We are pleased to announce that Dr. Paula Cuello will serve as Hewitt’s next head of middle school, effective July 1, 2022. Dr. Cuello is thrilled to be joining the Hewitt community next year to work alongside our wonderful middle school community.
After a highly competitive search process that included on-campus full day interviews, classroom visits, and a thorough review of feedback submitted by the Hewitt community, we are delighted to have recruited a lifelong educator and leader with extensive experience working closely with middle school students, families, faculty and staff.
Dr. Cuello is an accomplished scientist, teacher, researcher, and scholar who attributes much of her professional success to her own girls’ school education. Currently the K-12 science department chair at The Dalton School in New York City, Dr. Cuello has amassed a formidable track record of successful collaboration, communication, and relationship building in schools. At Dalton, Dr. Cuello played a key role in aligning curriculum within each grade level and across the lower, middle, and upper schools. She embraces innovative assessment approaches and uses of technology in the classroom. She has led efforts to embed equitable practices into hiring, mentoring, and programming. A deep listener who models presence and empathy and who creates a culture of feedback, Dr. Cuello is committed to ensuring that all in the school community feel heard and experience a sense of belonging. Dr. Cuello said, “As a Latina scientist who also identifies as half Jewish, I benefited from a girls’ school education and know first hand the power of positive role models for girls and women, especially in fields in which they are underrepresented. I look forward to getting to know the Hewitt community, and being a part of this warm and forward-thinking school as it implements its exciting strategic vision.”
Dr. Cuello’s educational philosophy is grounded in data-driven decisions and research to inform best practices. She has a deep understanding of the structure and support middle school students need to build foundational skills in order for them to engage successfully in transdisciplinary, real-world learning. Whether working with faculty to build innovative and transformative learning experiences, establishing ways for faculty to learn from one another and grow in their practice, or fostering strong partnerships with students and their parents and guardians, Dr. Cuello’s actions mirror her beliefs. An alumna of Oxford High School for Girls in the UK, Dr. Cuello graduated from the University of Oxford, where she earned both her B.A. in biochemistry and her Ph.D. in molecular biology. She also holds a Master’s Degree in private school leadership from Columbia University’s Teachers College.
In the coming months, Dr. Cuello, Head of Middle School Launa Schweizer, and Head of School Dr. Tara Christie Kinsey will begin a transition process to ensure stability and continuity in our middle school. For the remainder of the academic year, Dr. Cuello will visit Hewitt from time to time, getting to know our community and beginning to plan with the middle school team. In the spring, we will host an event for parents and guardians to get acquainted with Dr. Cuello.
We are extraordinarily grateful to the Search Committee members for the significant time, energy, and thought they devoted to this process and to our parents and guardians, faculty, staff, and students for their investment in this important search.
Please join us in congratulating and warmly welcoming Dr. Cuello to Hewitt as the next leader of our middle school!