Margaret C. Frazier, Sacred Heart Greenwich

Local heads of school in Westchester, Fairfield and Dutchess counties talk about lessons learned from the pandemic, inspiration, superpowers, what makes them smile and – in one case – the benefits of dogs on campus.

One of 200 network schools in 44 countries, Sacred Heart Greenwich provides a learning environment for girls and young women from kindergarten through 12th grade to prepare them to become confident, intelligent and compassionate global leaders. The school is located on a 110-acre campus.

A graduate of Dartmouth College who later studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Frazier arrived from London in July 2020 to accept the role of head of school at Sacred Heart Greenwich. She was an Edward E. Ford Foundation fellow and worked briefly for Arnold & Porter, a corporate law firm in Washington, D.C., before shifting to a career in education. She has three grown children.

Tell us something surprising about your school.  

“We have an observatory and are recently an Audubon-certified sanctuary property (110 acres with a garden and now natural meadows).”

How did your school cope during the pandemic? 

“Our school planned well from April 2020 in order to bring back everyone to campus in September. We created a vision of ‘every girl, every day,’ with the buy-in of our board of trustees, school leadership team, faculty and parents. We let go of some of the worry about coverage in classes and focused more on skills, interdisciplinary projects and alternative assessments. Our faculty spent several days after school ending in professional growth workshops around the questions of ‘what to let go of to build back stronger.’ We will continue to assess the ‘silver linings’ of Covid as they relate to time, joyful learning, wellness and redefining success and school/life balance.”

Which aspects of running a school are most appealing to you?  

“The students are the heart of any school. I love the idea of learning every day. Schools are the best place to feel vital, energized, infused with creativity. No day is ever the same.” 

What superpower do you bring to the school?  

“I do not believe the art of a handwritten note is yet dead. Connecting across snail mail with students, parents, alumnae and friends of the school is a passion and a superpower. It builds a trust, a sense of caring and lets others know how important they are to me and the school community.”

What led you to choose education as a career?

“During my time at Arnold & Porter, I was a tutor in the D.C. public schools and also a translator in their pro-bono advocacy program. I loved my third graders at Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School and the progress we made in reading, writing and learning about life. Their classroom teacher encouraged me to see teaching as the rewarding vocation it is.”

Did you have a favorite teacher who affected your life? 

“My favorite teacher, hands down, was my mother. She taught first grade and kindergarten for nearly 50 years. Firm and fair, she taught three generations of families in the town in which she grew up. She was generous, demanding, encouraging and always talked about how attitude is a choice. I saw in her how much impact teachers have, how hard they work for the benefit of their students and how much love one receives in this profession.”

 What do you do to recharge in your free time?  

“My garden is my refuge and my teacher. It is humbling to plan, observe, succeed and many times fail in the garden. I have come to love heirloom seed and plants — trying to find native varieties to attract butterflies, bees and also keep the deer at bay.”

Sacred Heart Greenwich at a glance

  • Head of school: Margaret Frazier
  • Number of faculty and staff: nearly 200
  • Student enrollment: 600+
  • Annual tuition: $38,800 to $46,500

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