Belfield Banter: Welcome Dr. Graves!

Article from Belfield Banter Volume 2. By Jack Dozier '23 and Ellie Powell '21

The Editors of The Belfield Banter recently had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Autumn Graves, our new Head of School. Thank you to Dr. Graves for her time, and we hope our readers enjoy learning a bit more about her interests.

What’s your favorite book of all time?
Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Suess. It’s a fun book, because it is about persistence, trying something new, and thinking out of the box. I just love how the sentence structure and the word choices are filled with joy. My son says that “It feels good in my mouth,” when he is reading it.

What did you want to be when you were in high school?
When I was in High School, I wanted to get into banking and finance. For, oddly, both the right reasons, and the wrong reasons. I wanted to work in finance so I could make a lot of money, which would enable me to start a boarding school for inner-city kids where they wouldn’t have to pay tuition. It was a situation where I wanted to make a lot of money, but also work in education, and that was how I thought I could do it. Thankfully, I figured out other ways where I could be involved in education.

What two TV shows would you mash-up to make a new program if you could?
This really stumped me! I wanted to mix a newer show with a show from another time or a remake. When I was growing up, I really loved Laverne and Shirley, which is about these two single women who are living the dream working in a bottling company in the midwest and went on zany adventures. I always thought that seemed so fun. I also really loved, and still do to a certain extent, Seinfeld. If the characters from Seinfeld and the characters from Laverne and Shirley were together, I would envision that they would probably be in New York City, and have lots of antics at the diner.

What three people from history would you invite to a dinner party?
I would pick the Apostle Paul, Thomas Jefferson, Maya Angelou, and if I could have a fourth, Eleanor Roosevelt. I would love to sit them down and get them to debate a few topics and answer a few questions. All of these people, in their own ways, were visionary thinkers and pushed different limits while still figuring out how to stay within some kind of social system. That would be a fun dinner party. I have no idea what I would serve. That would be the thing that would stress me out for weeks.

What makes you most excited about being head of school at STAB?
This question is hard, because there are a lot of things that make me excited. Much of it is about the community and about the different experiences and perspectives. I am in the process of interviewing every employee at the school. I have interviewed 85 employees so far and have 130 more to go, and it is so neat hearing everyone’s different stories about how they came to school, and all the different types of jobs that they have had while they have been there. Some people have had the same job for 25 years, but some people have had many different experiences. Hearing about all these different experiences has been so amazing.

 


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