By: Amber W. (’23)
Dr. Grace Cheng Dodge has accepted her new role as Interim Head of School from 2020 to 2022 after the departure of former Head of School, Dr. Sharon D. Hennessy in September due to health concerns.
Dr. Dodge grew up in a Taiwanese-American family in the United States and graduated from Harvard University. She later received an MS, MBA and EdD from Northeastern University. She then worked as the Director of Admission at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and the Associate Director of Admissions at Harvard University for ten years before coming to Taiwan in 2009.
Before taking on the role of Interim Head of School, Dr. Dodge helped open the new college counseling office in the upper school H-Block at TAS and worked in the college admissions office for three years before taking on the role of Deputy Head of School in 2018. Dr. Dodge is also a Certified Public Accountant.
After working in TAS for 11 years, Dr. Dodge realized that TAS students tend to focus on academics, which creates competition between the students. “I just wish that students, parents and families wouldn’t put so much pressure on themselves and compare each other to other students,” she said. “I would love students to show a love of learning that can actually be seen by us, surpassing the need to compare.”
As Dr. Dodge takes on her new role at the school, Dr. Adam Nelson, the new Interim Deputy Head of School, will be working with Dr. Dodge in the administration office over the next two years. “I think that Dr. Dodge’s counseling background [allows her to be] a uniquely qualified place to work with students and on that culture aspect,” he said. “I think part of changing [the school] is finding ways to further evolve our curriculum and our teaching practices.”
Ultimately, Dr. Dodge has set many new goals for herself during her time as Interim Head of School. She is currently meeting and interacting with students in the lower school and will make her way up to the Upper School.
“I want to make sure people feel welcome here, and that they’re not so stressed that they forget that the upper school experience is supposed to be fun,” she said. “So I would love to work on that culture for the school.”