Lisa Kenna

Mrs. Lisa Kenna first fell in love with the Great Books program while studying for her bachelor’s degree at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Her experience there shaped her life and formed her in the classics, eventually leading her to Oakcrest and establishing the tradition of the Senior Thesis. 

“My senior thesis changed my view of myself,” she explains. “When I wrote and presented my thesis, it gave me confidence, and I thought that it would help our girls so much. This is a way for them to share what they’ve done not just in English class, but throughout their classes. The Senior Thesis solidifies what they’ve learned at Oakcrest. It is a culmination of what they have thought about over the years. After their presentations, they have the confidence that they can do anything. They do more than they thought they could do.” 
The Senior Thesis has been the capstone of the Oakcrest education throughout the past 11 years, giving students the chance to dig deeper into topics rooted in what they studied at Oakcrest while also preparing them for the academic challenges they may face in college. 

After studying at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Mrs. Kenna earned a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Arts of Humanities from the University of Dallas, in addition to her education certification also from the University of Dallas. She came to Oakcrest in 2011 after spending time teaching in both private, Catholic schools and in public schools across the country from Rhode Island and Alaska, to Texas and elsewhere in Virginia.

Throughout her years at Oakcrest, she has taught a range of English courses in the Upper School. She has played a role in incorporating the Great Books into the English program, aligning the readings chronologically with history and other courses.

“Being able to teach the Great Books helps with our mission where we are drawing on the great tradition of Western Literature,” she says. “That is something that is going away in our world today. We’re trying to preserve tradition and the past, to learn from it, for good or for bad.” 

One thing that Mrs. Kenna cherishes about Oakcrest is the all-female faculty and the support of women who help and motivate one another with love. In all, she says that the Oakcrest community, from the administration and the faculty to the parents and the students, has the rare opportunity to work together on a unified mission of forming young women of character. 

“We’re all working together for the good of the students,” she says. “To turn them toward God, beauty, truth, and we all have that same mission. We all have the same goal, inspired by the mission of the school itself, and there is such unity in that.” 
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