Dean of Students, Upper School counselor take on new directions


Eric Hang

Since being hired in 2007, Inman has also served as Assistant Dean of Students, Middle School history teacher and varsity girls’ basketball coach.

Mia Fares, Staff Writer

After a year of iconic St. John’s experiences such as planning Kinkaid Week and performing in the Senior Celebration Assembly, Dean of Students Elisa Inman is leaving to become Assistant Head of Middle School at the John Cooper School next fall.

Inman became Dean of Students in 2015 after her predecessor, Stephen Popp, left to become Head of Upper School at John Cooper. Since being hired in 2007, Inman has also served as Assistant Dean of Students, Middle School history teacher and varsity girls’ basketball coach.

Education runs in the family — both of her parents are retired college professors, and Inman earned an M.A. in Secondary Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  

“I have had an amazing 10 years at St. John’s,” Inman said. “I couldn’t be happier with the amount of growth I have been able to have here, career-wise, and the number of meaningful relationships I have made with students and colleagues over the years.”

Inman looks forward to taking on an expanded role with faculty and working with middle school students again.

“After seven years of working under the student life umbrella, I am excited to start working more with faculty. I am ready to be challenged that way, and I want to learn new things,” Inman said.

Former Upper School counselor Kelli McCarty will take maternity leave next year after giving birth to her daughter Sage over spring break. Dr. Shawn Fleck, former Coordinator of the Department of Psychological Services at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, is the new counselor.

McCarty moved from California in 2014 when her husband’s job brought them to Houston. McCarty has been an advocate for student wellness in a challenging academic environment, encouraging students to build relationships with counseling professionals.

“Asking for help or seeking out support is a strength and not a weakness,” McCarty said.

Dan McCarty
Former Upper School counselor Kelli McCarty spends time with her two children. She gave birth to Sage (right) over spring break.

One of Inman’s favorite memories was the eighth grade trip to Big Bend, which she attended seven times. One of McCarty’s favorite memories was watching Kinkaid Week unfold for the first time.

Both McCarty and Inman consider the relationships they made with students, parents, and other faculty members as one of their favorite parts of St. John’s.

For Inman, one of the most rewarding parts of her job was watching her students grow up and become young adults after graduation. McCarty and Inman both know that leaving their relationships behind would be one of the hardest things about their departure.

“We have both worked hard to build relationships with people. Anytime you see a teacher or administrator leave, it is always hard because, in general, people don’t love change,” McCarty said. “There will be a little bit of sadness and anxiety for what’s to come, but I trust we will hire the right people.

In her new position, Inman will not be as focused on student life as she was at St. John’s. She will hire faculty, implement a new schedule and work with the Head of Middle School at John Cooper.

Although Inman is excited to work with middle school students, she knows she will have to adjust to the new role coming from an Upper School position.

“Having an 18-year-old in your office is completely different than having a 12-year-old in your office,” Inman said. “Middle school is a quirky, awkward stage of life, and I kind of adore it.”