Teresa Imhoff - Admissions

One word, possibility.  It’s what I consider to be an optimistic promise of the future; a goal that is part imagination and part reality.  In my role in admissions, it is what I see every time a young student walks into our living room.  And not just the prospective students.  We see and work with possibility with our current students all the time.  It’s one of the main reasons I love Dublin so much.  Our work in Admission starts when that young 8th grader sits on one of our comfy chairs and interviews, but it doesn’t end when they get an acceptance, and it doesn’t end when they show up on Opening Day.  We get to see them every day at Morning Meeting. We exchange gleeful smiles and beam when we see them make their first announcement in front of the school, or score their first goal, or recite a poem in front of their peers, or dazzle the audience of unsuspecting parents at Winterfest, or get nominated for a Moxie award just for being kind and going the extra mile.  

Teresa Imhoff, Associate Director of Admissions

It is such a privilege to imagine that lanky, shy, nervous 13 or 14 year old, four years later at graduation, walking across the stage as a more confident version of themselves.  They may still be lanky and they may still be shy, but they will most certainly have grown and become more comfortable with who they are. They will have made friends with people like them and with people who are very different from them.  They will have hiked Monadnock, learned Spanish, read classic novels and some lesser known.  They will have written essays and annotated MLA style; done numerous lab reports;  and proven theorems.  They will have chopped wood, shoveled snow, and most likely, will have played a brand new sport.  They will have opportunity to improve, to try, to challenge, to reinvent, and to surprise themselves.  

At Dublin, we are very much in the people business. And people (especially those lovable young teenagers) can be beautifully complex. It is such a privilege to see someone as more than a number on a test or a grade on a transcript.  I love the fact that we look deeply into the application files to find nuggets of promise and possibility. I am proud of the fact that we see kids for character and for resiliency as much as we do for notable SSAT’s and high GPA’s.  I get to be optimistic about young people, even the ones who don’t seem to have it all figured out.  I help them imagine themselves at Dublin School,  and see the possibility in their eyes.

 

Sophia Rabb - English

When I tell people that I teach Ninth graders, they usually fix me with a serious stare. “God bless you,” they say. “Kids at that age are so difficult.” Sometimes people talk about teenage years the way we talk about skydiving and base jumping: with the safety of childhood on one side and the security of adulthood on the other, the best anyone can do is close their eyes, leap, and do their best to stay right side up in the air. Even though comments like these tend to bother me, I understand their source: adolescence doesn’t come with a map, and being around that kind of energy can, for some, be tiring.

Sophia Rabb teaching Romeo and Juliet in English 9

Sophia Rabb teaching Romeo and Juliet in English 9

It can also be incredibly joyful, rewarding, and transformative. This fall, on one October day, my Dublin students arrived at the climax of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Anxious to begin the discussion, they took out their books and waited for class to begin. However, a problem arose: we had a guest that day, a student from another school, who had just begun to read Lee’s novel the night before! The students were unironically worried: “We can’t give it away!” they cried. “It’ll ruin the whole thing!”

“What if we have the discussion…but we don’t use any names?” one of them offered. And so, they did. Deftly maneuvering around potential spoilers (“You’re giving it away!” “I just said he was short!”), the students engaged in a very thoughtful, scholarly conversation about the text, assuring that they would not ruin the novel for their visitor. I knew, in that moment, what drew me to the school. The students at Dublin, to me, walk the line of childhood and adulthood like tightrope walkers joyfully striding between skyscrapers; they seem neither to feign adulthood nor cling to childhood, but rather to bask in the playfulness and improvisation of what lies between. My students stubbornly hold to the truth of each moment, even if it means that plans change. When people give me that stare and extend their apologies to my profession, I should start inviting them to class.

Lindsay Brown - History and Crew

I began teaching a little over 30 years ago with no idea that it would become my life's path. I started with the vague idea that I wanted to teach for a year or two and then move on to something else, but I quickly discovered that I loved living in a community of adolescents and adults devoted to learning. What began as a temporary job after college ended up being my life's vocation. 

Two major causes led me to begin teaching, one serious and one silly. In my senior year of college I thought about teaching as a starting point in my career because teachers had been so important to me in my life. Looking back on my elementary school through high school, teachers were the biggest influence on me, second only to my parents. I wanted to give back in some way to young people and hopefully be a role model in the way so many teachers had been for me.

Lindsay Brown teaching AP US History.

Lindsay Brown teaching AP US History.

On a more superficial level, graduating from college in the 1980's meant that I also had to look at the investment banking world as a career option, and I dutifully attended an information session at the office of career counseling. When they informed me, and all those in attendance, that it was essential to show up for any interview with a suit and lace up shoes, and that anything else would mean an instant rejection, I paused. I only owned a blue blazer and khakis, plus a pair of reasonably nice loafers, and I wasn't too excited about a job where I would be judged on my choice of footwear. I asked one of the guidance counselors what jobs did not require such formal attire, and the answer was, "Well, you could try teaching." Since that option fit with my broader idea of giving back, I started looking at schools.

I had the best of intentions, the desire to work hard, and a readiness to throw myself into the full life of a school community. I was also inexperienced, and I quickly discovered that teaching was difficult. Knowing a subject yourself and teaching it to others are two very different things. How to convince students that what you want them to learn actually matters to them? How could I make the dry, dusty stuff of history relevant? How could I motivate and encourage reluctant learners to begin their own quest for understanding, independent of me? Over time, these questions became the guideposts in my approach to teaching.

I worked at a great boarding school and devoted 30 years to teaching and coaching there. Along the way I met a wonderful woman, married, and raised a family; when our two boys had both graduated and we were left with an empty nest, the time seemed right to consider a move. We wanted to move to be closer to family, and to find a place that would offer new and exciting opportunities for us both. 

I interviewed at several well-known schools and felt comfortable with all of them; when I interviewed at Dublin, I felt energized. Here was a school with values and a mission that really connected with me. The idea of meaningful work, the motto of truth and courage, and the encouragement to guide young people as they navigate their teenage years all had a deep appeal to me. I could see respect among and between the adults on campus, and there was an explicit statement that everyone working at the school, regardless of role or title, was a teacher. Academics, athletics, residential life, care of the physical plant, artistic and intellectual endeavors were all working together in a mutually supportive web. Again, this unified and collaborative approach to life convinced me that Dublin was where I should be. 

My first year has only deepened this conviction, and I am continually surprised and impressed with the school community. I wake up each morning excited for my work and eager to be on campus. I feel that I am indeed giving back, as well as sharing my enthusiasm for history and rowing and learning in general, and this is why I teach at Dublin. (I do now own lace up shoes and more than one suit, and whenever I wear them to work I often smile to myself and think about how seemingly random moments can have a profound impact on an individual's life.)

Sven Green - Head Chef

Why I teach at Dublin?  I just recently had the opportunity to cook for an Assisted Living Community and found the experience very rewarding. I thought seniors would be very inflexible to any kind of new culinary experience, I was completely wrong and happily surprised. It is the goal of every culinary professional to reach his or her audience, too create an experience that is enjoyed, remembered and if you get it just right, transformative.

Sven Green.

Sven Green.

I grew up in a European household, sit up straight, no elbows on the table, use your napkin not your sleeve, proper dining etiquette. Holidays and special occasions were greeted with lavish plate settings of Royal Copenhagen china, our family’s best silverware and glassware that chimed when toasts of well wishes were made. Out of that experience came an understanding, appreciation and respect for food, dining and the importance of sharing meals with family, friends and sometimes strangers. 

Some of the most important times of one’s life are spent at tables dining with people. Your family, friends, first love, your first real job, your first college choice, and of course your next love, job, grad school. My goal is to help our students be confident in social situations involving food. If you are going to get the job, your first college choice or the girl or guy, one stands a much better chance if you are not stabbing at your plate with a fork or chasing the green pea around with a spoon. We try to present dishes from all over the world so that our young people can speak intelligently about food even when the cultural food has to compete with the likes of chicken fingers and mac & cheese, “feeding teenagers”; not an easy task.

I try to imagine what the world will be like when our students approach their forties and fifties, if all goes well there will be 10 billion people on this planet, sustainability, local, eating a diverse diet, are not just catch phrases, they will be an integral part of feeding a planet overflowing with people. I hope to impress upon our young people to become involved, much like recycling was to my generation, sustainability will be part of their life’s work. 

I teach at Dublin because in the spring when we plant our vegetable gardens with seeds, I know that this community of young people will be right there next to me getting dirt under their fingernails.

 

Jon Phinney - English and Learning Skills

I am relatively new to teaching. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Dublin itself is teaching me how to be a teacher. One thing I have learned is that teaching is continuous work that takes many forms, and can in itself be overwhelming. But it is also tremendously rewarding. I get to be an English teacher in a classroom, guiding students through complex texts, helping them learn to be better readers and writers; I get work one on one with students in the learning center, helping them with study skills; I get to coach in the afternoons, and get to share in the satisfaction of a team, in all its constituent parts, coming together. 

Jon Phinney working with 11th grade English students.

Dublin is not like other schools. The combination of academic rigor and deep community is unique: we set lofty goals, but because we have a broad range of learners and teachers, we provide many forms of support and structure. Wonder and curiosity are engines that create minds, and Dublin has many ways to engage all of these. Members of our community are encouraged to try new experiences, new avenues of discovery, new activities. And while we do this, other members of our community are there, helping us up if we fall, offering a bit of advice to try a new tack, giving us space to stumble and recover, cheering us onward.

This is a place where students and faculty and staff are asked to be flexible, even multiple, to fill various roles. I think this is wonderful because it is at least a partially intentional contrast to an unfortunate feature of too many other schools, and too many other professions, where a person is expected to find a fixed identity, or worse, a single role to fill within an institution, and labor internally to maintain this construct. Dublin frees us by demanding that we be more.

I teach at Dublin because it forces me to remember how to learn how to learn. This isn’t a typo. Teaching demands different kinds of empathy, one of which involves imagining how it feels to not understand a text or a math problem or a historical concept. So, Dublin helps me imagine ignorance, and in so doing, helps me remember all that I don’t know.

I teach at Dublin because I’m scared of not teaching, because I want to make a difference. The world is a strange place, and forcing myself to try and make sense of it, to construct a story about it that is empowering, that encourages hope by being actively engaged in shaping its future, keeps me from despair.

I teach because I am never bored when I am teaching. I teach for the intellectual contagion of a good discussion, for the rush of helping a student conceive of a new idea or come to a new understanding. I teach because it makes me a better listener, and listening is an act of affirmation. In a broad sense, teaching is a way of learning, one that demands patience and dedication and perseverance. So, teaching at Dublin forces me to be a better version of myself.

 

Jenny Foreman - Arts Chair

Why I teach at Dublin…

The famous composer John Cage gave a list of “Ten rules for students and teachers,” to the now-renowned choreographer Merce Cunningham upon opening his company dance studio on Bethune Street in NYC.

Rule 1: Find a place you trust, and then, try trusting it for awhile.

I came upon this document sometime around my transition from being a professional modern dancer in New York City to moving back to my home state of NH with my husband and young son to work as a full-time teacher (9 months pregnant with my second child, I might add). Ok, I thought, Dublin certainly put some trust in me allowing me to begin a new job and take a maternity leave just a couple of weeks in, let’s see what will unfold here. 

Jenny Foreman teaching Ballet and Pointe.

The values of kindness and mutual respect and the mission to cultivate curiosity drew me to Dublin. I felt these qualities permeating the early interactions I had with students, faculty, and staff. I was also impressed with the level of commitment to the arts and physical activity the school promotes as essential aspects of educating a “whole person.” I had just completed my coursework for my Masters in interdisciplinary studies, and the goals and ideals of student-centered learning, the role of art in society, and the value of carrying our histories forth through storytelling, collaboration, and imagination were central to my thesis work. How could I ground my learning in a practice and provide opportunities for young people to engage with possibility in the ways I had been so privileged to experience growing up and in my professional performing career? 

Artistically and intellectually, I have led an integrated life, where seemingly disparate elements nurture one another and give a sense of unity to my work. It was not uncommon for me to “wear many hats,” as they say. While I was performing, I also taught, worked in development and grant writing for the dance company to which I belonged, and did one-on-one academic tutoring in the evenings, a job that started basically by chance in high school when I enjoyed helping my fellow students and realized that I myself learned much better through a collaborative process. But each aspect of my life has never felt segmented out; one realm inspired and influenced the other in ways I was not even consciously aware. I believe that teaching and learning, feeling and expressing are rooted in what makes us human. It is our human nature to try and figure things out, to share, to wonder, and at its best, a school is an incubator for these activities. Perhaps this is why I could never avoid the role of teacher as I engaged with the world around me.

In the classroom and in the rehearsal process, I strive to cultivate a sense of optimism, high expectations, and a mindset that working and reworking an assignment, scene, or dance sequence is in fact a practice essential to living. 

We do not always know what the right answer is, but we have the opportunity to recognize ourselves and better understand others through the process of creating something beautiful (and I use beauty in the broadest sense to mean anything that produces a sense of satisfaction and ownership).

I grew up performing in a local summer children’s theater where we kids were in the business of creating some serious art. We were not arranged on a stage to look cute. The production values were high and every detail attended to; our directors demanded that each of our voices be heard, that we had something to share with the world no matter our age or experience level. I was taught that anything was possible if you work passionately and allow for flexibility and evolution as you strive toward a goal. 

You cannot always plan for how things will end. You may feel vulnerable, disappointed, even disheartened at times during the process, but there is worth to tension, stress and struggle. I so loved being a part of the hard work of a production that I would cry on our days off from rehearsal. I was a part of something greater than myself, and I felt essential to that greater whole. 

This can sound like a pretty heavy load to carry, but my experience was that of true joy cultivated through a sense of play, which brings me to another point on Cage’s list of rules:

Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It is lighter than you think.

This, for sure, within the busy schedule of boarding school life can be a difficult rule to follow. I too often find myself bogged down by the end goal, the quest for perfection, the desire to ignite a sense of ‘hunger’ in my students. Sometimes, though, we just need to laugh!

The plays we performed at my childhood theater were original works: strange, innovative, clever, touching. Wood and cardboard were transformed into anything you can imagine. We worked with performance artist from NYC who were on the cutting edge of their respective art forms: dance, theater, playwriting, puppetry, music. There is nothing like engaging with possibility – the imaginative freedom I learned to value made the work I engaged in fun and exciting. I can honestly identify the ten summers I spent in that little dusty black box theater, a repurposed town hall with no air conditioning, as the most influential model for how I have approached both my professional performing career and my work here at Dublin. I have never felt as though I was hired to “fit a mold” but rather invited in to see where my interests and expertise could find intersections with a diverse community of teaching and learning, to be a part of the whole. 

Several years after settling here in the Monadnock region, I still feel energized, challenged, and inspired by my dialogue with students, peers and the greater community. Yes, in fact, I trust this place. 

Cage’s final point to Cunningham reminds him to “leave plenty of room for ‘x’ qualities.” There is nothing finite about the work we do here. Even though we will spend only a portion of our life’s journey at this little school in NH, the little while we have together reverberates through the choices and interactions we bring to the world and has profound unknown impact. Let’s make the most of it!

Eric Nemitz - PRISM Director and Science

Why I teach at Dublin.

I remember the moment well. I was home from college for our winter break with some friends visiting. I went to the kitchen to grab something to drink and returned to find my friends in hysterics, having discovered and immediately played a VHS entitled “Christmas ’87.” The opening scene depicted a 2nd-grade version of me in slightly undersized pajamas cheering excitedly about a chemistry set I had just feverishly unwrapped. I quickly stopped the tape, but the damage was clearly done, something those same friends are quick to remind me of even to this day. The silver lining is that it was from that moment forward that I learned to accept, even embrace, my inner nerd.

Eric Nemitz teaching Biology.

Eric Nemitz teaching Biology.

I have always been a curious person. For as long as I can remember, much of that curiosity has been directed toward the natural world. I’ve been fortunate enough to live in and travel to some amazing places and I find that the more I see, the more questions I have. It was my passion for the outdoors that first led me to then Monadnock region to teach environmental science and ecology at Boston University’s Sargent Center for Outdoor Education in Hancock, NH. After two years of working with a different group of middle school students from various New England school districts each week, I came to two conclusions:

  1. Middle school students are exhausting, and
  2. One week was not nearly enough time to forge meaningful relationships.

In search of a more continuity as an educator, it was then that I heard through a friend about Dublin School.

I was hired in my first year to teach Environmental Science and work with the student rock band, in a serendipitous convergence of my two main interests at the time. I knew right away that I had found my place. I had never before seen such an eclectic group of passionate, engaged educators. Likewise, I was struck by the overall engagement and complete lack of cliques in a student body that was far more diverse than any I had ever experienced in my own education. I distinctly remember that my first school camping trip was complete with a torrential rainstorm. In addition to the stoicism displayed by all, I was particularly taken by the mutual respect that was evident between the students and faculty. It quickly dawned on me that in such a community, I stood to gain at least as much, if not more, than I could every possibly contribute.

Over the years, I’ve had the chance to play different roles in the school. While my titles and responsibilities have changed, my love for this place has only grown. I am fueled daily by the energy of our students. Having recently become a father, I am reminded that we all begin our lives as young scientists and explorers. In many educational settings, that innate curiosity is eventually overwritten by the social pressures of conformity, competition, occasionally apathy, and more recently, narcissism. Here at Dublin, curiosity is expected and nourished, difference is celebrated, and collaboration is paramount. Most importantly, there is no level of outward enthusiasm for learning that could ever come back to haunt someone here in the manner of my “Christmas ’87” experience.

At Dublin, students are the stewards of culture in which it’s cool to care. That is all the motivation I will ever need to stay curious.

Bernarda Del Villar - Español

I teach at Dublin because I love the students! They are full of curiosity and energy, they are creative and believe in what their teachers have to give them. I love Spanish and I love interacting with the students and see their progess in the language, it is amazing when I am outside the classroom and they talk to me in Spanish and try to impress me with their skills…

Bernarda Del Villar making a point to Spanish III students.

Bernarda Del Villar making a point to Spanish III students.

I am committed to getting to know them and use this knowledge to help them succeed in the classroom and beyond it. Teaching is a craft and I take it seriously!

The diversity of students at Dublin help me realize my full potential. The students keep me motivated, passionate, engaged and make me give my best! I love them!

I definitely love the unique structure of Dublin, where the students have the opportunity to do what they want in the academics, athletics and residential life and have a holistic experience. One of my favorite moments is Milk and Cookies, one of the School’s tradition, I am always surprised by the conversation and the energy the students put at that moment of the day.

Three things people don’t know about me

  1. I am a diehard Colombia’s National Soccer Team fan.
  2. I enjoy good classic movies and coffee.
  3. I think it is always a beautiful day in New Hampshire.

Denis Maguire - Mathematics

One of Dublin's mantras is that we like to meet kids where they are; we don't expect that they come in as polished students, athletes, friends, or community members, but rather as growing, unique individuals. It is the job of the teachers here to help them along their multiple journeys: academic, social, athletic, and otherwise. The administration emphasizes teaching the growth mindset to our students and expects that the faculty practice it ourselves. The importance Dublin places on growth is a huge contributor to why I teach here.

I grew up in Duxbury, MA and graduated from Duxbury High School in 2011. When I officially enrolled at Bowdoin College, I was unsure about what I wanted to study, and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated. Of course, I knew that I loved math, so I signed up for Integral Calculus and had one of the best academic experiences of my life, essentially sealing the deal that I would major in Mathematics. However, it was not until junior year – and I had just finished a personally unfulfilling summer economics internship – that I started to seriously consider a career in education. I had enjoyed my education classes, but was too far into my college career to pursue Bowdoin's fast-track program for earning a teaching certification. Instead, I decided to declare a minor in Education Studies with hopes that it would someday allow me to teach my favorite subject, Calculus.

Denis Maguire teaching AP Calculus.

During my senior year, I came to Dublin's campus for a day of interviews that I will never forget. I was greeted kindly by Anne Mackey, I was taken on a tour by alumni Danny Figueroa and Hunter Bachman, I met the dynamic duo of Simon McFall and Brooks Johnson together, and I learned that no one takes the interview process more seriously than Sarah Doenmez. I even got to teach an Algebra class, where I mistakenly flipped the slope formula due to nerves, but smoothly corrected myself according to Jonathan Weis. Without a doubt, my most memorable experience from that day was my interview with students at lunch, where I met the likes of Shaneil Wynter ('17) and Silas Howe ('18) and received questions about pedagogy and hypothetical scenarios that I might face as a teacher. I was so impressed by their thoughtfulness and care for the community, and when I drove back to Brunswick, ME that evening, I knew that Dublin was the place for me.

Now, in my second year at Dublin, I am so grateful that the school's mantra of "meeting students where they are" has also applied to me as a teacher. Dublin offers me the freedom to teach my classes in a way that plays to my strengths and background, which I believe is a huge benefit to the students. The feedback I receive helps me build the skills to continue improving and growing, and I am lucky to have such an incredible support system. Dublin truly is a tight-knit community, from the administration to the faculty and staff to the students, and I couldn't ask for a better place to teach.

Earl Schofield - Visual Arts

One summer I had a big solo show at a gallery in Denver, CO, right across from the Denver Museum of Fine Art. I flew out for the opening and to give an artist's talk.

People think art openings must be fun, all those people there just to see you, wine passing around, compliments, everybody all dressed up. Cute "gallarinas" who wouldn't speak to you in high school are now sliding up to you all gush and blush. Well, they aren't fun. They are dreadful. My face always hurts from perma-grin and I want to sneak off someplace dark afterwards. I am always grateful when a student shows up and asks me something I can sink my teeth into. I am the world's worst small talker.

One of the things people like to ask me at openings is a variant of the question, "How long have you been a painter?" Or "When did you know you wanted to be an artist?" Or "Have you been able to draw all your life?" In fact, I have actually been able to draw from birth and asked for my own umbilical cord because I figured I could probably use it in a sculpture someday. In my fourth grade class, there were three boys who could draw very well, and I was easily a distant third to the other two. In seventh grade, I won second place in a school-wide drawing contest. I knew perfectly well who would win first place and I hated her guts with a mad green jealousy. In eighth grade, I won first place because my competitor had moved up to high school. (She did not become an artist-HA!) I also sometimes had the first, sometimes the second highest average in my science class. I wanted to be a doctor, or maybe a vet. I did a research paper on Pablo Picasso that year in my Spanish class.

In ninth grade, I met Mr. Joseph Van West in Drawing I. Mr. Van West was: a) male, b) wore a suit and vest to class, and c) had a snow white goatee. He was like no other teacher I'd had before. Art was a deadly serious business to him. He had been a well known printmaker in Boston. Mr. Van West was not an "art teacher;" Mr. Van West was an Artist. Just like Picasso. Mr. Van West did not blow sunshine at you either. I remember working on a sculpture of a mythical beast and investing all I had in it. He stopped by for a second, picked it up and held it like it might dirty his hands and sneered, "You don't know a damn thing about wings! These are big floppy globs! Go look at a pair of wings for crying out loud." He quickly moved on while I tried to pick my jaw up off the table. Mr. Van West died before the year was over. I was able to study with him for only a few months. The next three years I had "art teachers" again, but I never listened to them, I listened to Mr. Van West. And I listened to the whispers from the drawings and prints his students had made decades earlier, that were still lying here and there in storage. They all said, "You can do better, see, we did it, why can't you? Get to work!"

I knew I wanted to be an artist after I met Mr. Van West, and then met the artist Scott Prior, who worked on a painting in our library for a few days that year. He had paintings at the MFA in Boston by then. I wanted to be an artist because I knew it would allow me to study all the things I loved together, science, history, writing, languages and cultures, philosophy and psychology. I needed to learn each of these to be the artist I wanted to be. Years later, this is why I would advocate using the arts as the hub of a wheel of curriculum for the Dublin School.

I was the first student to go to art school in years and years from my high school, and it would be many more years before I was followed by another. At MassArt, I knew what a privilege it was to be allowed to study what I loved, rather than have to scratch out a living some way that I knew would crush my soul. I spent the summer working in a saw blade factory, and woke up in a panic at night, feeling the suffocating walls of my future closing in around me. I was like a monk at art school. I was going to be the best I could be and I was going to learn all I could. Only five percent of students who graduate from art school were practicing artists ten years out of school. And I was going to be one of them. I was not going to let the factory take me. I wanted nothing to do with teaching at all. I was going to be an artist, not an "art teacher."

Little did I know that nearly all artists who "make it" today teach. Someone talked me into doing a winter session course in drawing at Smith College one year. So there I was, me at 25, teaching a room full of beautiful, brilliant young woman, who nodded eagerly and hung on my every word. And I was going to get paid for this? Sign me up! I taught my first year in a private school seven miles from where I grew up, half a mile from my own public high school. I learned an enormous amount that year, and I hated every minute of it. This was not like my Smith experience at all. Then I read a Want Ad that spring with the words, "located on 400 acres of NH woodlands" and I was sold. My wife and I visited Dublin School and knew we had found a home by the end of the day. I think I knew almost as soon as I drove on campus. We moved in August and my wife found out she was pregnant in September. And today, years after having sworn never to be a teacher, I would never consider giving it up.

People say teachers aren't in it for the money, I only half jokingly tell them that I most definitely am in it for the money. Very few artists are appreciated enough to be able to give only their work to society. The rest of us need the support an institution of learning provides and the stability and enough space to be able to create. I told the Head of School in our first interview that I wanted to be hired only if he would allow me to build the program I wanted, and only if he would support my own artistic practice. I love to teach, because I love to make art. You can't take away someone's space to create, and expect them to be passionate about helping others do what they are denied. Dublin School, in general, and many people in particular, have given me the room in my life at Dublin that I need to create. In return, I try to be the teacher I wish I had had for all four years of high school, Mr. Van West.

I am somewhat notorious for my, shall we say, "straightforward" assessment of student work. But my students know that when I give a compliment, they have earned something. The key word is always earned. I earned the ability to draw and paint and so will my students. They get plenty of encouragement and plenty of, um, "Truth," and they learn the "Courage" to deal with it. If they don't like it, they learn the best lesson of all, how to change the truth. That is to literally make something that is only a dream, come true. Fairy godmother's don't do that, you have to do it yourself.

While I suffered through my opening in Denver, amid the brightly polished shoes, expensive water and cheap white wine, in came Nichole Jarzembeck '07, a recent transplant from New Hampshire to Boulder. She was by far, the best part of my trip west -- open, honest, sweet, unpretentious and funny. The next day, Martha Carol '09, a current student, came to the artist talk at the gallery, and again, I was instantly more at ease, and grateful for her intelligent questions.

Somewhere along the way I grew up and realized I didn't want to be famous after all. (If you ask me to my face, I will swear up and down that my not yet being famous is, in fact, purely a conscious choice on my part.) Gallery success is just a means to an end. That end is the ability to do what I love. The more paintings I sell, the more I am free to make more. To many, paintings are objects, but to painters, they are a performance frozen in paint. I cannot sing and I cannot dance, but when I start moving the brush and mixing color, I am free of my body's limitations. I am there, in the paint, flying far above the doldrums of the everyday grind. Some people call it touching the divine. It is that moment the artist lives for, not the finished painting, which is only evidence of the flight. I stay at Dublin because it gives me a way to keep flying, and it allows me to teach others to find their own way to fly.

When an artist gets really, really lucky, events will work out so that something in the artist's work is recognized by another person. When this happens, the second best compliment an artist can hear is almost always, "Wow," Only one thing beats "Wow," and that is seeing someone cry in front of your painting. If asked how I'd like my life measured, my answer would be to measure it in tears. How many tears was my life worth? I manage to get "Wow" often enough to give me hope, but I have only seen one person cry in front of my paintings. That has only happened once. But I cannot count the tears that have fallen when a student came to say goodbye, either to me, or to one of the other wonderful teachers at Dublin School. You just will never get a better compliment than that. And that is why I stay.

Holly Macy - College Counselor

Holly Macy

What excites you most about working at Dublin?  Working at Dublin School is a unique experience. Having taught at a much larger boarding school prior to Dublin, I have a richer appreciation for the type of programs that we offer and the community that we build with our students. A characteristic of Dublin School that stands out for me is that we expect our students to engage with adults and each other in an inclusive manner. While respecting each other's personal interests, opinions and traits, we work together to learn and create. There is not one niche that Dublin School falls into because we attract students with various academic, artistic, and athletic/outdoor interests. This a refreshing place to work because while we have high expectations for our students, we support our students to help them develop as learners and community members.

Why do you teach and what do you love about your discipline? I moved from the traditional classroom to become the College Counselor because I was looking for a new challenge and the idea of guiding students both in one on one situations and group meetings was appealing. The relationship that I can develop with students is different in that I am never "grading" their work, but rather helping them reflect about themselves, think about the future, and create goals.

What animates you? Outdoor activity is an essential part of my lifestyle. Whether running in a road race, skiing the Dublin School Nordic trails, coaching youth lacrosse, or chasing my children down the ski slope, keeping active energizes me. I have always appreciated the fact that athletics and outdoor recreation are an integral part of a student's Dublin experience.

What do you do to push kids outside their comfort zone in the classroom? The college process is a challenging time for adolescents, and in turn for parents and the college counselor. There is a delicate balance between letting students lead the journey and over-steering their pathway thinking that we are helping by not letting them make mistakes. Throughout the college process at Dublin School, I hope that our students will develop as informed decision makers, take responsibility for meeting deadlines, learn self-advocacy skills, and compose personal writing through self-reflection. Many of these tasks will be new experiences for our students and will stretch them in new directions.

How do you teach to "the range", both the high achievers and those that are challenged by your discipline? I suppose there is a perfect script for how a student should proceed through the college experience, but I have yet to find that student. Each student I work with has their own pace, their own needs, their own aspirations. I respect that and work with each student in the manner that is needed to help each individual proceed through the process.

John Emerson - Learning Skills

After many years of teaching in public schools, I had the opportunity to become a learning skills tutor at Dublin. It was a perfect time in my career to make a change as I had taught math and science in middle and high schools in which class size made it increasingly more difficult to connect with students on an individual basis. The change for me has been a very positive experience as the whole Dublin community focuses on helping individual kids learn about themselves and about their strengths and weaknesses.

I have often felt that true learning can only take place when a student feels relaxed and supported in a way that allows them to take risks and not be penalized for making mistakes. Learning from mistakes is especially true in the area of math as this is an area in which I find myself doing a lot of my tutoring in. Getting the wrong answer too often puts a negative stigma in a student's mind and soon develops into an ingrained attitude of "I can't do this." In my tutoring I try to help my students feel OK about themselves and try to develop in them a sense that making mistakes is the first step in learning. (Having four grandchildren who are all at or near the age of learning how to walk only reinforces my feelings.) Still the important point is I try to help students overcome their feelings of frustration and to help them gain confidence in themselves.

I find this attitude permeates much of the Dublin community as well and it is one of the reasons I enjoy working here. From kitchen help to grounds crew to teachers and coaches, there is an overriding concern about kids that I have not found many other places.

Jonathan Weis - Science and Mathmatics

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What excites you most about working at Dublin?  Community and flexibility are the two qualities I value most at Dublin. Knowing every member of the community brings us together with a sense of common purpose. I also appreciate the flexibility that is available to faculty, regarding teaching styles, for example. Dublin strikes an appropriate balance between offering independence and guidance to teachers, a balance that has been valuable to me over the years, and which is helpful for new faculty, as well. Previously I taught in a small public high school which shared many of Dublin's virtues, but where the community aspect was weaker. We did not share the same goals to the extent that we do at Dublin.

Have you changed at all since you came to Dublin? How so? Dublin has made me more patient, I think. The variety of students and cultures at Dublin has helped me to understand the variety of backgrounds that students bring our community.

Why do you teach and what do you love about your discipline? I teach for many reasons. A principle benefit is the endless variety and stimulation that the profession offers. Teaching has not gotten old after twelve years here. It seems unlikely that this would be true of other pursuits.

What animates you? I am animated by a team of experts at Pixar studios. However, this is a secret and should stay that way.

What do you do outside of school that enhances your teaching? Or, what do you do outside of school that would surprise your students? It's hard to claim that much of what I do outside of school directly enhances my teaching. However I read a great deal on a variety of subjects, much of which informs my teaching indirectly. In addition, I use math constantly, whether I am checking that the volume of cordwood I was sold was priced honestly or working out the effort required to get home on my bike at the required time.

What do you do to push kids outside their comfort zone in the classroom? Students are probably most uncomfortable then they are responsible for demonstrating their thinking at the board. My Precalculus class has to do this a lot, which some of them find problematic.

Why is it fun to be in your classroom? Its fun to be in my classroom because I have fun, exciting, students.

Why did you choose Dublin School? I chose Dublin School in preference to the job I held at the time as a mechanical engineer. Although I had found teaching frustrating in the past, Dublin seemed to offer the potential of a better experience for me. I feel that events have vindicated that decision.

Katri Jackson - Science

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What excites you about working at Dublin?   I love the community here, both the students and the faculty. This is the most warm, welcoming place I have ever worked. It is easy to feel valued and included at Dublin. There is more camaraderie and support here than other places I have worked.

Why do you teach and what do you love about your discipline?  I get excited to learn new things, so it is fun to see that excitement in others. I love science because it is always changing, and the more I learn the better I understand the world around me.

What animates you?  Being outside. I have an obsession with spring wildflowers. I get very excited when the snow melts and they begin to appear. When you see a painted trillium you know that warm weather is around the corner! I love learning new plants, and I always hike with a flower book in my bag.

What do you do outside of school that enhances your teaching? Or, what do you do outside of school that would surprise your students?  I have recently become very interested in photography. Especially nature photography, wildflowers in particular.

What's unusual about the way you approach your subject?  I allow my students time to work out problems on their own before giving them the answers. I know there is more than one "right" way to approach a problem, so it is important to me that my students can find the best way for them.

What do you do to push kids outside their comfort zone in the classroom?  I incorporate as many inquiry based activities in my lesson planning as I can. The more chances that students have to think like a scientist and solve the given problem the more likely they will be to remember the skill in the future.

How do you teach to "the range", both the high achievers and those that are challenged by your discipline?  When science is hands-on it is easy for everyone to understand. I try to do as many labs, demonstrations and activities to help all students remember and retain what we do in class. The more you activity the more you remember.

What is the most surprising thing that happened in your classroom?  The most surprising thing for me is how many students will voluntarily show up for a chemistry club activity in the evening. I always prepare for the worst, there is nothing less cool than hanging out with your chemistry teacher in your free time, but somehow students always arrive and with enthusiasm!

Why is it fun to be in your classroom?  I don't lecture. Students in my classes learn through activities, experiments and exercises. I will hand out notes, but you should expect to be interacting in my class, not just copying from the board.

How did you choose Dublin School?  I didn't think I wanted to go back to working at a boarding school again, but Dublin is different. This is a warm place which sees potential in everyone.

Sarah Doenmez - Academic Dean

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Why do I teach and what do I love about History? I teach because I love to explore ideas and questions, and hear students' ideas developing. I love to see students get enchanted with History when many assume it will be boring, and get excited about issues in the world around us, and ask about their roots. Students come to realize that all aspects of human experience have historical dimensions to them, and that we gain insight rom literature, art, music, and science as well as the more usual historical sources.

History is the field that wrestles with time and our development over time. This is a fundamental struggle for all people: we are finite, times passes, change occurs. Also, both the best and worst aspects of our collective existence are the result of particular stories and developments. Nothing is inevitable about the way we currently live, or about how we will develop in the future. I began looking into history because I was so pained at the existence of things like the Shoah and nuclear weapons and needed to know how and maybe even why evil had prevailed. I have found in this search that so many fascinating questions are embedded in and enlightened by history. History is the best because it encompasses all other fields!  Perhaps too history can help us answer questions like, "How much do I matter in the world?"

What animates me? The process of becoming a freer human being. Watching young people grow wings, gain strength and freedom as they grow skilled and confident. Learning. Trying to contribute to a better world. It sounds corny, but....

What do I do outside of school that enhances my teaching? Read. Travel. Talk with people from other cultures and places. Learn new things myself. Help raise my children. Music. 

What might surprise my students? I speak four languages plus a couple of fragments of others. I ran a a marathon last year and hope to again this year. I watch a lot of soccer with my family. I played in a women's league for five years and quit when I scored my first goal!

What's unusual in the way I approach my subject? Well, I am more interested in big ideas than in dates, etc. Is that unusual? Also, I feel history is not over. Peoples all over the world live in ways we might view as ancient, or promodern, or in mixtures of ways. The events in our collective past influence us all whether we are aware of it or not too, so they live on in our language, our assumptions, out cultural patterns. I also like to pose History Mysteries. I also am very aware of how much I don't know and we don't know, which I think helps students feel how much they can contribute to our collective wisdom.

Pushing kids outside their comfort zone? I mix things up. We don't do the same thing every day. Students don't only use their customary strengths; everyone also has to do things they're less confident about. That way we all grow.

I also ask students to do things they've never done before. For a small example, we learned Chinese characters while studying China. They wrote way longer research papers than they expected to. 

Why is it fun to be in my classroom? Because learning is an adventure we embark on together! Everyone learns from everyone; everyone contributes; everyone listens. I am open to students' questions and interests, and often ask their input into decisions about what we will study or how. I do try to be sensitive to the mood of the group and be sure my class is exciting. We do things like listen to music of different times or places, invite guest speakers, take field trips, eat foods from other cultures, pay attention to the news involving the areas we're studying. 

The most surprising thing in my classroom? Maybe students dancing an Irish jig on the table for extra credit? Or inventing a language to go with the civilization she created? Last year a student had a major original insight that could form the basis of a doctoral dissertation, (that Nazi antisemitism was linked to antisemitism in the Roman Empire) - but that's not so unusual. 

Maybe it's the atmosphere of openness. We talk about anything and everything, and many students seem surprised that history class can wind up feeling so relevant and meaningful. Is that presumptuous?