Spend the Day with your Dean of Student Affairs, Ms. Lanz


Jaida Lewin

Ms. Lanz, Dean of Student Affairs, works in her office

Although Jessica Lanz is known among students for her referrals and uniform infractions, she plays a vital role in ensuring the needs of the school are met. When middle school students were asked about Lanz, their responses varied. “[She] is a very productive dean of students and she yells at people,” Pricilla Headly (8) said. “Ms. Lanz dances in her office,” Isabel Perlman (7) said. Most of the time she checks her emails, meets with students and parents, coordinates school events, and attends administrative meetings.

Lanz’s role in administrative meetings is to provide teachers with the tools necessary to carry out their jobs as best as possible and to share her knowledge of student discipline and attendance. On Fridays, administrative meetings are held to discuss student needs, athletic updates, attendance/discipline issues, upcoming events, etc. On Wednesdays, there is a faculty meeting in which each department discusses previous and upcoming weeks. Apart from attending these meetings, Lanz also attends a smaller meeting on Monday mornings with her “dean’s office staff” to plan for the week ahead.

Lanz describes her constant transition between activities and discipline. Her main role at Riviera is to provide for the students; she takes pride in the activities she plans. She guarantees trips run smoothly by making permission slips, for instance. However, she sometimes finds herself stuck in an uncomfortable position of discipline when students don’t follow rules.

“I mean there’s rules so I feel like, don’t fight it, just embrace it, and you’re not always going to agree with it but I think it’s a good exercise in, you know, self-control, in following directions.”

Juggling her work schedule and her daughter’s varied dance schedules, she has a very structured morning and nighttime routine, and she relies on her mom and fellow dance parents for help. She leaves her house every day at 7:30 a.m. after eating breakfast and drinking coffee and water. Fun fact: she drinks about 60-80 ounces of water every day! After work, she coordinates with her mom to plan her children’s pick-up schedules (her mom often picks up her youngest daughter from school and takes her to dance). Lanz then drives her oldest daughter, Lia, to dance, as she is a student on campus. In addition, every day after work, Lanz exercises- more for her mental health than for her physical health, she says. She then sets up dinner, puts her kids to bed, gets everything ready for the next day, and goes to sleep.

“It takes a village, yes yes, you can never-you can’t do anything alone… no one does it alone, no one does anything alone,” said Lanz

Regarding her work at school, Lanz’s favorite encounters include lunchroom laughs and meaningful conversations with her students. She is striving to make a difference in students’ lives and have a positive impact on their stories.