Passionate About the Mission

Abigail Doheny may have just come on board as Head of the Upper School at Holy Child, but she comes with 25 years of teaching and administrative experience and possesses the confidence and skill of an educator who’s comfortable at the helm. 

Published September 26, 2015 2:18 PM
3 min read

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HCwoman-thAbigail Doheny may have just come on board as Head of the Upper School at Holy Child, but she comes with 25 years of teaching and administrative experience and possesses the confidence and skill of an educator who’s comfortable at the helm. 

HOLY-CHILD-womanBy Janice Llanes Fabry

Abigail Doheny may have just come on board as Head of the Upper School at Holy Child, but she comes with 25 years of teaching and administrative experience and possesses the confidence and skill of an educator who’s comfortable at the helm.  

“When I first came here and spent the day and met the faculty, the girls, and the parents, I just knew,” she remarked. “It’s not enough for me to come to work every day, I have to be passionate about the mission.”

Doheny’s approach to education very much aligns with that of Holy Child. A staunch supporter of single-sex education and an ever-expanding curriculum, her goal is to prepare girls for college and beyond through academic, athletic, and spiritual offerings, as well as leadership opportunities.

“Holy Child educates the whole girl, allowing students to become creative and complex thinkers through experiential learning,” Doheny noted. “Every girl here is able to form relationships with faculty members and administrators and feel supported enough to take risks and stretch themselves in ways they might not elsewhere.”

Doheny, who grew up in New York City, earned her Master’s degree at Teachers College, Columbia University. She started her career at Riverdale’s Horace Mann College Preparatory School before going on to teach in Surrey, England. In 1995, she moved to Houston to continue her career as a teacher and then a principal, all while raising three sons. Before returning to New York this year, she was, most recently, Dean of Academics and Counseling at Duchesne Academy of Sacred Heart.

“I’ve always wanted to come home to New York, and it feels wonderful to be back on the East Coast,” said the new Westchester resident, who has already fostered good relationships with faculty and administrators at Holy Child. “The devoted faculty is the reason this place is so special. I make decisions with them collectively because they’re with the students day in and day out.”

Doheny is impressed with the array of experiential learning opportunities offered at Holy Child. Among them, the Global Programs, which offer cultural immersion trips to students in grades 10-12. This year some of the destinations on the syllabus are Cuba, Spain, China, and Poland. There is also the E.E. Ford Program in Architecture, Engineering, and Design for the Common Good. The two-year program for juniors and seniors provides instruction in courses not typically taught at the high school level. It combines the school’s solid STEAM curriculum with its “women of conscience and action” mission, culminating in community-building projects.

“Our goal is to give the girls individualized education experience every day and the skills to be successful,” she said.

This year, Doheny is introducing an Alumnae Career Day to give students exposure to professionals in various industries and, as she noted, “to demonstrate the strength and character of a Holy Child graduate.”

 

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