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  • Upper School

We have 78 wonderful and unique students in our middle school program at Villa. They are navigating a new school year with open hearts and forming new friendships. They are an energetic group, yearning for opportunities to be independent and wondering whether they should try new things. Middle school is a time of adjusting, making mistakes, and learning from them. They may face unfamiliar challenges and are encouraged by our faculty to take academic risks in new ways. They are capable of handling all of this, and we truly believe in them. We will be here, cheering them on, and supporting them every step of the way.

Melissa Allen, Middle School Dean

Our new Dean of Middle School and Global Education and Exchange Coordinator, Dr. Melissa Allen, recognizes how critical it is to build a middle school that perfectly balances structure with relationships. Her sustained and intentional attention to encouraging growth, understanding, connection, and leadership in our middle school students will prepare them to enter high school with confidence and positively impact our entire upper school program.

Dr. Allen is just as enthusiastic about her role as Global Education and Exchange Coordinator as she is about her leadership of the Middle School. She is passionate about creating opportunities for our students to have life-changing experiences, and she will give our upper school students the opportunity to appreciate and understand different cultures and perspectives as they develop the global competency that is a hallmark of Sacred Heart education.

Dr. Allen is happy to be at Villa, where creativity is valued and genuine learning and growth are prioritized over simply conforming to rigid ideas of what success looks like. We are confident that as you get to know her, you will see the value she adds to our middle school program and our global education opportunities.

Dr. Allen’s office is on the second floor right next to the middle school common room. I hope you get the opportunity to meet her in person soon, and you can also spot her 13-month-old son, Aaron, in our nursery!

Mrs. Jeannie Steenberge
Upper School Principal