Some times sporting a tie, always ready to talk about the latest music or theories about education, Jared is one of those teachers who make ideas and imagination the center of learning in his classroom. Close reading of the text is essential as is the understanding of the context of the literature read or the article digested. Jared, thank you for leading by example in making your own passionate pursuit of knowledge central to your teaching and for your openness in how you engage always.
Jon Bretan: Five-Years
Mad scientist? Cool guitarist? Faster than the speed of light? Yes and more. That is Jon Bretan. It is difficult to imagine a more focused teacher than Jon or one more seriously committed to the acquisition of knowledge in his field. His engagement is infectious, his ability to connect across the disciplines impressive. Thank you, Jon, for teaching our students to reach for the stars while having their feet fully planted in the reality of our physical world.
Jennifer Christensen: Five-Years
At MA, we believe that high school should be high school, and one of the chief proponents of that philosophy is our Director of College Counseling, Jennifer Christensen. Gracious, thoughtful, deeply reflective, Jennifer always puts students first, guiding them not to their future, but to the ability to define their future. Although the result of her efforts is indeed a student’s college choice, the real focus of her heart and work is helping them to connect their past and present to a future that will challenge them. Thank you, Jennifer for your tireless work on behalf of our students and their families, for your relentless commitment to what is best for them.
Dedicated, determined, and committed are all words that capture the character of this very special language teacher, Carinne. She is a teacher who uses every class as an opportunity to learn more about her students, more about how best to teach them, and more about what is the best way for them to become true global citizens. She brings a passion for learning and a wise understanding of culture to all that she does. Thank you, Carinne, for putting your students first always and for your unwavering support of them as they literally learn to speak in different voices.
In a conversation about the need for a new science center, Nicole’s words have stuck with me all along. She said with great passion and conviction to a question that I asked, “We all need to be scientists.” Indeed, she is right about that, and to be sure, it is never too late for any of us. She brings intention, systems thinking, and an absolute passion for purposeful problem solving to her teaching. Thank you, Nicole, for your dedication to our students and for your leadership in making us all scientists.
To engage in a conversation with Nicole about dance, about life, about anything really is to have an encounter with someone who takes life seriously with perspective and a sense of humor. Gracious, gritty, and generous, Nicole teaches from the heart with a deep commitment to developing skills and a point of view. Our December Dance Assembly and the work of her students stand as vivid and moving reminders that art does more than imitate life, it makes life manageable and comprehensible. Thank you, Nicole, for your dedication to our students and your profound belief in the artist in each of us.
If the dancer is indeed the dance, then we know Randee to be graceful, inspiring, innovative. Those of us who have witnessed her leadership of our dance program recognize a teacher of great wisdom and an artist of profound talent. Her students walk away with an awareness of the physical and emotional challenges of creating and the confidence and courage to do it. They have the blessing of learning from someone who respects them enough to set a high bar and cares enough to help them reach it. Thank you, Randee, for your leadership of our program and your dedication to our students.
If you are wondering who makes it all work in the background, who is unflappable in a crisis, who brings kindness and generosity to work every day, think Megan Wheeler. In the whirlwind that can be the College Counseling Office, she never offers a harsh word, and never expresses exasperation with a student’s last minute undecision. She pinch-hits in almost every office, bringing wisdom, perspective and skill to the task at hand. If we could all carry a little Megan with us, the world would be a little lighter, the feeling a little more peaceful. Thank you, Megan, for your generosity, for your willingness to say yes, and for putting students first always.
It is important to remember that Meg began her life in schools as an elementary school teacher; indeed, I have come to understand that the skills of a master elementary school teacher are the same ones needed for a gifted Director of Advancement such as Meg: a lot of patience, an awareness that small steps are the beginning of great growth, and an absolute joy in the success and future of others. Each of us needs wise partners in our work who can combine candor with compassion, problem solving and humor. I am lucky that Meg has been such a partner to me. Her vision for and leadership of our advancement efforts reveal a relentless commitment to what is best for students. Without Meg’s unwavering commitment and expertise, MA’s clear future would be a little cloudy. Thank you, Meg, for your leadership, your companionship on this journey, your belief that with hard work and a little luck anything is possible.