By: William Rende
Following his recent appointment as Director of Upper School Admissions, Mr. Owen Daly will be leaving the Middle School and resigning from his nine-year tenure as Head Varsity Basketball Coach. After thirteen years of teaching in the Middle School, Mr. Daly will now be relocating to the Upper School, where he will teach one section of European Civilization to sophomores and have a small advisory. The majority of his time, however, will be spent in admissions.
Next year, Gilman will be debuting a restructured admissions department, which features a director of admissions at each of the three divisions of the school. Previously, Upper School Admissions was overseen by the the general Director of Admissions, Mr. Bill Gamper. With the addition of Mr. Daly as the new Director of Upper School Admissions, Ms. Amy Furlong will now oversee the student body makeup of all three divisions as Director of Enrollment.
This restructuring of the department will be accompanied by a general transparency in recruitment policy and more communication between the athletic, academic, and arts departments. Mr. Daly explained, “We recruit on every level because we want the best and the brightest in the desk next to us on either side… What has happened recently is there has been more of a push for communication between coaches and teachers about getting [these students] for every department.” As a result of this transparency, Gilman’s activity in recruitment will be dictated by the needs of each aspect of student life. Much of Mr. Daly’s time as Director of Upper School Admissions will be spent communicating with his colleagues from every department to coordinate visits with prospective students.
Another essential change to Gilman admissions is the introduction of merit-based scholarships. This year, Gilman offered six merit-based partial scholarships to the highest achieving academic applicants for the rising 9th grade class. These scholarships were used to “...get the best and brightest kids locally to stay local, and not go to Exeter or [another] New England boarding school,” according to Mr. Daly. Ultimately, the implementation of these scholarships were part of Gilman’s efforts to adjust to the climate of competing with peer schools who have been offering similar scholarships for a longer period of time.
These time commitments required for Mr. Daly’s new role left little time for his coaching career, which is why next year, Mr. Will Bartz (‘99) will be succeeding him as Head Coach of the Varsity Basketball Team. However, Mr. Daly will still be involved with the team in some capacity from a distance. He noted, “I’ll know more about my level of involvement after the first year learning exactly what the job entails.” Though he does not yet know specifically which sports he will be coaching next year, he noted that he will likely still be involved in fall and spring Middle School athletics.
Reflecting on his Middle School experience, Mr. Daly noted, “What I’ll miss most is the variety of the schedule. The forty-minute classes go by quickly when you have a talk class, a US history class, an ancient history class, and athletics. I’ll miss all of that variety and the liveliness of the Middle School experience.”
Looking to the future, Mr. Daly remarked, “What I’m most looking forward to in high school is working with a number of colleagues [in the Upper School] that I already have relationships with and I’m also really excited to have a new 10th grade curriculum to dive into and be fully invested in.” He added, “I would like to be in the classroom as much as possible... But I’m going to continue to try and see how time intensive [the job] is and adjust accordingly”.
The future of Upper School admissions seems to be in good hands as Mr. Daly takes on these new responsibilities and continues to contribute to Gilman through both teaching and coaching.