HathChat: Five Questions with Sue Sadler

Welcome to #HathChat: In this new blog series, we’re featuring a five question Q&A with a different member of the Hathaway Brown faculty and staff. Bookmark hb.edu/blog for a new HathChat every other week! 

Sue Sadler knows HB. As Associate Head and Director of Upper School, she has served Hathaway Brown in various capacities since 1987. A former math and science teacher, Sue was Dean of Fifth Grade, Middle School math department chair, and Middle School Director before taking on her current school-wide role. Her love of HB and dedication to girls’ education is the thread that runs through all of these experiences, and she embraces each day with optimism and pride in all that HB has to offer. Read on to learn more!

What is a day in your life like?

In general, I spend my days supporting students, parents and faculty as they navigate the HB experience. I never really know what to expect when I walk in because there are always surprises. I learn something new every day!

Tell us about the path that you took and eventually led you to Hathaway Brown School.

I came to HB right out of college. I am from New England, and went to school in Maine. During my senior spring break, I came to Cleveland (where I was moving after graduation) and interviewed at HB, Laurel, US and Hawken. I fell in love with HB, and the school offered me a job so I took it right away. That first year, I taught Middle School Math and Science, coached tennis and softball, advised the Student Council, ran the Ski Club, and had a lot of fun accompanying the Outing Club on various trips. To this day, some of my favorite people are women who were in those first classes of mine, many of whom have their daughters at HB today.

You’re celebrating 30 years this year at HB. Tell us a little bit about what has kept you at the school for so long? 

The reason I have stayed this long is pretty simple. HB attracts amazing people. The students, the faculty, the families and the Board all believe in the mission to provide the best possible education for girls. I have done many different things over that time period but the “red thread” through all of my positions here has been building strong connections that encourage girls to reach for the stars.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

My mentor group is the highlight of my day. It’s the time of day when I spend hands on time with students, and I absolutely love that. I also enjoy seeing all the performances, competitions and sporting events, because I get to see students putting it all out there for others and representing HB so beautifully, and it’s where the curriculum comes alive. I am most proud when I see students learning from experiences that I have helped to create, either from way behind the scenes or by my own direct action.

If you could offer one bit of advice and words of wisdom, what would it be?

For girls, it would be to believe in yourself; it’s so easy to underestimate ourselves and let fear stop us before we try. You are capable of amazing things.

For teachers, it would be to enjoy this place. It’s rare to have an educational community that is as imaginative and aspirational as Hathaway Brown. While it’s hard work, it’s a joy to teach here.

For parents, it would be to trust in the process. It can be hard to see our children struggle, but the “net” here is strong, and we will encourage girls as they make their way with the appropriate balance of challenge and support.

Stay tuned for a new HathChat later this month! 

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