enrollment in any parts of the Kingsley program where there are open seats,” Keefe said. “Overall, my most important focus will be on contributing to the continued improvement of Kingsley’s already vibrant cultural health and the cohesiveness of the community by yielding an even broader array of families who are increasingly committed to and passionate about the school’s mission.”

Kingsley moved to remote learning, Keefe said.

“The school is facilitating at-home learning for students, faculty and staff,” she said last month. “Boston is a hotspot for coronavirus cases, and Kingsley has been very active in following the city and county guidelines.”

After her three years at Country Day, Keefe said she was very proud of its enrollment growth.

“Each of the three years I worked at Country Day, we were on track to experience enrollment growth,” Keefe said. “We were also able to improve the number of families that remained at Country Day. I am very proud of that. When I first arrived, Country Day had 465 students. It currently has 513.”

Dana Vargo was promoted from associate director of admission to interim director of admission. Rebecca Lau, a Country Day parent and recent director of marketing and admissions for the Suzhou Singapore International School in Suzhou, China, has been named the associate director of admission.

Vargo worked closely with Keefe and complimented her work in helping enrollment grow.

“(Keefe) really understood our unique community, and her fresh, energetic perspective provided an important opportunity to redesign office processes and special events,” Vargo said. “She frequently drew on her experience at other independent schools and further contributed by prioritizing systems and data, attention to professional development and adherence to best practices. She will be missed by the entire Country Day community, and I, for one, am excited to stay in touch and keep tabs on the trajectory of her career.”

Head of School Lee Thomsen agreed.

“Keefe did a tremendous job as our director of admissions in her three years at Country Day,” he said. “Under her leadership, we began accepting online applications and made our admissions process very child-centered, and, in collaboration with (marketing and communications director) Emily Allshouse, she worked to increase our visibility in the community, particularly online, which led to an increase in inquiries, applications and ultimately enrollment.”

Keefe said she will miss everyone at Country Day.

“The teachers at Country Day are extraordinary educators,” Keefe said. “They are great at building relationships with students, which is very important. I have also made some great friends through working at Country Day and am really going to miss them.”

—By Miles Morrow

Originally published in the May 26 issue of the Octagon.

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