Profile of Sharon Klein, Head of School, St. Margaret's School

“I want people, who come to school or to work here, to feel like this is an environment where they feel they can thrive.”

“My definition of leadership is that everyone can lead. Everyone is a leader in some way. It’s not a position, it’s not a title,” says Sharon Klein, St. Margaret’s School’s head of school since 2018.

“I don’t buy it when people say they don’t want to be a leader. It’s not about that. It’s about your own personal mastery of yourself. It’s about finding your own passion and then leading in that way.”

Nurturing this passion in students is a major priority at SMS, as one school parent conveyed to us: “They know my children and their days are focused on nurturing my daughters to be the best versions of themselves…. I also am impressed with their constant vision for the future and growth of the school to develop new opportunities for students.”

Another parent echoes this sentiment: “St. Margaret's makes every day an amazing day for both of my daughters. My daughters have had an excellent academic education while learning and practicing values in an environment that challenges, supports, and inspires them.” 

Klein undertook the project to further define SMS’s purpose and path forward. What came out of this initiative was the school’s five-year strategic plan, launched in 2022, to help students and faculty excel. “I want people, who come to school or to work here, to feel like this is an environment where they feel they can thrive,” she says, adding that this is equally important for staff because it allows them to do their best work with students. “I think it’s important that everybody feels like they’re a part of the movement of ‘Thriving.’”

The all-girl environment at SMS is key to this objective. Says Klein, “This is a community that cares deeply about girls; we have been dedicated to their education, development, and well-being for over a century. Together, we help girls become powerful learners with the knowledge, attitudes and courage to thrive—in their studies and careers and in life. We believe in the all-girl environment because we see the results every day. Here, girls have the freedom to be daring, explore, try new things, and try on new roles. We continually raise girls’ expectations of themselves and have found that they are more than up for the challenge. They excel academically because they participate fully and enthusiastically in the classroom; they make challenging career choices because they are confident in their ability to succeed in any subject; and they believe in their futures because they are certain of their worth and their potential.”

Students are introduced to a variety of different sports at St. Margaret’s, which allows them to find activities they love to do and helps them stay healthy and fit for the rest of their lives. Exploring these athletic opportunities in the all-girls environment of SMS has the added benefit of giving students a safe space to try new experiences, and to do so in a setting where female athletes are second to none.

“My background is in phys ed, and I know there’s so many disparities in sports,” says Klein. “What we don’t have here is situations like where the boys’ teams are given the prime time use of the gym. You think that doesn’t happen? It certainly does—but here, there’s no question: you are the Number One, and you’re getting the primetime opportunity.”

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