It has been quite a summer at Dublin School!
I am sitting in my office on a "bluebird" day on campus watching our new faculty scurrying around campus moving into their apartments and preparing their classrooms. Saws and hammers can be heard from across the quad as the framers put their final touches on the structure of the Visual Arts Building. Now we just need your children to arrive so we can get started!
With the recent departure of the Walden School, the music school that uses our campus in the summer, we have been able to fully prepare the campus for opening day in just a couple of weeks. We are excited for the 2011-12 academic year and look to start the school year with 130 students on opening day. I wanted to write to all of you to welcome our new families, send out some information on the opening of school, introduce our new faculty and staff, and share our appreciation for the trust you are showing in us in sending your child to Dublin.
A few of you have had the opportunity to meet Jill Hutchins, our new Admission Director, who started working here in July after a very successful stay at Vermont Academy. She has done a wonderful job of articulating our educational mission and unique niche to visiting families, educational consultants and feeder schools. We are thrilled to welcome Jill, her husband Ray, and son Lyle to our community.
I am also happy to introduce a number of other wonderful educators who will be working closely with our students. John Adams will be teaching math, coaching soccer and lacrosse, and living in the Tuttle House annex. A star athlete and student at the Loomis Chaffee School, John studied math and economics at Bates College and was the captain of the varsity lacrosse team in 2009.
Mario Flores will be living in Little House and leading our music program. Mario graduated from Brown University, received a Masters from Columbia University and earned a fellowship at Northwestern University. Mario comes to Dublin after working at the Webb Schools in California and the Hun School in New Jersey.
Henry Walters will be teaching English and coaching basketball, and plans to bring falconry back to Dublin School. In fact, I can see him right now at the bottom of the ski slope building a mews for a red tail hawk. Henry studied Latin and Greek at Harvard, played a little basketball for the Crimson, and was editor of the student literary magazine. Henry taught most recently at Groton School and has been busy writing poetry and following raptor migrations.
We are proud to have one of our own graduates, Samuel Peyton-Levine '05, return to Dublin to teach Math, coach soccer and support our music and outdoor programs. Sam is a recent graduate of the University of Oregon where he was an undergraduate teaching assistant and led outdoor trips in the summers.
Bill and Shelly Farrell join us after distinguished careers at Cardigan Mountain School, Kimball Union Academy and Tilton School. Bill will be teaching physics and math, will direct our snow sports program, and develop a new mountain biking team. Bill graduated from Johnson State College, skied for the national team and was the leading money winner on the professional ski circuit before entering the boarding school world. Shelly received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri and her Masters degree from Michigan State University and will be working in our Learning Skills Program as a tutor and supporting Bill's development of the cycling and snow sports teams.
Matt Talley just graduated from nearby Keene State College and will be serving as an athletic trainer and intern this year. L.P. Runyon '88 will be teaching a sculpture class this fall and coaching boys' soccer and lacrosse. Most of our new faculty will also work in the dormitories, serve as advisors, and assist with student clubs. I hope you will get a chance to meet and welcome these teachers soon.
There are a number of new developments and initiatives I would like to share with all of you as we head into the school year:
- After successful student and faculty trips to Europe and China last year we are planning two new trips for this year. We are working with a friend of mine at the Himalayan Educational Foundation to plan a service and learning trip to a school in the Himalayan Mountains of northern India. We are also planning a service and language immersion trip to Costa Rica. Both trips will be in March and we will have more information for everyone early this fall.
- This summer we launched an initiative to focus on the teaching and learning of writing. We have identified writing as a critical skill for our students and we will be using research, attending conferences, and sharing ideas to enhance our already strong writing instruction.
- In addition to falconry, we will be launching an investment and entrepreneurial club this fall.
- Mountain biking will be a fall sport and we will be hosting an interscholastic race in October.
- We will offer a number of new music classes and ensembles under the guidance of Mario Flores.
- The students will be happy to hear that we have increased our internet bandwidth from 3GB to 15GB so they can download Shakespeare plays even faster!
- Jenny Foreman is our new director of the Humanities Series and she has put together a wonderful program that will be circulated soon.
- We plan to open the new Visual Arts building in time for the spring trimester.
- Students and faculty will plant an orchard and build a mountain biking trail this fall.
We look forward to partnering with all of you in helping our students grow, learn, and gain confidence in themselves. I could not be more excited to get started!
Bradford D. Bates