A Conversation with Interim Dean of Students Brooks Johnson

Interim Dean of Students Brooks Johnson has been a key part of the Dublin School community for the last decade.  Under his direction, the Dublin athletic program became a force in the small school world for the first time. As time has gone by, he has wondered how he could do more to help the school.  "I like Brad's (Head of School Brad Bates) vision that everyone is a teacher.  I like teaching and I like the students..."

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So when Simon McFall decided to return to the West this summer, Brooks put his hand up and volunteered to take on the Dean of Students role.  Having worked in residential life with three former deans, Brooks is taking the best of what each of them did as he implements his style.  To Brooks, it all depends upon trust.  "With all of the physical change on campus, its critical that our culture not change. The students here have been key in building and protecting our culture.  It's my job to support them and make sure they don't get off track. You know, they need to be kids too..."

When he talks about the inevitable mistakes that students (and adults) make, he views those in the first instance as teaching moments rather than discipline moments. "We have to leave room for mistakes - we should be learning from those.   I am appreciative of those moments as they give me a chance to talk and connect. "

When he thinks about the challenges, one thing sticks out. "Everyone is going to have a bad day.  Sometimes you need support. But sometimes you just need to have a bad day. Dublin is a really hard place to have a bad day. Because we are small, everything is noticeable.  In our culture, everyone is pretty positive. The contrast between students that are being positive and those having a bad day can be tough. It can be pretty draining. There is a real difference between empathy and encouragement.  It's one thing to be heard, and another to be told not to feel a certain way.  It is important for us to be mindful of that difference."

Ready, Set, READ!

Ready, Set, READ!

Last week, Dublin’s English department unveiled a new challenge: the READ MORE Challenge. The challenge, inspired by a conversation the English Department had during their June end-of-year retreat, emerged while the department members were discussing their top summer reading titles: what they wanted to read, reread, and share. They decided to swap books, and, as the six of them passed around their favorite titles, they decided to invite the whole school into the fun of reading together, recommending, sharing, and reflecting together.

Meet the New Faculty and Staff: Fall 2017

Jen Cray, Athletic Trainer, Science Teacher, Advisor, and Dorm Parent

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Ms. Jen Cray, a native of Maple Shade, New Jersey, sought a school with a setting like Dublin’s. She wanted a school in New Hampshire, and she was interested in a bucolic place surrounded in beauty. What really brought Ms. Cray to Dublin was her interview. “After a day with the faculty and students,” she says, “I knew this was a place where I could build a career and a home.”

Ms. Cray earned her BA from Gettysburg College, where she studied Health Sciences, and her MS from Seton Hall University, where she studied Athletic Training. One of the most rewarding parts of her profession comes with seeing an athlete return to play after an injury.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to see an athlete get back on the field after being a part of their recovery process and seeing how far they’ve come since the initial injury,” she explains.

While that progress and transition is rewarding, Ms. Cray has another part of her work that is equally vital and about which she is equally passionate: injury prevention. She plans to implement injury prevention programs at Dublin for teams and individual athletes, alike.

“I want to be proactive in identifying and addressing injury risk factors in the hopes that we (myself, athletes, coaches) can work together to avoid the injury altogether,” she says. Her experience working at Brown University, Princeton University, and Delbarton School.

Outside of her work, you can find Ms. Cray reading, hiking, kayaking, and playing with her cat, Ripley. She is excited to explore winter sports at Dublin, as well, since, this past summer, she snowboarded for the first time. “I definitely want to take advantage of Dublin’s location and resources to further pursue my new interest,” she says.

If you want to ask Ms. Cray about her camping trip across the country this summer, ask away. She has memorable stories to share!

Mac Groves, Chemistry Teacher, Nordic Coach, Advisor, and Dorm Parent

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Mr. Malcolm Groves joins us after receiving his BA in Chemistry from Bowdoin College. A native of Middlebury, Vermont, Mr. Groves has always enjoyed New England and especially the opportunities that come with winter sports.

“In my senior year of college I knew I wanted to continue following my passion for chemistry, but I also needed to balance the academic side with dynamic collaboration, working with others, and my other passion —nordic skiing,” Mr. Groves explains. “Dublin School seemed like a perfect fit, and after a couple of visits in the spring, I knew it would fulfill all of these interests and more.”

He was drawn to Dublin because of its intentionally small size and commitment to its values. “Dublin focuses on what it can do best with its size and location,” he elaborates. “I love being part of a community that is tight-knit, committed to its relationship with the outdoors, and creative. At Dublin, everyone is encouraged to be a builder and there are countless facets for both students and faculty to achieve this mission.”

In the classroom, Mr. Groves hopes to emphasize the applications and horizons of modern chemistry research. Simultaneously, he is looking forward to learning from his students and his colleagues through conversation, observation, and community.

Outside of the classroom, Mr. Groves enjoys reading, skiing, and running. Many a morning, you might see him trail running while listening to an audiobook.

“Ironically, I am a Vermonter but I have never done any maple sugaring,” he says. “I am hoping to participate in the Dublin maple sugaring operation in the spring. Additionally, I have stuck to the skinny skis for the past four years, and I am hoping year branch out this year and get into some backcountry skiing.”

Fun facts about Mr. Groves? Well, for starters, he has driven 80 hours across the United States three times in the past four years. Along the way, he’s visited many of the northern national parks. He looks forward to exploring the natural beauty at and around Dublin this year.

Jenner McLeod, Assistant Director of Admissions, Dorm Parent, Advisor, and Coach

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Ms. Jenner McLeod, originally from Madison, Wisconsin, joins the Dublin Community after studying psychology at Kenyon College.

“When I started to think about what I wanted to do following graduation from college, I knew I wanted to work at a boarding school,” she notes. “I love the environment it provides for every one of its community members—whether it be students, faculty, or staff. [...] Being able to live, learn, and work on campus with all your friends and colleagues in a beautiful location—it does not get much better than that.”

Even when she was very young, Ms. McLeod’s grandmother used to tell her that she could see her teaching and coaching at a boarding school one day. She said this even before Ms. McLeod ever knew she would attend boarding school herself.

“Having majored in psychology, I did not know what I would teach but knew I loved to interact with students and just people in general. I remember writing my college essay on the power of conversations and enjoy what one can come away with from a simple conversation. I then realized admissions might be the perfect job for me. I was very fortunate that there was an opening in the Dublin Admissions office, and here I am,” she says.

Ms. McLeod started working at Dublin in July, and she loves her colleagues. In her words, they are “the best.” She also has been eager to get to know Dublin’s students. In the unique position of the Admissions Department, she has the opportunity to meet prospective students as they interview and to follow them on their Dublin journey—from “opening day to graduation.”

She looks forward to everything about the Admissions process, most notably “working with our applicants and help them find the right school for them (hopefully it’s Dublin!).”

“Also, having grown up in the Midwest and attending college there as well, I am hoping to recruit more students from that part of the country. Dublin is a wonderful place that should not be kept a secret,” she adds.

Outside of the office, Ms. McLeod loves swimming and swam competitively from age 8 through college. She loved “(almost) every minute of it.”

“There is just something about the water that is so calming even when your heart rate is so high from the tough, long workouts,” she says.

At Dublin, she can’t wait to get outside! “Swimming is great, but it is an indoor sport since we obviously did not want to freeze. I hope to spend some time exploring all of the trails. I am a terrible runner—clearly not a land athlete—so I will be walking, but I am excited to just get outside and enjoy our beautiful surroundings.”

Some yet little-known-to-Dublin facts about Ms. McLeod include: one, her deep interest in music—she studied piano, music theory, and chorus, and, two, her huge sports fanatic side. She particularly loves college football and basketball. Go Wisconsin Badgers!

As for her musical career, she played piano for eight years and retired after performing the romantic hit “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic in her 7th grade recital. “I remember taking my bow and, after watching members of the audience cry, I thought, ‘this has been fun, but I’m done.’” Maybe you will hear her playing that tune in the renovated Recital Hall sometime this year!

Chris Speers, Development Associate, Girls’ Soccer Coach, and Dorm Parent

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Mr. Chris Speers, the newest member of Dublin’s Development Office, hails from Middletown, Delaware. He attended St. Andrew’s School for high school, and Mr. Brad Bates, Head of School, was his history teacher and soccer coach!

After high school, Mr. Speers took a gap year to work in Boston with the state government and then matriculated at Bates College. There, he studied American History and Education. Mr. Speers conducted his senior thesis research on the Civil Rights Movement, specifically on the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968-1969. He studied abroad in Kenya and Tanzania.

Mr. Speers has always been an eager history student with a penchant for teaching. He taught history in Botswana at the Maru a Pula School, where he also coached cricket. He was drawn to education and, years ago, he actually reached out to Mr. Bates about working at Dublin.

While he scouted job offerings in education, he also decided that, while he knew he wanted to be involved in education, he wanted to get different job experience first. He worked for the governor of Massachusetts as a “Body Guy” (think: Charlie from “The West Wing”), and through that experience, he got to travel to fifteen different countries and meet his fiance, Ms. Rosy Gonzalez.

“A big mistake in my life was turning down a job opportunity,” says Mr. Speers, “but it led me to meet my fiance.” Take that for “everything happens for a reason.”

Mr. Speers worked with Education First (commonly referred to as EF), which is an exchange program organization that specifically works with high school students from abroad.

“I was feeling, after working in politics, that I wanted to get back into education,” he says. “This [work at EF] was much more operations focused, and I missed being closer to the students. After that, I did a small stint in political fundraising, which is kind of a nice segue to my current job.”

At Dublin, Mr. Speers loves having multifaceted responsibilities. “I love that [my job] is a hybrid. Most of my responsibilities are very external facing to alums and donors. But I get to work in a dorm and work with advisees and coach.”

One of his goals this year is to build relationships with Dublin's younger alums. “I am really interested in exploring mentorship opportunities between past and present Dubliners,” he notes. Additionally, he looks forward to getting on the road to visit with college-age alums around the country.

Outside of the office, Mr. Speers loves exploring and enjoying the outdoors. You may see him and Ms. Gonzalez out and about with their adorable puppy, Enzo.

At Dublin, he admits that he “want[s] to really learn how to cross-country ski.” But, more, he is excited about immersing himself in everything Dublin. “I want to sit in on classes in all disciplines. I would love to learn a language. I want to plug in with the Espanol program in some way,” he says.

What you might not know about Mr. Speers? He used to play steel pan. Ask him about it!

Tom Tullio, Technology Department & Instructor and Robotics Team Advisor

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Mr. Tom Tullio joins us from Jaffrey, New Hampshire. What brought him to Dublin?

“Robots!” is his enthusiastic answer. “Not (quite) literally,” he adds.

His son’s participation in the Dublin Robotics team put him in touch with the Robotics coach, Ms. Brehm, and he started to learn more about technology at Dublin.

“Having taught technology courses previously at Franklin Pierce University, I jumped at the chance to get back into the classroom,” he says.

Mr. Tullio studied Film Studies at Wesleyan University and has most recently been teaching technology courses. What he loves about Dublin already is “the invigorating enthusiasm of [his] students and colleagues. The morale here is amazing!”

He is also looking forward to the opening of the new PRISM building. “[With its opening], the entire Dublin community will have the chance to engage in innovative, hands-on technology exploration. Much of it will be new to me, and I look forward to the cross-disciplinary collaboration that the center is built around.”

Outside of the classroom and technology office, you can find Mr. Tullio reading comic books or playing video games— “at the risk of sounding stereotypical,” he adds. He also keeps up with the New England Revolution and loves watching the Winter Olympics.

His secret talents? While “amatuer-level at best,” he admits, they include “birding, juggling, guitar playing, and karaoke. Lots of karaoke.”

By Rachael Jennings

Six years and still running!

Six years and still running!

The Reebok Ragnar Reach The Beach (RTB) Relay is one of the oldest and longest running relay races in the United States. The event begins at the Bretton Woods Ski area with the course taking teams through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, past fields, lakes, mountaintop vistas, ultimately finishing along the Atlantic coastline at Hampton Beach State Park – NH.  For the last six years, Dublin has sent mixed student/faculty teams to run the race. We believe that we are always the youngest team in the race and the only high school to compete. Despite high humidity and warm temps, Dubliners ran over 200 miles to raise money for the NH State Parks. Team Dublin School placed 26th out of 148 teams competing in the Freestyle category with a total time of 30 hours and 30 minutes. 

Mountain Biking at Proctor Academy - September 20, 2017

The Dublin School Mountain Bike team traveled to Proctor Academy for the opener of the Northern New England High School Mountain Bike Race Series.  In a field of 265 riders and only 18 podium spots, Dublin had an impressive debut with 3 podium finishes. 

In the girls' C race, Imogen VonMartens placed 2nd while Abby Ingram was right on her back wheel with 3rd.  Eathan Hood, who was late finishing his practice lap and had the unfortunate starting position of nearly dead last in a field of 119 C class racers, somehow managed to pass almost the entire field in the span of 5 miles to catch a 3rd place finish in his first race. 

Other highlights include AJ Lee and Sean Brown finishing 14th and 15th consecutively in the A division, Ella Rutledge getting a close 4th in the C girls race, and Lauren Ryder, in her first mountain bike race cracking the top 10 of the girls C field.  Special mention must be made for Thomas Meiklejohn who joined the team the day before the race and, having never mountain biked before that day, had a strong finish and couldn't wait until the next one!

Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Kimball Union Academy - Loss (0-6) - September 23, 2017

The Dublin boys soccer team had a home game on Saturday against Kimball Union Academy's JV1 team.  Both teams started the game strong with lots of shot on goal.  Dublin subbed in Exavion Clerveau (Freshman) early in the game.  Exavion made some great plays to help teammate Fabryce Joseph make some close shot on goal.  Will Boot, Jay Belleuve-Ryan, and Fabryce had great chemistry to really pressure KUA's goalie.  All the while Josh Hochberg, Dublin's goalie made some close saves, ten total, in the first half.  By half time Dublin was down 0-3 and came into regroup for the second half.

Dublin started the second half with four near goal shots by Fabryce Joseph(2), Will Boot(1), and Lawrence Chen (1).  KUA scored again making it 0-4 Near the middle of the second half Jacob Horowitz was injured ( a yellow card issued for a dangerous slide tackle on Josh Hochberg)  and came to the bench for the rest of the game.  This had Dublin without a goalie, so Lawrence Chen geared up and switched in as the goalie.  At the end of the second half, Lawrence made four saves very good saves.  The game ended with a score of 0-6. 

The Dublin boys are away this Wednesday to play Eagle Hill.

Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Four Rivers Charter Public School - Win - (6-3)- September 22, 2017

The mark of a good team is winning when you don't play your best. Dublin took on Four Rivers Charter Public School on their short field yesterday. Girls started slowly as the thick turf slowed touch passes and made controlling the ball difficult. The short field allowed Four Rivers to pack in their defense. Girls finally found their rhythm and top scorers Adunni Abrams (Brooklyn, NY), Stella Davis (Dublin, NH), and Bette Imhoff (Dublin, NH) were able to convert leading to a 4-0 score at the half.