Dougherty Departs from ODA

Dougherty Departs from ODA

Chloe Ruppert, Staff Writer

Among the many rumors of the changes for next year at ODA, last week at Assembly Mr. Mahler confirmed one of the rumors: our current head of Upper School, Mrs. Dougherty, would be leaving for Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan after this school year.

This change has come as a shock to many. Although the community is happy for Mrs. Dougherty seizing this opportunity, the anticipated change is still upsetting because everyone adores her so much. It is hard to imagine the ODA community without Mrs. Dougherty. Students can always count on her to smile and say hi in the halls, or listen when they need someone to talk to.

On top of being the head of our upper school, Mrs Dougherty has taught English to students of many different grades, and was the coach of the Varsity girls tennis team, leading the Lady Thunder to States on numerous occasions.

“I have never stayed at a school for as long as I’ve stayed at ODA, so I think that says a tremendous amount about the community, and in specific about the students and the faculty. I absolutely loved working here, its actually very bitter-sweet,” says Dougherty.

Mrs Dougherty explained that a large reason behind the move up North was the opportunity to be close to family. On top of being close to family, Cranbrook Schools, a boarding school, will be an interesting, new environment to be able to experience as not only a leader, but an educator.

Anyone who has known or spoken to Mrs. Dougherty knows just how important her students are to her. Mrs. Dougherty takes the time to get to know all the kids who go to ODA, and make them feel comfortable at their home away from home.

“Mrs. Dougherty was actually like a mother to me in a way. She always helped me if I ever had any problems, and I got very close to her because of tennis when she was the coach” says Junior Maria Ross.

In addition to being a great educator,  Mrs. Dougherty has positively impacted the lives of the students and faculty around her.

“I have really enjoyed having Mrs. Dougherty as my boss.  It is rare to find a boss who is motivating, inspiring, but also trusts your abilities and values your opinion. It makes me want to work harder to be a better teacher and coworker,” says English teacher Mrs. Betz.

“What impresses me so much about Mrs. Dougherty is that she is not only a great educator, but a great human being as well. She’s just an incredible human being, she doesn’t pretend to be anything she’s not. She has no ego. She is just incredibly good at what she does because even if you don’t agree with her, you still listen to her because you respect what she’s saying,” adds Mr. Seldis, Associate Head of Upper School. 

For the next person who has to fill the giant shoes that Mrs. Dougherty is leaving behind, both the students and faculty admit that they want someone who is exactly like her.

For our next administrator, I really hope it is a clone of Mrs. Dougherty.  But if that’s not scientifically possible yet, then I would want someone who is a great listener, trusting and trustworthy, and who is energetic and involved,” says Mrs. Betz.

What does Dougherty herself hope for in a replacement?

“I think it should be somebody who believes in teenagers, believes in adolescent education, and believes in supporting faculty. Really, it is somebody who is comfortable leading both adults and students.”

We hope you have an amazing experience up in Michigan, Mrs. Dougherty. We will miss you so much.