The new Deans system will be implemented at the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

Meet the Upper School Deans

Gregory Barton

Gregory Barton began his career in education at Norfolk Academy, a co-education private school in Norfolk, Virginia. Specializing in upper-level art history and studio art courses, Gregory also drew from his experience as a former college athlete to coach football, basketball, and lacrosse. In addition, he was charged with helping to create and implement Norfolk Academy's Engineering and Design program.  
 
In 2019, Gregory accepted a position at Hellenic American University in Athens, Greece. He served as the Assistant Director of Student Affairs and International Programs. Gregory also contributed as a faculty member of the General Education Program, designing and teaching art and art history courses. Lastly, Gregory established and coached the HAU varsity soccer and basketball teams. 
 
In March of 2021, Gregory transitioned to Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York. As Director of the Promise Program and Associate Dean of Students, Gregory led teams of Success Coaches committed to guiding students through every step of their college experience. In addition, Gregory revamped LIU's developmental skills curriculum and served as an instructor for multiple first-year seminars and career readiness courses. 
 
Currently, Gregory is pursuing his Doctorate in Education from Johns Hopkins University with a specialization in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education. His dissertation focuses on the benefits of a balanced curriculum of arts, academics, and athletics to build well-rounded citizens and future leaders. After attending The Dalton School for thirteen years, Gregory earned his bachelor's degree in sculpture and art history from Washington and Lee University in Virginia. He later completed his Master's in Historic Preservation at the Savannah College of Art and Design. 
 
Most importantly, Gregory is greatly looking forward to returning to secondary education. Having been a student, teacher, and administrator in an independent private school setting, Gregory knew immediately that Portledge was the right place for him. With a strong emphasis on community and building lasting relationships, it was clear through the interview process that joining Portledge is like joining a family. Gregory cannot wait to get started!

Shelly Kaye

Shelly grew up in a small town in upper Dutchess County, New York, and attended Vassar College as a first-generation college student. This year marks her twenty-first year in education, and she has held many teaching and leadership roles in independent schools during that time. Most recently she’s served as Class Dean for the classes of 2018 and 2022 at The Masters School. Shelly loves being a dean and has had some of the most rewarding professional experiences of her life while supporting students in this role. While at Masters she also taught English Literature, ESL, Health and Wellness, and Ninth Grade Seminar classes, and led and supported many service learning and DEIJB initiatives on campus. She’s deeply committed to social justice work and using restorative, trauma-informed practices in schools, and she believes that relationship building is critical to creating a healthy, vibrant, and thriving community. Shelly sees herself as a servant leader. She firmly believes in the power of humor to build connections, lift morale, and support healing. 
 
She currently lives in Dobbs Ferry with her husband, Chris, two children, Abigail and Gavin, and two dogs, Justice and Keira. She enjoys being outdoors with her family and dogs, has fostered several puppies during the pandemic, likes to crochet, gets excited about boxing (she practices it as a form of exercise, not as a competitive sport), and loves Victorian literature and period dramas.
 
Shelly fell in love with Portledge during the hiring process, especially
after meeting everyone in person, and she’s thrilled to be joining the
Portledge community. She cannot wait to start forming relationships in the community and collaborating on the exciting new vision for
the Portledge Deans’ office!

Shoshana Krieger-Joven

Shoshana has been at Portledge since 2018 in a variety of roles including Assistant Director of College Counseling, Director of Learning and Career Pathways, Scheduling Coordinator, Upper School Advisor, Assistant Middle School Tennis Coach, and even Theory of Knowledge Instructor! She’s looking forward to strengthening her connection to the Portledge community on the newly created team of Upper School Deans. Before coming to Portledge, she worked as an independent college counselor in Manhattan, financial aid counselor at NYU, Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Chicago, and before that, Admissions Counselor at Trinity University in Texas. 

Shoshana and her husband, John, finally moved to Long Island in July of 2021 after living in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens for 10 years. For fun, Shoshana likes running, hiking, reading, tennis, and playing Baby Beluga on the guitar for her 8-month-old daughter, Artemis. She also has 20 years of experience as a swing and blues dancer and will happily take you dancing or talk your ear off about all things blues and swing related.

Shoshana holds a BA from the University of Chicago and an MA from NYU in Higher Education and Student Affairs.

Eden White

Eden White came to Portledge in 2018 after an extensive career in music and education. Currently, she serves as a Middle School Advisor, Music Teacher in all three divisions, Upper School and Middle School Music Director, and Middle School Advisor. She has served on the Faculty health and wellness committee and numerous hiring committees on behalf of Portledge.
 
Eden holds an M.A. from New York University in Education, Music, and Marketing as interdisciplines, as well as a B.A. from Tufts University, in Child Studies. Throughout her educational studies, she also obtained educational certificates from Berklee College of Music and The Royal College of Music in London through the London School of Economics.
 
Prior to entering the educational world, Eden pursued a career as a singer/songwriter, recorded multiple records, and most notably toured with Sarah McLachlan on the Lilith Fair Tour before serving as the Artist & Repertoire Manager for Blue Note Records during the rise of Norah Jones’ career where she won 5 Grammys including Best New Artist and Album of the Year.
 
One of her greatest career achievements to date, however, is raising her two daughters, Ava and Maya, with her husband, Jed. Ava, a young, prolific writer, is currently studying at Amherst College, majoring in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought. Maya, currently a sophomore in high school, is academically driven and socially minded as well, but even more obsessed with soccer. She travels throughout the year for the Long Island SUSA FC Premier team.  Her husband, Jed, is just the funniest and “best guy in the world” - according to her.
 
As music and family will always be part of her heart, Eden believes that the relationships she makes with students and the ability to see every individual child and their potential fill it. She is excited to step into this role as a conduit to seeing the success and “Portledge Pride” grow in every student through the pillars of kindness, honor, purpose, and respect.

Upper School Deans

FAQs

List of 15 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Why are we establishing a Deans system in the Upper School?

    To more fully deliver on our promise that every child is known and loved, and that we’re committed to and expect their success. We want to ensure that Portledge produces students that not only strive, but thrive during their time here and beyond. In order to do so, making certain that they develop the relationships and perspectives necessary to live healthy and meaningful lives is necessary. Along with other members of our community, the Deans will help us deliver on this mission. The Deans will be our students’ shepherds throughout their Upper School experience. They’ll support student endeavors in the summer months and after-school programs, and maintain ongoing, regular, personal contact with families. The additional layer of student life and academic support will help free up our instructors to spend more time with their students and colleagues, collaborating and improving their craft. With offices in the de facto student center of the Commons, the Deans will become an integral part of daily student life.
  • Q. How many Deans will there be?

    There will be four Upper School Deans.
  • Q. What will be the main job responsibilities of the Deans?

    The Deans’ sole responsibility is to know AND support the students. That’s their PRIMARY job! While academic instructors are focused on their individual discipline and developing student relationships in the classroom, the Deans will be focused on strengthening students’ connections to the Portledge Pillars, developing their characters, advising them on their academic and curricular choices, and supporting their overall health and well-being. The following learning outcomes will guide the Deans in their work as they help students thrive at Portledge. These desired outcomes are grounded in the pillars of Portledge, the IB learner profile, and the desire to create community leaders by helping Upper Schoolers engage, serve and lead at Portledge. The Deans will focus on: 
    • 9th Grade: Helping 9th graders engage with the community and develop into respectful students that are open-minded thinkers, inquirers, and communicators.
    • 10th Grade: Helping students begin to serve the community and become caring, kind, and valuable community members.
    • 11th Grade: Helping students develop their own narrative and to become more reflective and conscious about who they are, as learners and as people, and who they want to be, by highlighting their integrity, principles, and honor. Helping juniors begin to coordinate and lead others as they enter their final year of high school.
    • 12th Grade: The Deans are interested in college prep, but also “personhood prep”, helping students consider their lives after Portledge, and preparing them to live purposeful, healthy, and balanced lives.
  • Q. Will students still have Advisors?

    The Deans will act as a supplement to the Advisory system and serve as yet another adult on campus invested in seeing them thrive as Panthers and beyond. The smaller advisories will still be an opportunity for connection at Portledge.
  • Q. How many students will be assigned to each Dean?

    Each Dean will have roughly 15-20 students per grade in their “cohort.” Similar to our current advisory program, Deans will be responsible for students in all four Upper School grades. 
  • Q. Will the Deans work as a team?

    Yes! They will absolutely work as a team and therefore will be interchangeable in certain situations. At times, they will present to an entire class on a specific topic. They will meet daily, with each meeting having a specific theme, such as 1) College Process 2) Student Support 3) Discipline 4) Policy 5) Event Planning/Fun/Miscellaneous.
  • Q. Can I switch my Dean once it’s been assigned?

    No. Under no circumstances will students be allowed to switch Deans once they’ve been assigned. Since they will be working as a team to help all students, this will be unnecessary.
  • Q. How often will the Deans meet with families to work together in supporting our students?

    Each Dean will meet with every family and student at least once per semester, but more frequently in certain circumstances. There will also be many more informal meetings on the sidelines of sporting events, as they greet students and families at morning drop-off, in the audience at musicals and concerts, etc.
  • Q. What role will the Deans have in our College Counseling process?

    For the Class of 2023, there will be little change to the college counseling experience, but ultimately, the Deans will serve as college counselors for the students in their cohort. The new Deans will actively observe the Portledge college counseling process in the fall of 2022, allowing for a seamless transition for subsequent classes. Because the Dean-student relationship will develop over several years, starting in 9th grade, every conversation and decision students and families will have and make throughout their high school experience will organically inform the college counseling advice for each student. In 11th grade, the conversation will become more specific, focusing on the college search and application process. Karen Crowley, our Director of College Counseling, will closely collaborate with the Deans, helping develop the strategy for each student in conjunction with their Dean. Deans will write the college counselor letters for all of their cohort students (approximately 15-20 per year), which the Director of College Counseling will review in order to ensure alignment with the overarching strategy for each individual student.
  • Q. Will the Deans participate in matters related to discipline and consequences?

    The Deans will be involved in small disciplinary infractions, but major behavioral and academic dishonesty issues will be handled by the Upper School office.
  • Q. Will the Deans advise the students on academic matters and course selection?

    Yes. The Deans will advise students and help develop a road map of course selection throughout Upper School. The Deans will help manage the start of term class schedules and class placement, including distribution and course changes.
  • Q. Will the Deans be involved in helping to ensure our students maintain healthy relationships at Portledge and beyond? Will the Deans help develop social and emotional well-being in our students?

    Yes, in conjunction with our Educational Psychology team, the Deans will serve as leaders in ensuring all students are building the necessary social-emotional skills so that they may learn deeply and thrive within the Portledge community. The Deans will work to implement evidence-based programming that complements our academic programming and is aligned with our community’s mission of whole-child education. Perhaps most importantly, the Deans will work to develop foundational relationships with each student, serving as relational role models, guides, and accountability partners for students throughout their Upper School journeys.
  • Q. Will the Deans be allies in Portledge’s efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive community?

    Yes, the Deans will work in collaboration with the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and other stakeholders to provide all Upper School students with opportunities to engage in DEI initiatives, including cultural focused workshops and school-wide celebrations, affinity-centered clubs, and activities as well as advisory based lessons that deepen awareness of one’s own identity and acceptance of others.
  • Q. Will the Deans be involved in event planning?

    Yes, the Deans will help run student orientations and will help organize class-wide events, trips, retreats, and smaller study breaks called “Panther’s Pause.”
  • Q. How might the Senior Project or the 9th Grade Experience be affected by the Dean program?

    The Deans could be instrumental in helping establish a Senior Portfolio that’s an illustration of growth, rather than an isolated project. Similarly, the Deans will eventually take the lead in the efforts to prepare new 9th graders for the Upper School during Orientation and the first weeks of school, most notably in the 9th Grade Retreat to Blairstown.

School hours

Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.