Skip to content Skip to navigation

Fadia Desmond

Photo of Facia Desmond at her school, standing near a sign that welcomes students and gives guidance about how to keep others safe during COVID

Fadia Desmond,
MA '95 Stanford Teacher Education Program

Recognizing the value of adaptability

There was no handbook to refer to a year ago when the pandemic shuttered schools and forced an on-the-fly reimagination of what education would look like, says Fadia Desmond, MA ’95, assistant principal at Jesuit High School in Sacramento, Calif. “It was like a tornado blew through and we had to rebuild, brick by brick.” Her usual responsibilities had to be put aside while she navigated an unprecedented set of challenges. “If you’d told me I’d come to work in tennis shoes and would be moving students through weekly COVID-19 screening lines … There was no place for pride. Everybody had to do what needed to be done.”

Jesuit reopened for in-person instruction last October and it reminded Desmond, a graduate of the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP), how profoundly grateful she is to work in education. “It’s a simple joy. I get to wake up every day and be around young people.”

Desmond, who has chaired the GSE Alumni Awards and Recognition committee for five years, credits volunteer work with the GSE for preparing her to reenter the professional world after she took a seven-year hiatus from her career to stay home with her young children. “So much of who I am and what I do, I owe to Stanford,” she says.

The crucible of 2020 made clear how important adaptability will be as more change arrives, says Desmond, who also teaches a freshman English course. And it imbued a sense of “efficacy and agency” among her colleagues that she says signals new promise. “There is an energy, a belief that we can do anything now.”


 

May 13, 2021
Photo courtesy of Fadia Desmond

More Community stories

Photo of Jeremiah Lockwood
Jeremiah Lockwood, PhD '19
How music has evolved
Read this story
Photo of Jodi Anderson, Jr., smiling, in a cafe with his laptop
Jodi Anderson, Jr., '22, MA '22 Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies
Reimagining the résumé
Read this story
Laura Hinton in a room by a window with plants all around
Laura Hinton, MS '23 Education Data Science
Catching bias in data solutions 
Read this story
Back to the Top