This summer, our social media followers submitted dozens of questions for Head of School Tyler Casertano. In this blog, he answers some of those questions.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
I am most looking forward to continuing the process of learning about the community. I have already learned so much by listening to so many tell me about their experiences, and I am eager to continue that listening and learning process by engaging fully in the life of the School. I love school communities and cannot wait to experience the School with everyone on campus in September. I feel especially fortunate that my children will be here with me every day.
What qualities or characteristics do you wish to instill in a Haverford student?
I hope that every day we work to instill empathy, compassion, and courage in our students, and an awareness of how to use those attributes in service to those around them.
What is your favorite movie?
That’s a tough one. I love movies and struggle to identify just one. But if I had to, I would choose Field of Dreams.
How do you want boys to remember you when they graduate from Haverford?
I hope our graduates remember me as someone who cares about them and who demonstrates that care by knowing them and being present in their lives - even after they have left our campus. I became an educator because I love kids and I love being a part of their development. It’s such a privilege and a joy to play that role in someone’s life. I hope our boys feel that I’ve played a role in their development and continue to see me as a supportive, dedicated, and caring resource for them, even after they have graduated.
What is one tradition you want to maintain and one that you want to start?
I’m excited to experience Reflections. It is so important for a boys school to have a community ritual where students and faculty can regularly share their lived experiences in a manner that demonstrates vulnerability and honesty, expresses and validates their humanity, and educates the community. From what I have heard, so many of our virtues seem to be lived through Reflections - honesty, sharing, selflessness, courage, humility, compassion, respect, friendship, support, leadership, and communication. I’m excited to experience it firsthand and to think through how we as a School can broaden and deepen that tradition.
Who is your favorite sports team?
Since July 1 my favorite sports team is any team wearing a Haverford School jersey. It has been fun meeting student-athletes who have been on campus during the summer training, and I hope to be a regular on the sidelines and in the stands to watch our boys compete. Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved the Olympics. There is something magical about them. So for the summer, I’ve also been a Team USA superfan. I’m already looking forward to the winter Olympics in February.
How do you plan to get to know the boys?
That is something that has been on my mind since I took the job. The best part of working at a school is engaging with the students, and I hope to spend time every day with the boys. I am still working with Dr. Greenblatt, Dr. Greytok, and Mr. Fifer to learn more about the best opportunities to do that in each division, but I hope to get to know the boys in a variety of different ways over the course of the day; in the Dining Hall at breakfast and lunch, in the classroom when I start teaching in the 2022-23 school year, on the sidelines of competitions, in the audience at performances, and in the hallways walking around campus.
What do you want the students to know about you?
That they are always my first priority. Being a Head of School requires that you work closely with so many different people from a variety of constituencies - faculty, staff, families, prospective families, past families, alumni - and I’ve always seen working with such a diverse and dynamic group of people as one of the most interesting aspects of being a Head of School. But the students will always be the group I prioritize.
What is Haverford doing around diversity, equity, and inclusion?
The School has been busy over the past year working on an aspect of the Strategic Plan called the Equity Action Plan. The Character, Community, and Culture task force, which includes members of the Board of Trustees and members of the Leadership Team led that process, which examined how we can continue to become an increasingly diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. We hope to have that document ready for the public this fall, and to begin the process of operationalizing the strategies articulated in the plan.
What do you do in your free time?
I have a three-year-old daughter, Bailey and a six-year-old son, Mac. My wife, Annie has a successful career in real estate development, so between our work and raising our children together, we don’t have much free time. When we can sneak away, Annie and I enjoy playing golf together. We also enjoy cooking and being active with our kids. I’ve coached Mac’s soccer and lacrosse teams over the past few years and hope to continue to do that for him, and for Bailey when she starts playing on teams.