Samara Bean is the friendly face that always greets you at the front desk in the office. She is the one who kindly gives you a mask when you forget one at the beginning of the day and have to awkwardly run into the office, elbow over mouth. She is the one who telepathically unlocks the door for you before you can even press the button. Samara is more than just the helpful face behind the front desk: she is an important contributor to this school and has had such an interesting life beyond Rowland Hall. Samara has worked here for over five years; from Lower School extended monitor to now Upper School administrative assistant, Samara has worked all over the school.
Before coming to Rowland Hall, Samara had many careers, from being a barista at Beans and Brews to being a part of The Bee, a storytelling event. At The Bee, anyone can come and be chosen to share a story on a theme; this event was unfortunately shut down by Covid-19. Along with the extremely cool jobs she has had beyond Rowland Hall, she also has some amazing hobbies. As we saw at the coffee house many Fridays ago, she is an extraordinarily talented guitar player and a just as good of a singer. Along with coffee-house Friday, she also participated in Rowland Hall’s Canapalooza, where she and her friend played guitar and sang. She’s been singing her whole life and has been playing the guitar since she was sixteen.
Samara also has many random yet unique skills. Among her many talents, Samara can name every country in the world off the top of her head. She acquired this talent by making lists when she gets anxious about things, “When I get anxious I find it helps to list things out and I wanted to make it productive so I started listing the countries and where they were,” said Samara. We tested this talent ourselves; it checks out. Another wacky yet interesting talent she has is making Ukrainian eggs. Ukrainian eggs are eggs with intricate detail and decoration with beautiful colors and designs. Although, before this amazing outcome, to make them you have to go through a grueling process that takes hours on end. To make the unusual eggs, you have to drain the egg via a hole the width of a needle at the bottom of the egg. After a long while of emptying the eggshell of the egg inside, you then have to inscribe the egg in detail with beeswax and dye, and you're not done after that. You then have to melt the wax off the egg, revealing the exquisite final product. Samara goes through this patience-testing process to make these super cool eggs as a fun hobby! While working on numerous projects at Rowland Hall, Samara helped out in an artist-in-residence program and made Ukrainian eggs. She really enjoyed making them, and this wild hobby stayed with her.
Samara also has a deep love for animals. She had an amazing dog named Arrow. Sadly, when Arrow was young, eight months old, he ran in front of a car and passed away. After Arrow had passed, she found Arrow’s twin brother and named him Echo; this name signified the “echo” of Arrow’s spirit; she put a positive spin on a sad accident.
Samara joined the Rowland Hall community when she was in second grade and attended school here up until seventh grade. After seventh grade, Samara traveled to many different places, including China, where she lived for three months when she was thirteen. Samara and her mom moved to China to help a friend start up an art gallery, and at the time Samara was home-schooled (which is pretty dang cool). After moving around the world for many years, Samara’s path brought her back to Rowland Hall. She had fond memories of going to school here when she was younger. Samara recollected some of her best experiences as a kid at Rowland Hall, and that is what led her back to the Rowland Hall community. She also really likes kids, which is a bonus when working at a school.
Samara has worked hard through many of the challenges presented to her, including Covid-19. For Samara, it was “very bizzare to transition into a new position in a very strange year.” It was very quiet and difficult not being able to actually be in school. Throughout these challenges, Samara has kept her head up and has now become the Upper School administrative assistant. Throughout her years at Rowland Hall, she has “valued interacting with every age group and seeing as people developed from younger ages to now.”
Samara Bean has been a crucial element of Rowland Hall for years and given so much to all of us. From a smile at the beginning of the day to her “car parked illegally” emails, she gives this school all she has. Our words cannot describe how grateful we are for her, and we can’t imagine a Rowland Hall without Samara Bean.