Clarita Hoeksema

Dean of Students

I grew up in Ann Arbor and attended the University of Michigan, majoring in music and math. Early on I developed a love of people, leading me to pursue jobs in hospitality (hotels specifically, in Boston, Milwaukee, and Chicago), and later education. After completing a graduate program in secondary math education at Boston College, I worked as a bilingual Spanish/English math teacher at a public middle school, and then as a geometry teacher at a charter high school in Washington, DC. It was at my first teaching job in DC that I met my now-husband, who coincidentally turned out to be a fellow Michigander (Grand Rapids)!

As a teacher, I became increasingly interested in how school systems, discipline procedures, and relationships impact the student experience. This led me to a graduate program in educational leadership at New York University, and subsequent positions as Director of Operations at a charter middle school in Newark, NJ, Associate Director of Data Programming and Assessment at a charter high school in Brooklyn, NY, and most recently as Assistant Principal at a small private K-10 school in East Stroudsburg, PA. I am an enthusiastic advocate for project based education and for authentic, meaningful math experiences. My other passion is restorative justice. I’m excited to be working with students to help develop their communication, interpersonal, and conflict resolution skills through empathy, open mindedness, and respect. Fluent in Spanish, I love to connect with diverse students and staff and enjoy learning about and appreciating people’s experiences and differences.

One of my greatest joys outside of work comes from music. My husband and I enjoyed singing in a community choir while in Brooklyn, and particularly enjoyed participating in an inspirational civil rights tour that had us performing in various historically significant sites throughout Georgia and Alabama. After living in different cities on the East Coast for the past 18 years, most recently in the Pocono Mountains of PA, we are excited to be moving back to Michigan where we’ll be living in the same city as my sister, brother-in-law, nieces, and nephew, and now much closer to our parents. We love driving around exploring new places, having fun in snowy weather, catching frequent glimpses of wildlife, and relaxing at home with our adopted cat, Fauci.