For the past twenty-five years, Martha Lyman has been a pivotal part of Deerfield students’ college processes. This year, she will step down as Director of College Advising to work on a new project that will influence the community as a whole.
Ms. Lyman will turn next to designing a summer school program with Head of School Margarita Curtis, just downstairs from her current office on the second floor of the Main School Building. They, along with a team including Dr. Hills, who will be pioneering this summer’s science institute, hope to open the program in the summer of 2015.
Next year Ms. Lyman will spend her time researching and creating the summer program. “We want to design something that is distinctive and not just another summer school,” Ms. Lyman said.
Ms. Lyman emphasizes that college is not the focus of her burgeoning program. “I hope that young people don’t feel pressed to organize their lives for the sole purpose of being admitted to college,” she explained. “The job for high school students is to develop themselves. The more developed you are as a person, the better college candidate you will be.”
Ms. Lyman’s enthusiasm for individual exploration is mirrored in her work with her advisees. According to Vanessa Chu ‘13, “As an advisor, Ms. Lyman has always encouraged me to discover different academic and co- curricular interests, not only for the college process, but to explore my potential. I believe that she will be able to establish a very reputable program that can certainly motivate students to have a better understanding of themselves.”
Deerfield students and recent graduates may find opportunities to be involved with this summer session. “There is every reason,” Ms. Lyman said, “to think that we might depend on our students to set the tone for the summer by being proctors, or mentors, or classroom aides. Our students are one of our biggest resources.”
Knowing the college world and international programs, as well as traveling around the world and working with students on many fronts, will enable Ms. Lyman to create a successful summer school program at Deerfield.