At most schools the Dean of Students isn’t always liked. Providence Day’s own Gordon Bynum defies all the stereotypes of Deans at schools being mean or giving unnecessary punishments or being irrational. Most students don’t understand what the role of a Dean of Students is and merely think they are just out to get students in trouble. I was able to find out what it really means to be a Dean in an interview with Mr. Bynum and what he believes his job is most relatable to.
Many people wonder what exactly a Dean is and this is how My. Bynum best-described what he does at Providence Day School, “Being an advocate for students and supporting student life, but then also supporting the student culture of the entire Upper School. And part of that is holding students accountable when they make mistakes or do things that I cannot defend, some of those are minor like dress code and others are more significant. It also involves some administrative tasks that no one else wants to do, like keeping track of study hall sign-ins, seniors signing in and out to leave campus for lunch, student parking and campus wide parking.”
Mr. Bynum taking a selfie with soon to be Tarheels!
I don’t think there is another Dean of Students like Mr. Bynum because of how involved he is with students, “Probably my favorite part of the job is going to all the student events. Whether it’s a lacrosse game or a basketball game or a musical or a dance and seeing different students succeed in lots of different areas of life.” I am pretty confident in saying he is one of the only Dean’s that is willing to negotiate with student's to an extent over their punishments. For example Mr. Bynum is in charge of study hall sign-ins, some students would forget to sign in for weeks and he would be willing to let them get off with one or two lunch detentions if they signed in from then on. I don’t believe many other Deans would let anyone off that easy.
Mr. Bynum taking a selfie with the girls cross country team after winning the state title.
Mr. Bynum has a few school-wide trademarks that differentiate himself from the rest of the faculty at Providence Day School. A common nickname for him is “Commissioner Gordon”, like the one from The Dark Knight movies and another is his ability to be everywhere and nowhere at any moment. Lastly, he is able to create and have a conversation with anyone about anything because he is so involved with everything Providence Day and what goes on around it.