From Miss Porter’s to Berkshire


Paloma Kimball '24, Staff Writer

I was very intrigued to hear that we had a new faculty member coming from an all-girls school. As I was almost sent to an all-girls school, I started to wonder why she transferred and what were her past experiences. This is when Ms. Yash, full name being Sunita Yashavant, helped me by answering some questions. 


Paloma: I understand that you used to be part of the academic faculty as an English teacher at an all-girls school, is this correct?


Ms. Yash: Yes, I was an English teacher, teaching juniors and seniors, including a higher level interdisciplinary course at an all girls school. I was also the head coach for badminton, chief advisor to Miss Porter’s literary magazine, Haggis Baggis by student invitation, and Debate Club advisor. 


Paloma: How many years were you at Miss Porter’s?


Ms. Yash: I was at Miss Porter’s for three years. 


Paloma: What made you transfer to Berkshire School? Especially by choosing a co-ed school?


Ms. Yash: My daughter graduated from Miss Porter’s over a year ago, and I was open to other opportunities although I was unsure of making a move until 2023 because I did not want to leave my junior advisees before they graduated. However, as much as I loved my time at Miss Porter’s School, there were some aspects of my experience that did not align with my core values that induced me to entertain the idea of a positive change seeking expansion as an educator. When I interviewed with the Berkshire School, that experience affirmed a close alignment of my principles with that of the school’s direction as an institution. After meeting with the head of the English department, my interest in Berkshire became solidified. I must say my brief conversation with MK [Braun ’23], who was my tour guide during my interview here, was also a reason for my positive impression of the school. She is a stellar representative of the student body and sets the bar high. 


Paloma: How was the transfer and what were some of the main differences you have seen between each?


Ms. Yash: The move from an all-girls school to a co-ed school is different, interesting, great, and challenging in some ways. I taught a course called “The Heroic Female Voice” which dove into the strife of all minority voices, women being still a minority voice even in our modern society with lingering regressive patriarchal tenor, and found there was more awareness around women empowerment, not in the demeaning or blatantly radical manner that defies embracing the beauty of being a woman, but in a way that helps women and other minority voices such as LGBTQ+ communities understand societal history of oppression and dismantle the systems and rhetoric of gender bias etc. At the same time, co-ed is a wonderful dynamic, and I thoroughly enjoy the exchange with a more diverse student body. Overall, I very much appreciate Berkshire students and colleagues. 


Paloma: Do you think you made the right decision in transferring?


Ms. Yash: Yes, it was the best decision I made in aspiring to be an English teacher with a certain level of creative autonomy and excited to be part of the wonderful team in the DEI Office at Berkshire School. I perceive my move as the next step in my own growth or expansion as an educator, mentor, and an intellectual, nurturing individual. It is definitely bittersweet. 


As final words Ms. Yash would like to add “I do miss my Miss Porter’s students, but I am thoroughly appreciative of my Berkshire students, and I know it is going to be a fun and productive year of bonding, learning, failing forward, and growing as a class community!” I am speaking on behalf of everyone by saying that we are very glad that you decided to join the Berkshire community and are looking forward to your involvement with the school. 


 Thank you, Ms. Yash, and Go Bears!