After eight years as a Beginners teacher and six as an administrator, Lower School (LS) Director Shera Selzer will retire on June 30 to spend more time with family and pursue her love of art.
Ms. Selzer joined the school community 14 years ago after teaching 4- and 5-year-olds at an independent school in Maryland. Ready to start a new chapter in her life, Ms. Selzer moved to the Boston area and joined the LS campus where she became known as a passionate artist and a devoted educator.
“The best part of having this opportunity has been watching the children thrive and grow, as well as building a cohesive philosophy around educating [them],” she said. “One of the most significant aspects of this position is the ability to hire a diverse and forward-thinking faculty, which is something I’m extremely proud of [doing].”
Ms. Selzer said she loves the school for its environment, which allows for a lot of personal growth, and for the camaraderie of working alongside teachers whom she considers her family.
“I guess you could say I grew up here,” Ms. Selzer said.
Fourth Grade Teacher Christina Dello Russo said her favorite memory with Ms. Selzer occurred nine summers ago when Ms. Selzer hopped inside a cardboard box on a dolly with former LS Director Sue Scarborough and former LS P
arent Association Vice President Rania Melki. With a friendly push from Ms. Dello Russo, the two of them flew down a nearby ramp—just as Head of School Rebecca Upham walked in.
“Ms. Selzer understands that at a school you need to be able to be silly, too,” Ms. Dello Russo said, adding that Ms. Selzer could corral every student in her class into taking part in art projects and activities, even the children who didn’t visualize themselves as artists.
Ms. Dello Russo also commended her colleague’s values.
“Ms. Selzer’s mantra is always the same: do whatever is best for the children. It’s the essential basis of her teaching and her leadership—everything comes second to the needs of the students, even when that is difficult or challenging,” she said.
First Grade Teacher Rachel Stevens—who has known Ms. Selzer for 12 years—agreed that the director had a large impact on the entire LS community, especially the children.
“The mark she will leave in particular on the Lower School is her significant push toward social and emotional learning and understanding of children,” Ms. Stevens said. “She helped teachers think more about the child as a whole person, and not just what they are and aren’t able to do academically.”
LS students past and present praised Ms. Selzer for her attentive nature and ability to create a compassionate environment.
“She is so warm and creative, and was extremely caring to every child,” Anya Chung ’19 said. “When I turned 7, she organized my birthday party and helped us girls make and decorate boxes. Everyone had such a fun time, and she was super helpful and encouraging.”
Malik Shadid ’28 shared a similar sentiment: “I think she is very nice. She walks around the Lower School and watches over students to make sure they are doing well.”
On July 1, Assistant LS Director Anthony Reppucci, who worked alongside Ms. Selzer as a fellow Beginner teacher for two years before joining her for another four as assistant director, will replace Ms. Selzer in the director role.
Mr. Reppucci said he plans to continue the work he and Ms. Selzer have begun together, including initiatives to improve diversity on the LS campus, efforts to better student engagement in the classroom, and measures to make the school a safer and more welcoming place for all.