Leading the pack: Anna Entin gains leadership skills through dog agility


Photo credit: Emily Paschall

Running swiftly with a treat in her hand, junior Anna Entin leads Associate Head of School Karen Pavliscak’s dog, Mr. Hubble, through the tunnel and jump of the dog agility course in the backfield. Entin has led the dog agility team at Archer since seventh grade.

By Emily Paschall, Senior Reporter

In seventh grade, Anna Entin (’24) sat in a middle school meeting and listened to Associate Head of School for Teaching and Learning Karen Pavliscak explain what X-block was. When Pavliscak announced the option for students to lead their own X-blocks, the dog agility example sparked Entin’s interest, and she decided to give dog agility a try. 

The dog agility X-block eventually became a team at Archer, which Entin co-founded and still leads. Pavliscak is the co-trainer and faculty supporter for the team. With six Archer dogs and up to 32 students participants, Entin reflected with pride how dog agility has served students at Archer. 

“Something I love about the club is how it makes everybody so happy,” Entin said. “I love people coming and [seeing] that smile on their face when they’re spending time with dogs.”

The dog agility team meets on Wednesdays during lunch on the backfield. Entin sets up a variety of jumps, tunnels and a small platform at the end of the course. The team takes turns running the course, practicing with each dog multiple times.

From seventh to 11th grade, Entin said she gained confidence in her abilities as she discovered a lot about her leadership style and personal strengths. She also said she has grown a lot in learning how to manage her time and responsibilities. 

“I’ve learned things like how to delegate, don’t put everything on myself, how to work with others, how to make sure everyone has equal opportunities — all of those things that you can’t really learn by sitting in a class,” Entin said. “You have to learn it just by doing it.” 

Along the way, Entin has also faced some challenges. Specifically, she described how there is often a lot of uncertainty when working with the dogs on the team.

“Working with dogs, it’s very unpredictable. Dogs aren’t always at school one day,” Entin said. “Sometimes, they’re just like, no, I’m not going to jump over that.”

Pavliscak has supported the team each year, and her dog, Mr. Hubble, participates. Over the years, Pavliscak has had the opportunity to work closely with Entin and observe her leadership style and personal qualities. 

“She is a playful but serious leader. She has extraordinary organizational skills, follow-through, dedication, and she is able to anticipate and be responsive to the needs of the team” Pavliscak said.  

Senior Charlotte Tragos has been close friends with Entin for five years and is on the yearbook staff with her. Tragos she has seen Entin grow as a person. 

“I’ve seen Anna grow from a more timid, but interested and curious, learner to an enthusiastic, bossy in all the best ways, fantastic leader who everyone admires and looks up to,” Tragos said. “Anna is motivated by her strong understanding of community and her love for good work. She wants everything to be done very well as perfectly as possible.”

With these leadership qualities and motivators, Entin said she hopes to continue the dog agility team until she graduates next year. Pavliscak has hope for the future of the dog agility team because of Entin’s commitment and kindness leading it each day.

“She is so considerate about ensuring that all the dogs and their needs are met in the service of the club,” Pavliscak said. “She’s very thoughtful and deliberate on how to make choices to allow the most reach so that every girl who’s interested gets a chance to try.”