When Darcie Dodds Schott was asked to speak at this year’s Dean England Day ceremony Sunday evening, her answer was a quick “Yes.”
“Yes is my answer to anything that involves Culver,” said the 1983 Culver Girls Academy graduate.
During her Culver journey, Schott earned varsity letters in swimming, tennis, and cheerleading. She served on the Beason Board her senior year, was crowned homecoming queen, and graduated Cum Laude. After attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison for two years, she went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio State University.
After college, Schott began her career as an editor for a children’s book publisher in Ohio, and later continued her career in Los Angeles, which led to her work as a feature film producer.
With a laundry list of accomplishments, Schott shared with current CGA students, faculty, and staff, that none of it could have been possible without the tenacity, courage, and determination of CGA founding Dean Mary Frances England. “Great moments are born out of great opportunity,” Schott said, quoting the movie Miracle. “And her hard work, passion, and patience allowed her the opportunity to create change.”
Change has appeared to be the theme of CGA over the years. Schott shared that “back then, we had one Senior Prefect a year. Now, you have three rotations of Senior Prefects. We had one pay phone per floor and the first computer classes were taught by Mr. (Guy) Weaser. You have your own cell phone and your own laptop. Butt (smoking) rooms have been replaced by recycling bins and our red MacGregor plaid pants are, thankfully, long gone.
“Dean England drew a blueprint for success within the Prefect System.”
“Dean England drew a blueprint for success within the Prefect System.” The same Prefect System that has CGA student leaders continuing to make change for a better Culver. Schott added Dean England would be extremely proud of what has come to life in the Prefect System today. One example is the “CGA student who wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, rallied the community, and raised over $100,000 at Culver’s very first Relay for Life,” Schott explained. “Or a CGA wrestler who competed at the state level and went on to have Olympic aspirations because she was equipped with Culver’s I-Can-Do-It armor.”
Before wrapping up her speech, Schott challenged CGA students to use their time at Culver to be courageous. “Anything you see ready for improvement, you are empowered to help change it. Each time you celebrate a CGA victory, remember that Dean England is at the core of it. And when you leave Culver, carry with you the tenacity of our founding Dean, no matter where you roam.”
The ceremony continued with the singing of Treasured Memory and Culver Daughters Sing Thy Praise, the distribution of the Mary Frances England Pin, and the Passing of the Light and Recessional for New Girls.
Schott has continued to say “yes” to Culver in a variety of ways since graduating. She is the communications chair for the Class of 1983, still serves on the reunion committee, and is a former member of the Legion Board and a current member of the Culver Parents Association Board. She is currently working for Culver in an official role as an Admissions Liaison, serving the Southern California region.
Schott is the mother of two current Culver students, Josephine ’15, Hayden ’18, and Mitchell.