Throughout her time at Oakcrest, Terri Collins estimates that she has commuted from her home in Silver Spring, Maryland the equivalent mileage of a cross-country drive not just once, but 19 times. Associate Head of School and Director of Parent Support are just two of the positions she has held over the past two decades at Oakcrest, including teacher, Director of Admissions, front office, development, alumnae relations, member of the Board of Directors, and mother of four Oakcrest graduates: Lucy ‘11, Helen ‘14, Audrey ‘16 Goodwin, and Jill ‘17 Burtis.
Having seen Oakcrest through so many different seasons, Mrs. Collins shared that one aspect that keeps her coming back is the dedication of each individual involved with Oakcrest to live out the “mission of the school with a lot of joy,” she said.
“I’m constantly challenged to grow as a professional, to grow in my faith, to trust in God more, and I’m inspired by everyone around me who is doing the same,” Mrs. Collins said. “It is really His school, it is not my school. But ultimately I trust in God that He will use this poor instrument in whatever way will serve best to help the girls and the students here.”
A typical day at Oakcrest for Mrs. Collins consists of connecting with parents – both on the phone and in person, aiming to get to know each Oakcrest family better.
“We work best when we are really in partnership, when we are aligned with each other and know each other well” she said. “We can tackle more difficult conversations that may come to us and hopefully work together looking at their daughter to see what would be best for her.”
And as Mrs. Collins gets to know each of the families more throughout their time at Oakcrest, she also spends significant time pulling together resources such as books or classes that will be helpful for parents, especially as the culture changes.
Her hope for each family that encounters Oakcrest is that being inspired by the teachings of the Catholic faith, they might come to know more deeply that “they are a beloved child of God,” she said. “It’s the starting point for how any of us sets goals for our daughters and for ourselves.”
“Life is a grand adventure and we really need to be very cheerful with a grand spirit, thanking God for all the little things, the little joys He gives us every day,” Mrs. Collins continued. “To treat every person with infinite respect because they are beloved children of God and they are worthy of all our love and attention. And finally, to seek to serve in whatever way we can, every single day.”