Following a national search, Head of School Scott Looney recently announced the appointment of Molly Toussant as Lower School director. Molly will assume this position effective July 1, 2022.
With twenty years in education, Molly comes to us most recently from the award-winning Intergenerational Schools networks in Cleveland, where she has served as director of education, focusing on building leaders in implementing mastery-based learning across their schools. As she leaves, the Intergenerational Schools are the number one rated network of charter schools in the state of Ohio. In her work there she has implemented professional development opportunities for K-8 teachers to strengthen teaching methodologies and programming. Prior to her role as director of education, Molly served as building principal at Near West Intergenerational School, where her leadership, engagement, and encouragement of teachers led to a more dynamic professional learning community, an enriched school culture, and improved learning outcomes.
Molly holds a BA in Elementary Education from John Carroll University, an MA in English, Teaching Writing with a Reading Instruction Concentration from the University of Colorado, and an MA in Educational Leadership from George Mason University. She began her teaching career at the Intergenerational School in Cleveland as a multiage kindergarten-first grade teacher before relocating to Denver, where she taught fifth grade in the Cherry Creek School District. During her seven years there, her classroom served as a lab classroom for the Public Education and Business Coalition. Molly also served as a professional development facilitator, supporting and coaching other teachers through hosting and observing literacy lessons. After moving to Arlington, Virginia, where she taught third and fourth grade, she was promoted to instructional lead teacher, actively engaging with school leadership to create and oversee faculty professional development to support a stronger, more authentic teaching and learning environment.
Connecting with Molly’s colleagues allowed our teachers and administrators to get to know her even better. Praised for being a dynamic leader with a “can-do” attitude, Molly is considered by her peers a “brilliant educator;” and, as one colleague emphasized, “Molly has left us in a better place.” Another notes her “genuine passion about education,” highlighting her creative initiatives, dedication, responsiveness, and honesty. Described as very smart, calm, focused, and “wonderfully warm,” she is known for having a fabulous rapport with children, taking the time to learn all their names and ensuring that they feel known and cared for. One co-worker asserts, “You could not do better than Molly Toussant.”
Scott Looney comments, "Molly’s combination of deep expertise in teacher development, mastery learning curriculum design, and leading change, combined with her extraordinary understanding of young children, makes her a fantastic fit to lead our Lower School. Her current work is remarkably well-aligned with Hawken’s given her focus on creating individualized approaches to learning that are engaging, connected to the context of students’ lives and experiences, and meeting students where they are along their continuum of learning. I have no doubt that Molly will build upon our strong foundation as a forward-focused institution that deeply values personalized learning and truly knowing our students as learners and individuals."
We look forward to welcoming Molly to the Hawken community upon her arrival in just a few short months!