Susan Sterman-Jones Named Next Dean of the 7th & 8th Grades

Susan, who is the JK-12 drama curriculum coordinator, has taught at Grace for 24 years, teaching drama and health and wellness in the Middle School. She has been deeply involved in the life of the school, putting on two incredible shows per year (a play in the fall and a musical in the spring), she has been an advisor, led a CGC group, co-founded the middle school student GSA, and co-directs the JK-8 Christmas Pageant. She has served on the faculty committee for three terms and led domestic and international trips, including ones to Japan and France.
Before she went into education, Susan was an actor and a teaching artist in NYC. She worked in public school classrooms all over the city, running theater programs and teaching playwriting. She was also the director of a City Center playwriting program and worked with actors from all over the world to develop theater based on the real lives of people who lived in the tenements. During her time at Grace, Susan has produced just shy of 50 productions. When alumni visit campus, many reminisce about their time in the theater department and the shows they were part of.

Head of Middle School Elsa Hepner said of Susan’s appointment, “In her role as the middle school theater director, advisor, and teacher, Susan cultivates safe spaces for her students where they can know and be their authentic selves and which inspire deep and meaningful learning. I know she will continue to support our students in her new role, and I look forward to working with and learning from her as we partner more closely together.”

Susan described her deep roots in the Grace community. “The role of dean is a natural outgrowth of the work I’ve done as a teacher and advisor. As a theater teacher I’ve had the unique opportunity to create relationships with students where I can create a safe and joyful environment for them that is deeply felt because we are dealing with emotions, needs, and wants. Being an advisor is similar, and I feel I’m at my best when I’m supporting students in this way. The dean role is a natural next step to continue laying this foundation of trust and security for students while also supporting the advisors and teachers.”

Susan is also a long-time Grace parent; her twins are Grace lifers and will graduate from the High School this week. Her husband Scott has taken some of the most iconic photographs of Grace students in the past 15 years.

Susan holds a bachelor of fine arts in theater from Syracuse University and a master of science degree in educational theater at NYU. She describes herself as obsessed with NYC history, a lover of novels, a dedicated Peloton rider, an avid theater goer, and the owner of a Basenji named Porter.
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Grace Church School is a co-educational independent school in downtown Manhattan, New York City providing instruction for nearly 800 students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.