School NewsJul 28, 2023
— updated Jul 28, 2023
MHS Names New Deans
Kristen Milano and Sarah Virden join the School's Leadership Team
Miss Hall’s School announces that it has named Kristen Milano as the School’s inaugural Dean of Wellness and Sarah Virden as its new Dean of Students.
Both Ms. Milano and Ms. Virden also join the Miss Hall’s School Leadership Team, which is responsible for making informed decisions grounded in the School’s mission.
“I am pleased to welcome Kristen and Sarah to school leadership and to introduce a new structure that will allow us to focus even more on student wellbeing, while building stronger collaboration among all areas of the School,” said Miss Hall’s Head of School Julia Heaton. “Kristen brings a wealth of experience in school counseling and a deep knowledge of adolescent development, and Sarah brings nearly 30 years of Student Life, College Counseling, academic, and Residential Life experience. Kristen and Sarah are excited to contribute in these new roles and work together as part of the reconfigured Leadership Team.”
A Berkshires native, Ms. Milano joined Miss Hall’s in 2021 as Director of Health and Wellness. In her new role, she will oversee all aspects of student health and work closely with the Deans and other professionals to design and deliver social-emotional learning programs and reimagine the School’s Advising program. Ms. Milano holds an Ed.M. in Prevention Science & Practice and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Hers is a new leadership role at the School.
“Given the post-COVID challenges all schools are experiencing, we feel it is timely to invest additional resources in student mental health and wellness,” Ms. Heaton noted. “By elevating this position to the senior Leadership Team, we will advance our strategic goal of a joyful, connected, and holistic student experience at MHS.”
A longtime MHS resident and administrator, Ms. Virden joined Miss Hall’s in 1994 and has held many roles, including Director of Student Activities, Director of Residential Life, Assistant Dean of Students, and Director of College Counseling. Most recently, she was Director of Academic Counseling, overseeing schedules, calendars, and academic counseling, while continuing to advise students on their post-MHS plans. In her new role, Ms. Virden will oversee all student life programs and collaborate with the Deans and other professionals to expand and strengthen the MHS Student Life program. A graduate of St. Lawrence University, Ms. Virden earned a Master’s Degree in Leadership & Negotiation from Bay Path University.
“Sarah’s vast knowledge from her roles as an academic advisor, college counselor, resident, and others across the School give her a unique window into the MHS student experience,” Ms. Heaton added. “She and Kristen both bring deep experience to their work, and we are excited for the contributions they will make as institutional leaders.”
Ms. Milano and Ms. Virden began their new roles on July 1.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to be systemic and proactive in the way that we support and encourage student wellbeing at MHS,” Ms. Milano said. “Physical and mental health are essential building blocks for student success in and out of the classroom, and I am thrilled to work in a community that understands this and prioritizes it on a school-wide level.”
“I am excited to build on my years of experience at Miss Hall’s School in this new leadership role,” Ms. Virden added. “I am looking forward to collaborating with my peers and our students to deliver a dynamic student life experience that supports the School’s mission to ‘contribute boldly to the common good.’”