The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

After 35 years, Jill Lee concludes her time at Castilleja

Jill+Lee+standing+in+front+of+the+Castilleja+Administrative+building
Eve Snyder
Jill Lee standing in front of the Castilleja Administrative building

Jill Lee, the Director of Admission and Tuition Assistance has been a beloved member of the Castilleja community for the past 35 years. Sadly, the 2023-2024 school year marks the end of her journey here at Castilleja.
“It feels like I’m a senior having to graduate,” Lee said. Her time at Castilleja and personal experiences have helped shape Castilleja into the school it is today. Everyone will miss her dearly, and she will have had a long-lasting impact on the community.
Lee has made a major difference at Castilleja. “We were a much smaller school when I started back in 1989. The diversity of the student body [has grown], just different aspects of students really come together and create these [classes].”
Throughout her time at Castilleja, Lee has gifted the school with a truly special community, something that will stay with us after she retires. “I hope I have left a really strong sense of community and connection and a place where students and families see themselves, with that sense of belonging,” Lee said.
One of Lee’s favorite parts about the Castilleja community has been the unique relationships she’s formed with the students. “I’ve always thought I have the best job at the school, getting to meet so many people and knowing a little bit of [the] story of every student,” Lee said.
She believes that this sense of community can be seen through beloved Castilleja traditions, like Founders Day: “​​I love Founder’s Day with 700 people on the circle listening to seniors share some perspective.”
She also finds her school pride in little moments, like students thanking their teachers after class or seeing them bond on the Circle during lunch. “And [lunch is] also where we build community. You know, watching the students. And for me, sitting with colleagues and enjoying lunch has been great.”
Another highlight from Lee’s time at Castilleja has been working towards accomplishing Castilleja’s goal of “women learning, women leading” and changing the lives of the thousands of girls who have attended Castilleja.
“I think Castilleja’s mission of educating motivated girls to become confident thinkers and compassionate leaders just resonated with me all along. It’s special to have been part of that mission and to have been able to tell the Castilleja story for so many years, knowing that it’s made a huge difference in your life, and it will continue to.”
Ms. Lee’s personal experiences attending a girls school herself have helped shape her into the person she is, which is also visible among Castilleja students. “My experience [at a girls school] allowed [me] to authentically speak about the impact of having strong relationships with teachers, mentors and classmates,” Lee said.
This impact is also visible in her work here at Castilleja. “I believe that my impact on shaping Castilleja‘s culture and community stems from my deep values: empathy, respect, authenticity, fairness and integrity. I can attribute those to my parents and my education.”
Lee’s two daughters both attended Castilleja, giving her a separate perspective on the community while also being a truly special experience. “I was so fortunate to have my two daughters enter. I’ve been able to see firsthand the perspective of [my daughters’] experiences and those of their friends. Watching each of them and their yellow ties on Opening Day and then again, their red ties on Class Day and graduation [was] just this proud moment.”
Lee hasn’t just impacted the Castilleja community, but she feels the community has also impacted her. “It’s truly a privilege to hear students’ stories and experiences,” Lee said. “I think the students have taught me that everything is possible. There’s no limit. I’ve been able to be in a company of motivated, kind, curious students for so many years [and] it’s a privilege to have that.”
Lee’s departure will truly have everyone feeling her loss, and vice versa. Lee remarked that she would miss all parts of the school, even the smallest things: “I’m going to have to make my own lunch. My gosh, I don’t even know how to do that,” Lee said.
However, she remarked that she would genuinely miss the school’s special community. “I know something about every student [and] I’m going to miss being that proximate and working with the leadership team in service to Castilleja’s mission. I’m going to miss that a lot,” Lee said. Lee has left a permanent mark on Castilleja, and every member of the community will cherish our time with her at Castilleja forever.

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About the Contributors
Kaycie Nuckles
Kaycie Nuckles, Staff Writer
Kaycie Nuckles '27 is a Staff Writer at Counterpoint. Some of her favorite things include summer, listening to country music, and Casti bagels.
Eve Snyder
Eve Snyder, Editor of Photography
Eve Snyder ‘24 is the Editor of Photography for Counterpoint. She enjoys creating still life and photomontage pictures, as well as taking portraits. When she’s not photographing, she’s rock climbing, making jewelry or painting her nails.

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