Hilltop Updates

(Hackley Review Summer 2020) Suzy Akin, Lee Oshman, Stacy Kaegi, Jean Nadell, Madeleine Lopez ’97, and Chris McColl are leaving the Hilltop this June.
Suzy Akin Takes on New Role at The Park School
Suzy Akin leaves Hackley on June 30, 2020 after 24 years on the Hilltop, having accepted a position as Director of Strategic Communications at The Park School.

Suzy joined the Hackley community as Director of Communications in 1996 after a successful career working with Ralph Lauren, though her connection to Hackley extends much deeper. Her siblings Bobby ‘83 and JoJo ‘90, and uncle Bill ‘63 are Hackley graduates, along with her father, Bob Akin ‘54, who served as President of the Hackley Board of Trustees throughout the 1980s, and her sons, Conor ‘12 and Ian ‘14.

She has built lasting relationships across the generations, reaching back to classmates of her father’s from the 1950s and through to today’s current students. Over the last 24 years, Suzy has dedicated herself to telling Hackley’s story, working with nearly every department on campus, ensuring that the accomplishments - big and small - of the Hackley community are celebrated and creating a sense of belonging.

She redesigned and served as Editor for Hackley Review, launched multiple websites and created Hackley’s electronic communications program, and led projects related to admissions and development marketing materials, resulting in strong growth in both areas.

A member of the English department as well, she has taught English 11, literature seminars, and serves as advisor to Hackley’s literary and art magazine, The Vision.

At The Park School, Suzy will have the opportunity to chart a new direction for strategic communications while learning the language of a pre-K to 8th grade school. Please join us in offering our congratulations!

Lee Oshman Retires
Lee Oshman, who has served as Hackley's Controller in the Business Office since 1997, retires this June after 23 years on the Hilltop.

Director of Finance and Campus Planning Peter McAndrew, who arrived at Hackley the same summer, notes that Lee has been an essential partner through all these years, diligently working on business operations, and he is thankful for Lee's good spirit and hard work, observing"We have accomplished a great deal and weathered many storms." Prior to coming to Hackley, Lee worked in hospital accounting. He enjoyed long distance running, and bowling with his family. He has been a welcoming presence in the business office, helping employees with many requests, including that most important of matters, paychecks! Lee has spearheaded preparation for the School's annual audit and of interim financial reports throughout the year. Please join us in wishing Lee the best in his much deserved retirement.

Stacy Kaegi Departs the Hilltop
Stacy (Arvelo) Kaegi leaves Hackley at the end of the 2019-20 school year.
Stacy has been a lead teacher in the Lower School since 1999, spending most of her years in second and third grades and most recently in kindergarten. Her colleagues, students and their families have come to appreciate Stacy’s creativity and dedication to her students; she is tireless in her efforts to do her best for them. Throughout her tenure at Hackley, Stacy has touched the lives of many families and offered unreserved effort to reach each child in her classroom. We wish her the very best as she moves on to new endeavors.

Jean Nadell Retires
Jean Nadell retires from Hackley, effective June 30, 2020, completing 19 years as a member of the Hackley College Counseling team.

Before beginning her work with the College Counseling Office, Jean was an active Hackley parent and leader within the Hackley Parents’ Association (her son Carey is a graduate of Hackley’s Class of 2003). Jean first joined the College Counseling Office as an office assistant, and within a few years, was counseling her own students while still handling administrative duties for the office. 

Since 2015, Jean has been a full-time counselor, deeply appreciated for her tremendous knowledge, remarkable attention to detail, an exemplary work ethic, and her gift for connecting with her counselees and their families. Please join us in thanking Jean for the outstanding work she has done in support of her students and Hackley for the last 19 years.

Madeleine Lopez ’97 Takes on New Role at Collegiate
Madeleine (Ayala) Lopez, Hackley Class of 1997, leaves Hackley this year after 15 years as a Fourth Grade teacher in the Lower School to become Assistant Head of Lower School at Collegiate School in Manhattan for the 2020-2021 school year.

Madeleine completed her Masters in Private School Leadership in 2019, and this degree combined with her passion for teaching and learning and her many years of Lower School experience made Madeleine a stand-out candidate for the Collegiate position. During her Lower School tenure, Madeleine has served in various roles including Co-Director of the Associate Teacher program, Chair of the Lower School Social Studies Committee and Director of After School Programs. Madeleine was also a founding member of the Lower School Diversity Committee and a member of Hackley Technology Task Force. Collegiate is adding a deeply committed, energetic and intelligent individual to their community. Please join us in congratulating Madeleine as we wish her all the very best in her new role at Collegiate School.

Chris McColl Takes on New Role at the Keystone Academy in Beijing
Chris McColl has accepted the role as Dean of Admissions of Keystone Academy in Beijing, China, effective July 1, 2020.

For over 12 years, Chris has been integral to the success of Hackley’s admissions and marketing efforts. First joining Hackley as Director of Admissions, Grades 7-12, Chris later assumed leadership of the office and has been the Director of Admissions since July 2012.

During his tenure leading the office, Chris has overseen an increase of more than 40% in overall applications. In partnership with his admissions colleagues, he has helped Hackley’s reputation spread throughout the region, drawing applicants from a broad range of zip codes. His leadership also ensured the development and deepening of important and strategic relationships with a number of feeder schools and sending organizations. The most important measure of his work is taken in how prospective — and hopefully subsequently enrolled — families feel about the school.
On countless occasions, families talk about the ways in which Chris brought Hackley’s values and culture to life during the admission process. His ability to connect with families, remembering key details about their background, or directing them to others within the community with shared interests has made a profound difference in the ways in which people experience the school. For most of Hackley’s current families, Chris was one of the first people they met, the one who helped answer their questions, and the person who helped them see their values and hopes represented in the school.

Through their children, Mae ‘13 and Bea ‘18, and the friendships they have developed, Chris and Julie will remain connected to the Hilltop. They have a wonderful new adventure planned for this next chapter in their lives--please join us in wishing them well and in offering our heartfelt thanks and congratulations.