Asra Ahmed, most experienced administrator, to depart after 17 years


Midway staff

Ms. Ahmed will leave U-High for Portland, Maine, next year.

Nicky Edwards-Levin, Editor-in-Chief

After 17 years at U-High, assistant principal Asra Ahmed will leave Lab after this school year to become upper school director at Waynflete School, a N-12 private day school in Portland, Maine. 

Ms. Ahmed came to Lab as a high school counselor in 2004 after working as a public school social worker. In her years as a faculty member, she was the chair of the learning and counseling department, and served as high school faculty chair. In 2011, Ms. Ahmed transitioned to an administrative role, becoming assistant principal, and she is currently U-High’s longest-serving administrator.

According to Principal Paul Beekmeyer, who arrived in 2019, Ms. Ahmed has been integral with the leadership team in keeping consistency throughout U-High. In her years as a faculty member and administrator, there have been five different U-High principals.

“Ms. Ahmed has been such an important person for U-High. With all the changes in leadership, she is the person, with Ms. Campos, who has kept stability in this school. If you wanna know why there’s any stability, it’s not because of the principal turnover — it’s because of Ms. Ahmed and Ms. Campos,” Mr. Beekmeyer said. “They provide support to the faculty, they provide the continuity, they’re the reason why the schedules work.” 

The process of finding a new assistant principal to take her place will begin shortly, according to Mr. Beekmeyer. Ms. Ahmed will remain at U-High through the end of the school year, and will work to finalize both student and school-wide schedules, as well as on contingency plans for bringing all students back to campus next fall.

Ms. Ahmed said that above all, she will miss the U-High community.

“As an administrator, you get sort of removed from being with students a lot — at least in my position — and I’ve missed that. When I do get to be with students or have my advisory, those are the highlights of my day,” Ms. Ahmed said. 

She said that in many ways, she grew up at Lab, and leaving the community will be like leaving home. Her daughter graduated in 2020, and her son is in grade 6.

“I came when I was young-ish — I raised my daughter at Lab, I’ll miss that faculty community that I became a part of, I went to graduate school at U. of C., so I’ll miss the campus,” Ms. Ahmed said, “but really, more than anything, I’ll miss the people. I have friendships with people — it’s not just professional relationships, we know each other as human beings. It’ll be hard to leave that.”

Mr. Beekmeyer said Ms. Ahmed was crucial in getting Lab to return to in-person instruction this year.

“She’s the one who put it all together, who figured out all the details and all the rooms, and that’s a lot of work,” Mr. Beekmeyer said. “She is a tremendous asset to this school, and it’s a tremendous loss.”

Ms. Ahmed said she will miss Lab dearly.

“I’ve grown here, it let me grow and the community supported me from the first day I walked in the building, so I feel really grateful for that and I always will.”