By Ava Lee ’21
In September of 2016, The Gunnery welcomed new faculty members to campus to fill many different roles. One of those faculty members was Dr. Matthews (also known as “DOS” or Doc.”) Over these past four years, Dr. Matthews served as the Dean of Students, coached girls varsity basketball, taught The Spirit of New England, and acted as a caring advisor. After four years, Dr. Matthews is moving on to new roles and saying goodbye to the Gunnery Community.
To really show the impact that Dr. Matthews had on the Gunnery community, a few of the people she is closest to had some kind words to show their appreciation. Dr. Matthews’ advisor group explained how much they will all miss her and how they were impacted by her:
Arian Agadi ‘21 says that Dr. Matthews “always does her best to help you find a result that makes you feel at ease and assures you that everything will be okay.” He also appreciates that she “always has a positive attitude.”
Grace Genest ‘20 recognizes how much Dr. Matthews assisted her during her four years at The Gunnery. “I could not even put into words how much Doc has impacted my life at The Gunnery. She has been there every step of the way, whether it be academically, athletically, socially or any other. My Gunnery experience wouldn’t be what it has been without her.” Grace also says, “I will miss seeing her smiling face coming walking into our wild SONE (Spirit of New England) class each day as she’s fully prepared for all the complaints and comments about anything possible to come. I will miss piping in DOS to get some candy and laughing with her, Mrs. Lord, and Mr. Badger.”
Catie Stammen ‘20, another four-year senior, explains that her time at The Gunnery was completely changed because of Dr. Matthews. “Dr. Matthews has made The Gunnery so much more enjoyable. Choosing her as an advisor was probably the best choice I ever made. I chose her not only because she knows literally everything, but also because I enjoy seeing her smiley face and constant kindness at the advisory table twice a week for three years.” Catie will definitely miss Dr. Matthews, “I will miss her calling me Stamms because she’s the only one who does and it always puts a smile on my face. I will miss her positive attitude towards literally everything. And finally, I will miss her being the best advisor. I am so thankful for every piece of advice she has given me and wish I could just take her with me to college.”
It is safe to say that the Dr. Matthews advisory appreciates everything she did for them and will always remind themselves of all the lessons she taught.
Andrew Byrne-King ‘20 comments on his experiences in the Dr. Matthews advisor group; he says that she is “Always being able to call, text, or check-in,” and that he appreciates her “support in any issues that I or anyone else are having.”
Dr. Matthews impacted many students, but we cannot forget the co-workers that will also certainly miss her. Mrs. Lord and Mr. Badger worked with Dr. Matthews in the Dean of Students office, where they all became very close friends. Although the Dean of Students is often seen as a scary place on campus, the three worked together to listen to students and make them feel comfortable.
Mr. Badger says, “I have greatly enjoyed working with Dr. Matthews over the past 4 years. We have had to navigate some very difficult situations together and I have always appreciated her willingness to smile, joke, debate, and argue our way through it. She has been a great asset to the school and good friend to me. We will miss her!”
Mrs. Lord looked back on her four years spent working with Dr. Matthews and stated that “Dr. Matthews has made the last four years at The Gunnery so much fun. It has been my pleasure to work directly with her through all the good times and also the most stressful of times. She has a wonderful sense of humor and is a colleague who will support you no matter what. I am truly going to miss working with such a great friend. She has dedicated her last 4 years to this campus and our students. For that we are all eternally grateful.”
One more person that worked with Dr. Matthews, Ms. Ruscz reflected on her time with Dr. Matthews, “Dr. Matthews is the kind of person that makes you want to be better, work harder, and simply do more. It is so clear in her work with her advisees, her students, and others who she works most closely with that she cares so deeply about the progress of each person. In working with Dr. Matthews, I have not only learned so much from her in terms of character and student progress (two areas she is very passionate about), but I’ve watched her mentor students in a variety of different ways that have helped each student in their own individual way. This community will sorely feel Dr. Matthews’ absence, and she will be greatly missed.”
The whole community is grateful for everything Dr. Matthews brought to campus; her impact will always be remembered by students.