Writings on the people, programs and philosophies behind BSS.

People and Perspectives

Gail Sweeney

Gail Sweeney in her office at BSS.

As soon as she took up the new position of school Psychologist at BSS this past fall, Gail Sweeney got to work meeting with students. Some came into her office to say hello; boarders were treated to a gingerbread-making night – a treat for everyone involved, as Sweeney is a gourmet baker. Since she started, she’s talked to the girls about everything from their academic concerns to how to best manage stress. “I am impressed with the school’s emphasis on positive health and mental well-being as well as their innovative learning projects,” Ms. Sweeney says of her first impression of BSS. “I think all children, but especially adolescents, pass through periods of cognitive and social and emotional change and growth, and some periods are more turbulent than others – not only physical and hormonal changes but a heightened sense of questioning the world and a heightened need to be with their peers.” Sweeney certainly knows the terrain. The mother of three daughters, ages 30, 28 and 24, Sweeney worked for 16 years in a public school board, working with children and adolescents with a variety of emotional and social challenges. She has two Master’s degrees – one in adult psychology and one in child developmental psychology, and directed and produced the award-winning NFB film about children with learning disabilities, A Mind of Your Own. “My philosophy is children do well if they can,” says Sweeney. “Our job is to help support them so that they can do well.”

Spring 2017