The MCDS Board of Trustees last year announced Katherine Dinh as our next Head of School (effective July 2019) and appointed Lila Lohr to serve as Interim Head for the 2018-19 school year. MCDS is the eighth school at which Lila has served as interim. And, having also served as interim head at Burke’s and Town School for Boys, she is very familiar with Bay Area independent schools.
Since her arrival at MCDS Lila has enthusiastically engaged with the school community — from greeting students at morning carpool and visiting classrooms to hosting gatherings with parents as well as faculty and staff.
How do you view your role as interim head?
My goal is always that my Interim year won’t be an interim year for anyone but me. My hope is to help our teachers, staff and students find ways to do their very best work. It can be challenging to learn hundreds of new names, understand, appreciate and “get” the culture of a school very quickly so I can avoid doing anything that might detract from the culture. I think it’s critical that I stay in close contact with Katherine [Dinh] so I have her input on important decisions that might impact her work at MCDS.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
The truth is I’m not familiar enough with MCDS’s various wonderful traditions to know what to anticipate. For instance, I had heard so much about the Book Fair that I foolishly wondered if it could possibly live up to all that hype. It did and surpassed the previews! I especially loved seeing so many members of our community thoroughly enjoying coming together to celebrate our love of reading and learning! My guess is the holiday concerts, the various musical and dramatic productions, Step-Up and the long list of MCDS traditions and rituals will be enjoyed by everyone, including me.
I have so enjoyed the energy, curiosity and liveliness our kids bring every day and marvel at the patience, classroom management skills and sense of personal connection their teachers reflect back to them.
What are some of your impressions from your many classroom visits?
I thoroughly enjoy stopping in on classes and seeing our teachers and children “in action.” Those visits allow me to learn more names and get a better sense of our curriculum and our expectations for our students. I have so enjoyed the energy, curiosity and liveliness our kids bring every day and marvel at the patience, classroom management skills and sense of personal connection their teachers reflect back to them.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Every school administrator would assure you that no two days are the same, that almost every one includes unanticipated moments of both joy and disappointment. My best days include interactions with many students, many of which are humorous and memorable; others merely reminders of the energy that comes from working with kids. I love interacting with adults of all ages in all stages of their careers and parenting.
The best days include learning new things; taking the time to really appreciate the beauty of this extraordinary campus and the powerful sense of connection and well being that can come from collaborating and working with others. I feel blessed to have been called to "keeping school."