“You have a stuffed Olaf?” upper school dean Sharon Cuseo questioned fellow dean Beth Slattery with a hint of envy beneath her curiosity. “Where did you even find one of those?” she added. “They’re sold out everywhere.”
Slattery and Cuseo have shared a lot in the nine years they have worked side-by-side as upper school deans—both are known as the deans with the best candy in their respective offices, both have young daughters around the same age and both have a dry sense of humor. What they share has expanded to include an obsession with the Disney animated movie “Frozen.”
Although Slattery and Cuseo regularly take their daughters to childrens’ movies together, they did not rush out to see “Frozen” when it came out. Only after it was recommended did they watch it.
“We saw it and we both thought, wow this is really good. And we were googling, like, while we were in the movie, like was Kristen Bell really singing?” Cuseo said.
From that first viewing on, every time their daughters wanted to watch it, “it was like a drug and we were pushers, so we were getting other kids to go see it,” Cuseo said. “I was just as much wanting to see it again as they were.”
After seeing how much her 5-year-old daughter Ruby loved “Frozen” and receiving a copy of the DVD, Slattery used it to bribe her daughter into following her rules. Ruby had never seen Frozen at home, and the only chance she had to do so was by attaining her mother’s advanced copy of “Frozen,” so she obliged and followed her mother’s orders. Both deans agree with the general public that “Frozen” sends a good message to its viewers—that the gay store owner with a multi-ethnic family encourages acceptance and open-mindedness, that the sister love being more important than romantic love is applicable to most kids (especially to Cuseo’s twin daughters) and that the strong-willed female protagonist is a good role model. However, they are just as quick to credit the great music and funny sidekick with their love of the movie. Both deans love musicals and said they were impressed with the soundtrack to “Frozen.”
Their love of “Frozen” affected more than just their relationship with their daughters—the music allowed them to bond with more juniors.
“We all belted out the ‘Frozen’ songs on the bus during the college tour,’ Jules Gross ’15 said. “We got to bond a lot with the deans over non-college related activities.”
Neither dean can count how many times they have seen the movie, but they have seen it at least five times together.