Amanda Finigan has been appointed Ellis’ next Upper School Division Head, effective July 1, 2021.
“Amanda stood out in a large, national pool of highly qualified candidates, and received rave reviews from the students, faculty, staff, and parents who spent time with her while she visited Ellis in February,” said Head of School Macon Finley. “Amanda’s strengths add to an already outstanding leadership team at Ellis. For these reasons and many more, I couldn’t be more energized about our future as a school.”
Amanda currently serves as Dean of Student Life at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, New York. During her eleven years at Berkeley Carroll, Amanda has taught mathematics (Algebra I through Calculus), served as a grade-level dean, been the faculty advisor to the school’s “Girls to Women” group, and been instrumental in the school's diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Macon Finley noted that “In my conversations with Amanda, she described herself as someone who is deeply committed to making school the best possible experience for students and their families. Both her accomplishments and her references tell the story of her long and successful track record of stepping up to solve problems and launch new initiatives in order to accomplish that goal.”
Amanda earned her BA in Economics from St. Francis College, where she was a Presidential Scholar, and her MST in Secondary Education with a Concentration in Mathematics from Pace University.
“I am honored to have been selected as the next Upper School Division Head for Ellis,” said Amanda. “As an alumna of an all-girls school, I know firsthand how powerful such an education is as it's where I learned how to be a leader and where I found my voice. From my first interaction, I sensed that Ellis is a warm community that truly values and prioritizes their mission. I am excited and look forward to continuing to support the girls of Ellis as they become changemakers.”
The appointment of Amanda is the culmination of a process that began in the fall and resulted in a very impressive candidate pool. Ashley Dotson, who has been serving as Interim Head of Upper School throughout the 2020–2021 school year, will remain at Ellis next year and continue to teach English and work with Amanda in support of students in the Upper School.