Cuseo to stop deaning

Middle School Dean Jon Wimbish will replace Sharon Cuseo as the ninth Upper School Dean next fall, as Cuseo steps down from her position to spend more time with her infant twins. Cuseo, who made the announcement to her students in a letter Jan. 23, will return to the Upper School to work part-time in the Admission Office starting in April.

“I held off as long as I thought was fair,” Cuseo said. “Part of me wishes I could be two places at once, but I think that for this early part of [daughters Lina Jane and Jenna Lee’s] lives, it’s a really good decision.”

Head of School Dr. Jeanne Huybrects first proposed the idea of switching campuses to Wimbish in June, after Cuseo found out that she was pregnant.

“There’s a considerable amount of connection I’ve made to the middle school campus, middle school faculty, middle school-aged students,” said Wimbish, who started there as a dean six years ago. “But I’m also interested in the change and the newness of the Upper School and what that might bring.”

Serious discussions began in August, Wimbish said, when it was not clear how long Cuseo would be on maternity leave.

“I didn’t know what it would be like after the twins came,” Cuseo said. “But I think a lot of parents figured that I wouldn’t be back in the same capacity. For the most part they’re
being supportive.”

In the coming months, Wimbish will attend college-counseling workshops, including one conducted by Harvard University, upper school dean meetings and the spring college tour for juniors. His advising group next year will consist of Cuseo’s current sophomores as well as 30 members of the class of ’10.

“It’s great because he already knows so many of the kids,” Huybrects said.

The 30 juniors who were parceled out to surrogate deans after Cuseo’s departure will remain in those groups next year so Wimbish will not deal directly with placing seniors into college until the year after. Cuseo plans to collaborate with Wimbish on the letters of recommendation he will write for her former students in addition to the part-time administrative work she will do in the Admission Office.

“For a while we’ve been wanting someone in admission who really knows the Upper School,” Huybrects said. Cuseo’s experience as a dean and former assistant head of upper school made her a perfect fit.

“I will still be at Harvard-Westlake, which is important to me,” Cuseo said.

Math teacher Roderick Huston, who has experience as a student council adviser at the Middle School, will take Wimbish’s place as an eighth and ninth grade dean.