Mrs. Kristyl Kelly
For Mrs. Kelly, family is not only determined by blood. It’s forged in laughter, tears, moments of frustration, disappointment, respect and forgiveness. It’s those who sit around your dinner table and all talk at once…loudly. It’s those who will walk into the high grass to get the Frisbee because you are scared of snakes. It’s the people who make you a better human by challenging and hugging you. Even when our paths go in different directions, the memories keep us connected.
Kristyl Kelly arrived to Eagle Hill in 2004 from the YMCA, where she had spent a decade in their youth, teen, and childcare programs. Mrs. Kelly recalls: “Looking back at the moments when I was standing at a crossroads, I knew which direction to turn. I remember those exact moments. It was no different when I decided to leave my YMCA home for the next adventure. I remember the afternoon I came across Eagle Hill’s dorm counselor posting. I recall driving to my interview, getting stuck behind a tractor on Route 32, sitting in then Assistant Head of School for Student Life Ron Baglio’s office. I knew then that EHS was where I needed to be.”
Over the last seventeen years, Mrs. Kelly has been involved in every aspect of our students’ experience on campus. She has served as a member of the Girls Leadership Program Committee and the Student Leadership Initiative Committee, as the SADD advisor, Peer Mentor advisor, Young Women’s Affinity Group advisor, Ropes Course manager, teacher, and coach (girls varsity soccer, boys JV basketball, varsity softball, and varsity swimming).
“What I love about working at a boarding school is that I get to know and appreciate the whole person. We form bonds that you would not be able to form anywhere else. These kids become part of my family. They come over for dinner; my daughter calls some of them big brother and big sister; there are alumni that still call her on her birthday. We laugh, we cry, we argue, and we disagree. We send birthday and Christmas cards—and gifts for weddings and baby showers. Sometimes we have to make really hard decisions, and it’s not always easy. At the end of it, though, the most important thing is for our students to know that they are cared about and they are seen.”
Mrs. Kelly has been the advisor for Student Council since her second year at Eagle Hill and has run the floor hockey tournament, one of Eagle Hill’s most storied traditions, for over a decade and a half. She developed and ran the summer LIT program and ran the teambuilding portion of the Eagle Hill Institute for Teachers. She served as a faculty representative for the Diversity Committee, Annual Giving Fund, and administrative team. She has worked with our students as a dorm counselor, Pragmatics Department chair, teacher, academic advisor, and college counselor.
In 2020, it was no surprise that Mrs. Kelly was named assistant head of school for student life, having touched every facet of a student’s experience at Eagle Hill. She remembers: “When I went to Ron Baglio in 2005 to talk about being offered an opportunity to be the Pragmatics Department chair, he smiled at me. He said I should go and learn from the best in our academics department, but to know that I would return home to student life one day. And so in 2020 I returned home.”