Elizabeth L. Dean

Instructor in English
Portrait of Ellie Dean

"I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is." — Vladimir Nabokov


M.A. Middlebury College

B.A. University of Michigan


It’s hard for Ms. Dean to imagine life before Exeter, but a glimpse would include old-tire inner tubes and floating down the Chippewa River in Michigan with her grandfather. In the 1990s, as a student, Ms. Dean lived in Amen Hall and walked the same paths she does now. She returned to Exeter to teach English after working in the traffic and editorial departments at The Boston Phoenix and learning how to teach English in Crete, Greece and at a small private school in what locals call the quiet corner of Connecticut.

Ms. Dean moved into Webster Hall in 2013, but one night caught herself taking the path back to Amen Hall. Now, she teaches alongside former mentors in the English Department, advises the school newspaper, The Exonian, and serves as adviser and dorm head in Merrill Hall.

Ms. Dean loves films, books, and burgers handmade by her husband and Admissions Officer, Porter Hayes. She is a hopeless romantic when it comes to her sons, Bode and Wyatt, who love making messes, taking baths (a.k.a. double bubbles), and playing alongside the students in Merrill.