Who is Dean Nanry?


Ms. Nanry looking lovely as ever. Photo By Mrs. Reinbold

Alicia Ventura, Staff Writer

Ms. Nanry looking lovely as ever.
Photo By Mrs. Reinbold

Royals see her at school dances and football games all the time. They hear her voice over the intercom when it’s time to turn in a dress check and when they get a free dress day. Rosary students and faculty know that their beloved Dean Nanry is always there to make sure nothing goes awry. From making sure Rosary’s students turn in their dress checks, to Irish dancing at pep rallies, Dean Nanry is always there to make sure every Royal gets the best high school experience possible.

But who is Colleen Nanry when she is not busy herding Rosary’s students? Who is Ms. Nanry when she is not at school and not under the title of “the dean?” The Royal Reporter decided to find out.

At a young age, Dean Nanry wanted to be an astronaut, just like Sally Ride, the first woman to explore space in the 1980s. She soon grew up and graduated high school. Despite Nanry’s many qualities that make her a strong, independent woman and make people think she is a product of Rosary Academy, Colleen Nanry graduated from Mater Dei High School in the class of ’04. She then headed over to Irvine Valley College, and eventually to San Francisco State where she graduated with a bachelor’s in communication. Eventually, Nanry went back to her alma mater in 2011 for a summer job and ended up staying for five years. There, she ended up as Mater Dei’s dean and found her passion working with teens. Colleen Nanry shared with the Royal Reporter, “It was there I . . . understood how much a disciplined structure can help with their [students’] understanding and transformation into adults in the real world.”

Now as Dean of Students at Rosary Academy, Colleen Nanry gets to build positive relationships with each royal. Nanry shared with the Royal Reporter that her favorite part of being a dean, “is connecting with students and watching them grow.” Of course, with every high point, there is a low. One of the biggest challenges that Colleen Nanry faces during her job is making sure that Rosary’s rules are enforced fairly and appropriately. It is safe to say that rules can sometimes be hard to follow. Imagine having to enforce them fairly and appropriately? Not only that, but Nanry also has to face the harsh reality that her students are going to repeatedly make poor decisions. Despite these difficulties, Nanry constantly takes up the challenge and does her job steering Rosary’s students in the right direction.

Nanry holds a very important position at Rosary Academy as the enforcer of the Academy’s school rules, but does that make her a stone-cold machine? Of course not, and Nicola Huerta ’94, the current Director of Activities at Rosary, and close coworker with Nanry, can guarantee that. In the past four years, Huerta and Nanry have worked side by side making sure that every dance, Rosary Day, Red and Gold, and much more has gone smoothly and according to plan. As each year passed by, Huerta found that Rosary’s dean was “strong, independent, hilarious, compassionate, [and] intelligent” but most importantly, “a regular person like you and me.” Huerta explained to the Royal Reporter that Nanry is always willing to help, which in turn makes her life much easier. When asked to describe Colleen Nanry in four words, she proudly answered that Nanry is a “teacher of life lessons.”

So who is Dean Nanry? Rosary Academy’s beloved dean is a friend, coworker, and life changer, but most importantly, is an honorary royal, who day after day changes the lives of her students. Colleen Nanry says that the reason she does what she does every day is “to be an influential person in the growth, maturity, and lessons learned  … from [the] mistakes made in the teenage years.”

Here are some facts about Colleen Nanry you might not have heard of:

1. She loves bunny rabbits

2. Her favorite candy is almond M&Ms

3. She has heterochromia iridium – two different colored eyes

4.  Her senior year, she was ASB Vice President and varsity basketball captain

Here’s a link of Dean Nanry teaching her Irish dancing during a pep rally in 2018