Teachers Leaving: Kamaya Thompson

June 9, 2020


Ms. Kamaya Thompson taught at Hawken for three years and she “loved each day” that she spent there. She taught Humanities and two literature electives, but now has decided to move on and become the head of the Upper School at Brooklyn Friends School in Brooklyn, New York.

Ms. Kamaya moved to Cleveland with the intention of staying. She said that “moving to Cleveland was one of the best decisions [she has] ever made.” Cleveland is where her third child was born and where her family felt most comfortable. It is also where she found Hawken, a school that helped her grow as a person and where she “felt at home.” However, when she heard about the opportunity to work in New York, she knew she had to take it. “When you verbalize your goals and your dreams, and then they begin to come to fruition, you have to jump on it.”

Ms. Kamaya is excited for this new chapter in her life. She looks forward to the culture in New York and getting to explore museums, new restaurants, and, of course, Broadway. While Ms. Kamaya is a bit scared of moving to the “big city,” she knows it is a good decision. Even so, she is very sad to leave her Hawken family behind. She will miss her colleagues and popping into their offices to talk. She will miss her team of Mr. Faturoti and Mr. Epps, who worked closely on Hawken’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Council.  Ms. Kamaya will also miss Laurel and the whole Sage staff. She will miss the non-dairy pesto, the sesame-soy tofu, and the paninis that she enjoyed at lunch. She will miss her classes. She will miss checking in with students. She will miss seeing ninth graders grow into confident seniors. She will miss all of it.

As she reflects on her time at Hawken, Ms. Kamaya recalls her favorite memory being her first Giant Relay. While watching the rope burn at the end of the school event, she was surprised by the collaborative and supportive nature of Hawken students. She ended by saying, “The care [that people at Hawken] take with each other, the way students honestly want to know more, it blows me away. I will keep Hawken with me forever.”


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