School News: Student Gets to Be Head of Far Hills Country Day for a Day

Fall 2022

This article appeared as "Head for a Day" in the Fall 2022 issue of Independent School.

For one day in April, Far Hills Country Day School (NJ) had a new head of school: now fifth grader Hannah Lazer. She had a busy day of making school announcements, checking email, scheduling meetings, and touring facilities. While Lazer says she thoroughly enjoyed the experience, she adds, “I don’t think I want to be head of school when I grow up, because I want to have time to eat my lunch. I think I’ll be a teacher instead.”

Lazer was able to experience what it’s like to be a head after winning the opportunity in her school’s student raffle fundraiser. For the annual two-week fundraiser, organized by the school’s department of engagement and philanthropy, parents purchase tickets for a chance at a wide range of prizes, which have included an outdoor ice cream truck party, physical education teacher-for-a-day contest, and passes to the Crayola Experience and Sesame Place, a planetarium, and minor league baseball game. But the opportunity to be the head of school for the day is always one of the most sought-after, says Alyssa Wildrick, communications coordinator for Far Hills.

Lazer got to experience a variety of important parts of the head of school job. She assisted with a crisis-management drill, met with the nursing staff and director of technology, checked on the inventory of supplies and tools, and met with the marketing and communications team to review materials. But her favorite part “was picking a new design for the ropes course area because I like to design things,” she says, noting that if she doesn’t become a teacher she wants to be an architect or interior designer. 

“I learned how expensive the school is and how hard it is to keep the budget on track. And I learned that Mrs. Zaiser [the actual head of school] works so hard. The experience definitely changed my understanding of how the school works. So many people work really hard here.”

After winning a prize in her school’s fundraising raffle this past April, student Hannah Lazer got to see what it was like to be head of school for a day.

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