Meet Head of School Bessie Speers

 What do you see as the school’s greatest strength?

Middlesex has a distinct sense of place that is unique and powerful, as we ensure all students understand their place in the context of the world around them. The school has a proud and storied history and yet is not content to rest on its laurels. In fact, it is the agility and human connection between faculty and students that make true community one of the schools’ most cherished assets. It is a true family and home for students and faculty, where the promise is found in every student.

Tell us about your family!

I grew up with two younger brothers and a wonderful mother and father. My mother is 85-years old and can’t wait to meet the Middlesex community. My father and mother were activists in their own generation, involved with things that make a difference. My husband, Tom, the love of my life, is a Middlesex alumnus and excited to be back on campus. He is a Presbyterian minister and rowed in college. We have a 24-year-old daughter, Nellie, who is part of the Rocky Mountain National Park system in Colorado; she graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Theater and English. Our son, Guthrie, is 21 and entering his senior year at Hobart College and is member of the college’s tennis team. We also have a 25-year-old daughter from Afghanistan who became part of our family 8 years ago. Sweeta graduated from Bryn Mawr College and is studying creative writing at NYU. We also have a two year old yellow lab named Nola who can’t wait to get to know all the other campus dogs!

What do you do for fun?

I enjoy being outdoors in nature—I majored in English in college and loved courses I took on naturalist writers. I can’t wait to go for walks in Estabrook Woods at Middlesex! I love poetry and being with friends and family. Exercise is important to me, and I enjoy tennis in particular. Hiking, skiing, consignment stores, fabric shops, the ocean, and book stores are all among my favorite places. And there is nothing better than a black raspberry ice cream cone!