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The new school year brings with it a change in leadership for the Upper School. Meet Mrs. Emily Brown: she’s a friendly, intelligent problem-solver with a great sense of humor. An MDS alumna and previous college counselor in St. Joseph’s Hall, Mrs. Brown has migrated one office over to lead the high school students as the Upper School division head. 

Emily Brown at MDSHow would you describe your style of leadership in the Upper School? 

I view my role primarily as a support position. One of my goals as head of the Upper School is to support our faculty so they are empowered to support their students. I am here as a resource for them so they can keep their focus on teaching their curriculum. 

What are some key differences in how you plan to lead in the Upper School versus how you operated as the college counselor?

The main difference between these two roles for me is the increased level of interaction I have with the Upper School students across the board, and it’s a different focus entirely. Where the college counselor focuses on preparation for the college admission process and overall experience, I have the opportunity as the Upper School head to think more about preparing our students for college through curriculum and professional development in a big way. 

How has your previous experience as the Mount de Sales college counselor helped shape you for this new role?

Coming into this role immediately from the college counselor’s role, I’ve had first-hand experience and insight on what our students need to learn at Mount de Sales Academy now to prepare for all that’s next. For this next chapter in their lives, we instruct and instill in the Upper School students our MDS values in addition to the skill set and knowledge deemed essential for a career. 

I also have a hands-on understanding of US curriculum and policy. I do not see high school as just a stepping stone to college. There is a balance to be met where we’re transforming our students from children to adults, and I’m looking at both sides of the coin to ensure success. 

Are there any projects you can share that are coming down the pipeline for this school year?

Yes! We are restructuring our individualized learning program for this year. The umbrella of individualized learning has two areas. The first is the AP Seminar where students research a subject they are intellectually curious about. Equipped with the skills to investigate and explore, each student receives support from Mr. Gray Yates in this seminar. The AP Seminar is offered to both juniors and seniors as an elective.

The second area is the Senior Practicum, which allows community involvement and shadow preparation on how to approach the workplace environment and assemble their own website. Ms. Sarah Corum provides instruction for this program, but it is not a credit bearing course. The benefits of this degree of exposure to a real-life work environment are undeniable for our seniors determining their career fields.  

What are you looking forward to most with the start of this new academic year?

I’m most excited to get into the classrooms and be a fly on the wall. To see what the teachers are doing and to watch the kids learn is a gratifying and rewarding experience unlike any other. I’m looking forward to witnessing their growth this year.  

Do you plan to teach any classes this year? What are they?

I will continue to teach the SAT prep class. Before I was the college counselor, I taught Middle School history and even directed the ARC for a year! 

What are some of the changes in faculty for the US?

This year, Mrs. Kimberly Laguines will teach Honors and AP Biology and Forensic Science and coach the US girls basketball team. Carsten Franklin is back to teach US History, AP Art History, and Holocaust Studies and will also serve as the head wrestling coach. We’re delighted to welcome our new and returning faculty!

Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, and serves students in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and other surrounding counties. MDS is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.