“In any residential program, the students are the heartbeat of the community,” shares Leah Hall-Hansen, Solebury School’s new Dean of Residence Life. “What interested me most about Solebury was how progressive they are at ensuring students are able to be their true authentic selves.”
Born and raised in Trenton, NJ, Leah is a proud graduate of Saint Joseph's University (BS) and Drexel University (MPH). For the past seven years, Leah worked at a junior boarding school in Trenton where she held various roles from teaching in the classroom to leading the athletics program to being a founding member of the residential program.
These experiences helped Leah understand the value and uniqueness of boarding communities and all they encompass. “What I love most about boarding communities is their holistic approach to ensure that students not only pursue their rigorous academics, but are learning lifelong skills while building strong bonds with peers and adults within their community. Yes, it's important to do well academically, but it's really great to see students excel outside of the classroom and to witness how multi-faceted they really are.”
With a firm belief in student advocacy and the importance of being a contributing member of the community, Leah is excited to bring new traditions to our boarding community and help students achieve their full potential. “There have been some long days and even longer weekends, but the relationships I've been able to form have all been worth it. There are so many great contributors within this community that I'm grateful to be a part of it. I'm most excited to continue to build relationships with the students and see them grow into change agents at Solebury and beyond!”
“As soon as Leah hit campus she reached out to the boarding community to let us know that we are supported and that she wanted to change the dynamic of residential life,” shared Zy’Ira Redhead ’23. “Leah makes herself accessible to students despite her busy schedule in order to ensure that our voices are heard. She constantly lets us know that any ideas we have can be brought to life if we advocate for ourselves and put our trust in her. I have never felt like Leah’s care and passion for our community was a facade due to her of her consistency, organization, and the drive she has to make our lives away from home feel more comfortable. From the perspective of being a proctor, Leah has met with us multiple times because she genuinely wants to know what is and isn’t working in the dorms, as well as how a solution can properly be put into place.”
With her first few months of the school year completed, Leah is just as thrilled to be part of our community as we are to have her. She has already proven herself to be an invaluable asset to the residential life program and we are excited to see what the future holds.