When I Was Seventeen: Dean of Students Ms. McMahon

WIW17_McMahonWhen I Was 17 features Thacher faculty members of today and looks back at their own high school years. This interview series features photos and commentary to give you a glimpse into their past.

Set the scene:

The Beach Boys, Elton John, and the Rolling Stones were popular. I watched daytime TV like The Partridge Family and Dallas, as well as nighttime soaps. The boys in my school wore leather jackets and called themselves “greasers,” while the popular girls were called, “candies.” I was four foot, nine inches and incredibly shy. But, senior year I emerged from my shell; people started to take notice of me and I was more willing to put myself out there socially.

Sports and Extracurricular Activities:

Sports were big for me, so I played field hockey, gymnastics, lacrosse… they were my outlet.

Did you imagine yourself as a teacher:

I don’t think anyone aspires to be the dean of students at a school, but being around kids was always very comfortable for me; I even babysat instead of being social with my own age-group. 17-year-old Sabina would be surprised that she would have a job with such a public face to it – front and center. I didn’t ever think I would have to talk to people publicly and privately and have a lot of uncomfortable conversations.

First kiss or love:

I was a goody-two-shoes for most of high school and kept to myself, but senior year I started to leave my shell. During a pep-rally during senior fall I was asked out by the captain of the football team. He was really popular, and I was crowned prom queen.

What advice (be it academic or social) do you have for current students:

Don’t let others put you in a box. Pursue what feels important to you, and don’t be afraid to take risks! Be the best you, you can be.

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