Faculty Profile: Shane MacElhiney, Dean of Academics

Shane MacElhiney is in his fourth year as WMS’s Dean of Academics. Here, he reflects upon what makes WMS special place to teach and live.
Shane, a native of New Haven, Connecticut, is a graduate of Yale University (BA in Economics and PreMed.) and Columbia Teacher’s College (MA, Education Leadership). Prior to WMS he was the Upper School Division Head at Columbus Academy in Columbus Ohio and a teacher, coach and dean of students at Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut. At WMS, Shane serves as Academic Dean, a duty administrator, a math teacher, an advisor, and works as our student council facilitator.
Why did you choose to come to WMS?
I choose WMS because of the exciting direction it was heading academically, the administrative opportunity to focus on teaching and learning, the warm and healthy community feel, the proximal location to grandparents, and the opportunity for my children to live in such a diverse community.
Why do you love working in education?
The combination of complexity, diversity of responsibilities, and service to others in the endeavor of education continues to inspire me. In general, I am more curious about education, schools, students, and curriculum than anything else. Helping high school age students and their families get from where they are to where they want to be is deeply rewarding and purposeful work.
What makes you curious outside of school responsibilities?
I like to read the news and listen to podcasts about economics. When I get the chance, I like to walk the dog in the woods while listening to NPR’s planet money.
What have you learned from WMS students?
Courage. The try-new-things culture of our students has inspired me to take risks and to name and overcome personal challenges in my own life.
Describe a particularly memorable experience with WMS students
I will never forget the email that a student sent to the community sharing where he was in his journey identifying himself as male and in the process helping us all to be more sensitive to the challenges that others face.
Thank you, Shane. 

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