Erin Davey: The Irreplaceable “Dean of Fun”


Erin Davey is leaving, and with her goes more than a decade of serving as Williston’s high-energy, compassionate, tirelessly devoted “Dean of Fun.”
Davey is one of the core members of Williston, serving as Assistant Dean of Students, Activities Director, Dorm Head, Advisor, and Varsity Softball Coach, among countless other duties.
Davey, a Connecticut College graduate, has been at Williston since 2010, just months after her graduation. Following an internship at the Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2009, Williston has been her home for more than a decade
Besides many roles listed above, Davey also teaches AP Psychology and tenth grade CORE. She has taught Introduction to Psychology, Social Psychology, Child Development, Abnormal Psychology, and Introduction to U.S. History during her time at Williston as well.
When students talk about Davey on campus, they immediately comment on her spirited personality.
Kristen Trembley, a senior on Davey’s softball team, describes her coach as having a vibrant, outgoing attitude all the time.
“My one word to describe Ms. Davey would be energetic,” Kristen said. “She always brings smiles and her charismatic ways to the field to pump us all up, and it makes everything so much happier.”
During office hours, Davey’s unique role requires her to make sure everyone has fun, feels included, and, concurrently, is safe while doing so. Kate Garrity, another Assistant Dean of Students, believes she and Davey “make the right team,” and is grateful to have her as a a coworker.
“She and I understand each other perfectly, yet approach everything from completely different angles,” said Garrity. “It’s wonderful working with someone who can challenge your ideas with such genuine humility and respect.”
When the weekend nears, students and faculty receive a gift from Davey via email called “Weekend Round-Up.” A poster with a list of amusing activities is attached to the email to show everyone what they can do to reduce stress and take a break. The activities are a great chance for students to hang out with their friends and make more connections, too.
Robert Hill, Williston’s Head of School, says Davey is not just the “Dean of Fun” for students, but for her coworkers as well.
“The same person students see is the one who works at Williston with her peer colleagues,” he said. “That is to say she’s empathetic, professional, joyful, and, of course, fun.”
The ability to create wonderful connections among students and faculty in the school in what Hill calls Davey’s “superpower.” This bond is what Davey herself appreciates the most.
“Seeing students’ growth and progress throughout their time at Williston, and having a role in building the community I cherish so dearly has also been incredibly rewarding,” she said.
An activity that always makes the whole school laugh during assembly is “Dunkin’ with Davey,” a filmed segment in which she drives a group of students to buy Dunkin’ and, in the vein of “Carpool Karaoke” with James Corden, they sing, talk, and dance on the road.
“’Dunkin’ with Davey’ was so much fun, I loved getting to hang out with Davey and fellow seniors,” Dire Adeosun, a senior who joined the show at Christmas last year, said. “It was so much fun getting into the Christmas spirit.”
Everyone, especially the students, believe Davey is an important piece of the Williston puzzle that can never be taken out, since she brings so much joy to every corner of the school. Saying goodbye to Williston is a hard decision for Davey, but she is prepared to move on from Williston to pursue a new opportunity.
“Although it’s hard to say goodbye, I’m also excited for the new opportunity that awaits me and the chance to grow both personally and professionally,” said Davey, who will join the administration at The Governor’s Academy, in Newbury, Mass., next fall. “While I’ll miss Williston deeply, I’m looking forward to embarking on a new chapter and seeing where this next adventure takes me.”
Garrity is happy for Erin in her new job, and noted that “she’s leaving big shoes to fill” and “will truly be missed every day.”
“I’m not sure anyone realizes how wide her reach is here and how big an impact she has on our community each day,” Garrity said.
Kristen, on Davey’s softball squad, feels the same.
“The thought of her not being here, it’s kind of scary to think about, because she’s such a positive person and I’ve looked up to her a lot and I’ve gone to her for help,” Kristen said. “It’s just like the end of the era.”
Similar to Kristen, May Nguyen, a junior currently living in EMV, was astounded when she first heard one of her favorite dorm parents was about to depart.
“Williston without Ms. Davey is just a pancake without maple syrup,” she said.
Choosing the word “innovative” to describe Davey, Dyson Haaland, a senior, thinks Davey will continue to influence students in her next destination.
“Her leaving is sad, but I’m thankful for all she has done for me in the past couple of years,” he said. “I am sure she will make a positive impact where she goes next year.”
There is no question about how important and influential Davey is to the community. Wildcats and faculty clearly acknowledge her hard work for the school and are truly sad that it is almost time to say adieu. They will never forget an enthusiastic teacher who always helped her students, a warm-hearted dorm parent ready to hug and listen to student stories, and a hilarious friend.
Tyla Tylor, a Science teacher who will help Davey take over courses like AP Psychology next year, loves having Davey as a friend and colleague.
“I know that if I’m looking for a new innovative class idea, I can send her a text or stop by her office, and she’ll have thought of something in just minutes,” she said. “She’s more than just a coworker, [she’s] a friend to so many of us here.”
Even though Hill rejoiced in Davey’s new opportunity, he admitted that it is sad to see her go. He added that Davey’s takeoff is “bittersweet.”
“I know she will remain connected to Williston, and so this feels more like a good-luck sendoff than a farewell one,” he said.
Davey, in an email to The Willistonian, left some parting words for the greater community.
“My heart is filled with gratitude as I say goodbye to this extraordinary community that has been my home for the past 12 years. Thank you for welcoming me, supporting me, and making this experience one that I will always cherish,” she said.
“I am honored to have worked alongside such dedicated and talented individuals, and the relationships and memories that I have formed with students, faculty, staff, and parents will stay with me forever,” she wrote. “To all of you, I want to express my deepest gratitude for making my time at Williston so meaningful and fulfilling. You have left an indelible mark on my life, and I will always hold you close to my heart.”