Kelly leaves to pursue writing career

Jeanine Kim

English teacher Ariana Kelly will depart the Upper School this year. She plans to move to Northern California to pursue her writing and other hobbies, taking a break from teaching for the time being.

“I have so many things I want to do once I finish teaching,” Kelly said. “At the top of the list are learning how to play the guitar—I’ve wanted to forever—studying French again and reading all the books I’ve bought but haven’t had time to read.”

Reflecting on her time at the school, Kelly will miss many things about the school, especially the community of students and faculty, she said.
“Hands down I will miss my conversations with my students about literature,” Kelly said. “I love the intimacy and collective identity that develops in a class over the course of the year. The more we get to know each other, the deeper, more meaningful the discussions become. I will also miss my students’ reactions when I tell them I have never read any of the Harry Potter books. It never fails to amaze people, for some reason.”

After her move, Kelly plans on continuing to work on a book of personal essays. Although she currently has no plans to teach, she said she wants to return to a school one day.

“I would love to teach again and I plan on doing so, but I’m not sure when or where,” Kelly said. “If you can, I think it’s good to take breaks as a teacher so that you can regroup and reset. When I return to the classroom, I hope I have much more to give my students.”

Meera Sastry ’19 said Kelly was instrumental in shaping her as a writer.

“[Kelly] believed in and allowed me the confidence to expand my horizons from poetry to prose.” Sastry said. “I loved having her in Good Grief this year. Because of her, I and everyone else in the class came out of it with new perspectives on humanity.”