Cairns to retire after 32 years

Noa Schwartz

Upper School Dean Vanna Cairns announced her retirement to her students today via email.

Cairns has worked at the school for 32 years, serving initially as a French teacher and eventually as both a Dean and a Choices and Challenges teacher.

“I have been so very proud to represent the school every single day,” Cairns said in an email. “All that aside, retirement really does feel right. Through the decades, so much of the college process has changed. Yet the essence of working with families though an important rite of passage in our culture remains the same. And that is what I will miss most of all. ”

Cairns acknowledged potential concerns of her current families with regards to the process of transitioning to a new dean.

“For my juniors, I look forward to working closely with my successor, sharing all of the knowledge that I have gathered about you, orally and in writing, to be certain of a successful college application process,” Cairns said. For my sophomores, I look forward to knowing that you will be in good hands and will have two years to work together with the new dean. I can’t wait to hear how you develop into the successful people I know you will become.”

Though the school has yet to hire a replacement for Cairns, a selection process is well underway, she said.

“It’s definitely a little scary to switch deans in the middle of the college process, but I wish Ms. Cairns all the best and hope it’ll be a smooth transition for me and the other kids in my group,” Kyra Rosen ’18 said.