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Hannah Tompkins standing in front of a stone wall smiling at the camera and wearing a colorful top.

Hannah Tompkins is our assistant director of admissions and currently serving as the interim director of GirlSummer. Hannah joined our community in spring 2023 after teaching at Severn School in Maryland. As our GirlSummer program gets ready to welcome campers to campus, we asked Hannah four questions about the experience at Emma!

#1—What brought you to Emma Willard School?

I grew up in boarding schools and so I love the community you often find at most boarding schools, but particularly all-girl schools. I knew I wanted to come to a single sex school, and I also really like upstate New York! I had been looking for teaching jobs, but I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to keep teaching–I really wanted to come into an entry-level administrative role. So, it kind of all came together!


A team of 7 people wearing funny sunglasses in a group photo.

The Admissions Team during opening days in fall 2023, welcoming students to campus for the 2023-24 year!


#2—What is a typical day-in-the-life at Emma like for you?

I love having breakfast here every single morning (no dishes! It's awesome)! We do a lot of the basic administrative stuff, like send emails and call people back, but at the same time, there's a lot of that community piece that I was talking about: having breakfast together, getting lunch together. It’s a change to a very non-academic role, which has been a nice change of pace.

Right now for me though, it feels a little more academic as we prepare for GirlSummer. It’s a lot of backwards planning and coordinating for the classes, whereas in the regular admissions season it’s more forward planning. Like with travel, you might not know exactly where you’re going until maybe a month before so I’m getting things done and making sure it lines up when it’s time to go!


Hannah standing at a table in a library with informational objects.

Hannah at an admissions event at Fay School in Massachusetts.


#3—What is one thing about working at Emma that would surprise people?

It doesn't feel like a regular boarding school in a really nice way. Most of the boarding communities I’ve been a part of are 90% boarding and it can feel really insular, but we have a larger day population too. There is a nice balance, I don’t have any other extracurricular responsibilities (like coaching, club advising, or being a committee member) unless I want to, and it’s really nice to have that separation. 

#4—What is your favorite space, place, or tradition on the Emma campus?

I really love the entryway of Slocum, near Kiggins! There’s an entry way with the two columns, and then the internal vestibule space with all the little green owls and the plaque. My college experience was at Sewanee, which is modeled after Oxford, also that grey stone collegiate gothic look, and so coming here kind of felt like a homecoming.


Find more interesting stories about Emma Willard School on our Newsroom page.