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Trustees Announce Campus Space To Be Named in Honor of Doreen Kelly


Head of School Doreen Kelly, at center, with her family on the newly named Doreen C. Kelly Campus Commons

This morning, at a special all-school gathering to celebrate Head of School Doreen Kelly, Laura Helton Kalorin ’92, chair of the Ravenscroft Board of Trustees, announced that the board was naming the outdoor gathering spaces in the center of campus in recognition of her outstanding legacy of learning, leading and serving.

“Her passion and charge to ‘connect the head and heart of our school,’ along with the development of Ravenscroft’s most distinctive program, Lead From Here, have transformed our campus and the educational experience at Ravenscroft,” Kalorin said. “So it is fitting that we stand here today in this common area. From the flag-raising ceremony at the beginning of every school year to every schoolwide and community gathering on the lawn, this space — our campus green — is both the symbolic and physical heart of Ravenscroft’s campus. 

“In recognition of Mrs. Kelly’s profound impact as Head of School, I am thrilled to share that the Ravenscroft Board of Trustees has designated and named this space the Doreen C. Kelly Campus Commons, which from now on will be known as the Kelly Commons.”  

The assembly featured a number of student speakers as well, with representatives from each division sharing what Kelly’s leadership by example has meant to them. 

Clockwise from top left: Lower School students at the assembly, dressed in green and gold to celebrate Kelly; Middle School speaker Grayer English ’30; board chair Laura Helton Kalorin ’92, at center, with Upper School speakers Annika Gupta ’26, Anna Haywood ’24, Ethan Silverman ’25, Jai Gupta ’25, Joshua Ward ’26 and Amelia Ward ’26; Lower School speaker Austin Freeman ’31

Lower School Student Council members Alice Liu ’33, Rowan English ’32 and Austin Freeman ’31 spoke about Kelly’s commitment to service, with Alice saying it is something “we try to embody every day.” The students listed service projects ranging from food drives for Wake Relief to volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and more. “Mrs. Kelly’s vision has been the heart of all we do,” Rowan said. Austin noted that Kelly “has taught us the values of communication and empathy,” adding, “We will miss you in the Lower School, Mrs. Kelly!”

Members of the Middle School Service Learning Task Force — Lily Ferretti ’30, Genevieve Holman ’30 and Grayer English ’30 — then spoke about the service and community engagement in their division, with Lily calling Kelly “a shining example of how serving others is one of the most rewarding ways we connect to one another and to those in our greater Raleigh community.” From monthly visits with students at the Frankie Lemmon School to the twice-yearly Middle School Service Days, they said, the division is inspired by the many ways their contributions can make a difference in their community.

Upper School students also took the opportunity to share reflections on Kelly’s impact. 

Amelia Ward ’26 and Joshua Ward ’26, who run the division’s Note in the Pocket Club, spoke of Kelly’s board service in support of that nonprofit, which addresses clothing insecurity for more than 10,000 families each year. “Mrs. Kelly’s involvement with Note in the Pocket has shown us all how even small actions can lead to significant changes in someone’s life, reminding us of the power we hold to make a difference,” Joshua said. 

Kelly with Director of Facilities Chris Farrow (standing at far left), master carpenter Charles Riddick (seated) and the entire Facilities Department, who oversaw the installation of the Kelly Commons

Ethan Silverman ’25 spoke of the division’s partnership with the Miracle League of the Triangle, through which Ravens assist buddies with special needs in playing in baseball. “This experience has touched each of us profoundly,” he said. “When we leave the Miracle League field each week, we leave with a sense of gratitude for what we have and what we are able to give.”

Jai Gupta ’25 and Annika Gupta ’26 then spoke of their ongoing service at the Boys Club of Wake County, in which they impart the values of leadership and service they have gleaned from Lead From Here. “We are so grateful to be in an environment where we are encouraged to learn, lead and serve our community,” Jai said. 

Following Kalorin’s announcement and the unveiling of the installation, Anna Haywood ’24, president of the Upper School SGA, closed the event, saying, “I hope we are all inspired by Mrs. Kelly’s legacy of service. Let’s all do our part to serve others in the Ravenscroft community and beyond. Thank you, Mrs. Kelly!”

Kelly said she was “overwhelmed by this amazing and very special recognition.”

“It has been an honor to serve this incredible community that is committed to learning, leading and serving for 25 years,” she said. “I am reminded of an ancient African word ‘Ubuntu,’ which can be translated as ‘I am because we are.’ Together, we have accomplished so much, and I look forward to continuing to support Ravenscroft in the years ahead. My heart is filled with much gratitude and appreciation for all of you!”

The schoolwide celebration isn’t over yet. Today, after school, on the newly named Kelly Commons, students and their families, faculty and staff are invited to attend the spring community event, Ravenfest, which will feature live music from students and employees, lawn games, food trucks and more. A special gratitude station will allow Ravens of all ages to create a personal card or thank-you note for Kelly and pop it in a special mailbox set up just for the occasion.

Enjoy more photos from today’s event in our Flickr album.

Read about other honors and recognition Kelly has earned on our webpage Celebrating 21 Years with Head of School Doreen Kelly. The page includes a gratitude board where any and all members of the school community may share memories, photos and well-wishes with her.