Academic Dean

The Office of the Academic Dean is responsible for all aspects of academic life at Deerfield. The Academic Dean is Ivory Hills.  The Assistant Academic Dean is Sheryl Koyama. Lydia Hemphill serves as Associate Academic Dean.

Responsibilities of the Office of the Academic Dean include:

  • Management of the Curriculum
  • Course requests and scheduling 
  • Reviewing and approving course change requests
  • Holding teachers accountable to Academy guidelines
  • Ensuring NCAA compliance – overseen by NCAA Compliance Officer
  • Overseeing the academic honesty disciplinary process
  • Making sure that students meet their graduation requirements


  1. Donnally Drake, Erin

    Manager of Student Information Systems
  2. Hemphill, Lydia

    Interim Academic Dean, VPA Teacher, VPA Dept. Chair
  3. Hills, Ivory

    Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs & Strategy
  4. Koyama, Sheryl

    Assistant Academic Dean and Director of Academic Support
  5. Pfeffer, Jess

    Assistant Director of Academic Support
  6. Shaughan, Mary Ellen

    Testing Proctor
  7. White, Hannah

    Assistant to the Office of the Academic Dean

Frequently Asked Questions

Before they enter Deerfield, all new students are required to take a math placement test to determine an appropriate class. Students who have already taken a language they wish to continue studying at Deerfield will take a placement test to determine what level class they should take. If the placement in either department is deemed inappropriate after the student arrives, then the section teacher may suggest a change of level. Students may also request such a change and should consult with their teacher and their academic advisor before contacting the Academic Dean.

Study abroad is available to all students from their sophomore to senior years, although typically students who choose to go abroad will do so during their junior year.

In order to garner Honors distinction a student must have a cumulative term average above 90.0%. High Honors requires an average of 93.0% or above. Exemplary students with a grade point average of 92.0 or higher may qualify for admission to the Cum Laude Society, a national honor society. 

Because of its commitment to rigorous academics, Deerfield offers a wide range of accelerated and Advanced Placement courses. All of Deerfield’s classes are appropriately challenging, but AP and accelerated courses provide an extra challenge for ambitious students.

All students are assigned a faculty advisor at the beginning of their time at Deerfield. After their first year students may choose a new advisor, or continue with their original one, depending on the relationships they have developed with Deerfield’s faculty. Advisors are responsible for submitting course requests and writing an advisor report every term. They are available for any questions a student may have and are involved in every major academic or athletic decision a student makes while at Deerfield. In addition, faculty eat lunch with their advisees every Thursday and may schedule outside events for their advisees. Advisors are a key component of the Deerfield experience, as they provide guidance and friendship to students throughout their time at Deerfield.

The Pursuit of Excellence Policy states that students may miss up to five class days a year if an unusual and extraordinary opportunity arises, including opportunities in a variety of academic, athletic, and artistic fields. The Office of the Academic Dean determines the legitimacy of pursuit of excellence requests on a case-by-case basis.

Contact Academics
Fax 413-772-1128

Boyden Library
Mon–Fri, 8am–4pm

7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 87
Deerfield, MA 01342