Co-ed independent day school in Boston's Back Bay for academically adventurous students in grades 9–12

Meet the Admissions Committee

At Commonwealth, teachers play an important role in the admissions process. After all, they are students’ mentors and guides in the classroom; why shouldn’t that relationship start during the admissions process? 
The teachers and staff on our admissions committee know Commonwealth well—and every committee member reads every application, drawing on their deep collective knowledge of our culture and programs to determine the fit between an applicant and our school. You can get to know them (and what they're looking for in applicants) a little better, too.

Ms. Carrie Healy

Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

I came to Commonwealth because of the surprising (and welcome) combination of high-level intellectual engagement and delightful sense of humor I found here. I was also pleased to find a school in which teachers actively contribute to the admissions process. Our faculty members see it not only as a responsibility but as a privilege to get to know our applicants—your strengths, interests, and hopes—and help you and us determine how you might contribute to the life of the school. There’s a spirit of connectedness at Commonwealth—among students, between teachers and students, among faculty and staff, and between seemingly disparate academic disciplines—that I hope you witness from your very first visit. It’s thrilling for me to see how students from so many different backgrounds come together to create, explore, share, and debate. And it all starts with admissions.


Ms. Natasha Matthews

Associate Director of Admissions

I have worked with students and teachers around the world, and I can honestly say that I have yet to encounter a high school as engaging as Commonwealth. This community is curious, creative, kind, and thoughtful, and everyone is a complete joy to be around. I look forward to coming to work each day because I get to share what I love about Commonwealth with prospective families. 




Mr. Don Conolly

Latin, English, and Humanities Teacher

Commonwealth is the most intellectually stimulating community I’ve belonged to—more so even than college and graduate school. My colleagues have taught me so much and inspired me to explore subjects I never thought I would, from Proust and Nietzsche to indigenous archaeology. The students feed off of this excitement: there’s nothing they love more than to sense vast depth beneath the work that we give them, and their boundless curiosity spurs us to delve deeper and bring back treasures for them to contemplate. I also love how much we at Commonwealth revere the humanities in the belief that all students—future scientists, historians, and artists—should elevate their minds by exploring worlds of ideas, art, and beautiful writing.




Ms. Lisa Palmero

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

I interviewed at Commonwealth at a time when independent schools were experiencing a reckoning with their histories and traditions. I was reflecting, too, about my child’s life, as my partner and I were raising our two-year-old multiracial son in a town where so few people looked like our family. This intersection of the professional and personal made Commonwealth’s creation of my inaugural full-time position, which Commonwealth's community asked for, profoundly moving for me. I continue to love working here because it’s a place where the people encourage each other to share their unique experiences, lean into courageous conversations, and support each other through their learning. That we are in Boston means that we can see how issues with diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) affect everything from city policies to the daily choices we each make. Every day I come into work, I know I’m going to learn something new, and that’s so thrilling to me.


Mr. Theo Paul

Math Teacher

One of the treasures sitting on my office shelf is an annotated printout of our advanced geometry book written by a former colleague and gifted to me as a new teacher eighteen years ago. Flipping through the pages is a simple pleasure during the rare free moment. There is no gloss or pretense, just simple perfect math in its purest form. As a new teacher, I stood in awe of my colleagues, many celebrated scholars in their fields. Yet I later realized that every one of them came to Commonwealth for the same reason I did: a need to share our unbridled love for our fields with our students. I marvel at the curiosity and intellectual vibrancy of our small community and, like so many other Commonwealth teachers, it is for this reason that I have chosen to make my life at the school.


Mr. Rob Sherry

Math and Economics Teacher

When people learn that I teach math at a high school, they shake their heads and say, "what a hard job that must be." They don't know Commonwealth! Here I have the opportunity to interact with kids who are eager to learn, work with students who relish the challenge of things that may not come easily to them, and share in their enthusiasm for new concepts and clever problems. We talk about math and other subjects, the arts, the city, and social justice. At Commonwealth, we value spending time together: listening, reflecting on what we hear, and learning from each other. In admissions, I love meeting new families, helping them learn about us, and seeing if we are a good match.


Ms. Rikita Tyson

English Teacher

When I had my own day visit at Commonwealth—during the job interview process—the place immediately felt like somewhere I wanted to stay: I met teachers who were passionate about their work and always thinking about how to do that work better, as well as bright, curious students who made me feel welcome in their classroom (even though I was a stranger teaching them unfamiliar material!). My first impression of Commonwealth has only strengthened with time, now that those expert, passionate teachers are my colleagues and I teach those curious students every day. Everyone here—students and faculty alike—is engaged in the process of learning as a process of discovery, not just the memorization of the "right" answers and facts. I joined admissions because I'd love to share this wonderful community with students and families who would appreciate it as much as I do!


Admissions Interviewers

Mónica Schilder

Degrees: B.A., Universidad Católica del Perú
M.A., Boston University

Rui Shu

Degrees: B.A., Beijing Foreign Studies University
M.A., Harvard Graduate School of Education