Rectory School is pleased to welcome Robert Oakes as Associate Director of Communications, Allison Dubinsky as Director of Annual Giving and Constituent Engagement, and Lauren Veatch as Admissions Assistant.
In May, Robert Oakes became Rectory’s new Associate Director of Communications, responsible for managing the school’s online presence; capturing campus events in photos and videos; writing articles for its website, newsletters, and other publications; and otherwise assisting with content production and media outreach.
Throughout his career, Mr. Oakes has sought opportunities to use his love for writing and other forms of media to help others tell their story. He has served as a reporter with North Jersey Newspapers, as contributing editor of the AAA North Jersey Traveler magazine, and as a multimedia content producer for Canyon Ranch and other
organizations and individuals. Since 2010, Mr. Oakes has led ghost tours at The Mount, home of author Edith Wharton, in Lenox, MA, telling tales of reported hauntings at the estate. This led to Mr. Oakes’s debut book, Ghosts of the Berkshires, an exploration of the history and ghost lore of Berkshire County in Western Massachusetts, published in 2020 by The History Press. Mr. Oakes’s second book, Ghosts of Northwestern New Jersey, is due to be published in September 2022.
Mr. Oakes is also a passionate educator, having taught middle school English at Berkshire Country Day School in Stockbridge, MA, and privately to homeschooled students. Teaching has inspired Mr. Oakes to continue his own education, and in 2017, he began a graduate program at the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, which he will complete this summer at Oxford in England.
“I’m thrilled to join Rectory in this role,” he said, “especially because it allows me to combine my love for writing and media production with my passion for education. I can already see what a special place this is, filled with such dedicated people and talented students. I have no doubt there will be many wonderful tales to tell.”
Allison Dubinsky is Rectory School’s new Director of Annual Giving and Constituent Engagement, working alongside Freddy Nagle and John Xeller in the Alumni & Development Office. As Director of Annual Giving, Ms. Dubinsky manages the operations budget for the school, oversees all fundraising activities and outreach, and assists with alumni events. She also contributes to The Rectory News, the school’s annual alumni publication. As Director of Constituent Engagement, Ms. Dubinsky also keeps in touch with alumni, past parents, and the greater Rectory community, inviting them to stay active and involved.
Part of what Ms. Dubinsky enjoys most about her job is the chance it gives her to connect personally with members of the Rectory community, some whose connection to the school goes back decades. “It’s fun to talk to them because they all have such different memories and experiences of Rectory. Some want to talk all about the school; some want to talk about what they’re doing now and how their time at Rectory helped them get there.”
With a degree in communications and sociology from Eastern Connecticut State University, Ms. Dubinsky comes to Rectory from the food service industry where she served in sales, marketing, and business development roles. While she enjoyed that work and the experiences it afforded her—such as helping to resurrect one of Connecticut’s oldest craft breweries—Ms. Dubinsky hungered for the opportunity to make a more personal connection, an opportunity she has found in her new role at Rectory.
“Here you’re not just selling a product. You’re selling the vision of what Rectory is and what it means to people. It’s all about that personal contact and that personal experience, which has always driven me. It’s not just about getting people to donate to the school. It’s also about getting the alumni involved, asking them about their experience, finding out what Rectory means to them, and reigniting that spark.”
It is the people who make Rectory such a special place, Ms. Dubinsky believes. “Throughout my interview process and everyone I talked to, I could just tell that it’s not just a job to them. There’s a personal connection, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
As Admissions Assistant, Lauren Veatch provides a warm welcome to prospective students and their families, a crucial role because, as Ms. Veatch said, “It’s important to create an environment that tells them, as soon as they walk in the door, that this will be a welcoming place. It’s all about being the face of what makes Rectory a great school.”
Ms. Veatch, though, is more than just a friendly face at the front door; she also works hard behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. From guiding prospective families through the application process to scheduling visits and interviews to fielding questions, Ms. Veatch is the backbone of the Admissions Office. For students already enrolled at Rectory, Ms. Veatch also assists with the re-enrollment process, secures visas for international students, and ensures that all necessary documentation is forwarded on to secondary schools after graduation.
Born in Maryland and formerly of Litchfield County, CT, Ms. Veatch became aware of boarding school life at an early age, as her mom worked at Cheshire Academy. Before coming to Rectory, however, she had never heard of a boarding school that incorporates day programs for elementary and middle school and also offers a preschool program.“Rectory really is from the ground up,” she said, encouraging growth through the grade levels with the support that set students up for success and unwavering care from teachers and staff. “I’m excited to be a part of Rectory,” Ms. Veatch said, “because they genuinely care so much about their students.”
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