Student News

Faculty Updates for Fall 2016

John Taylor – August 24, 2016

New and Returning Faculty:

We will be welcoming fourteen new faculty members this year (see complete biographies for new faculty) and three colleagues who are returning from their sabbaticals (Ms. Ellis, Ms. Loftus and Mr. Meier). I am very excited about our new faculty, and I hope that the following statistics give you a sense of what this group is like:

  • 10 new faculty will teach two classes or more;
  • 4 will be in an administrative office (College Advising, Health Center and Athletic Office);
  • 4 will coach a varsity sport;
  • 10 will live in a dorm apartment or be associated with a corridor;
  • 5 have lived in the Pioneer Valley for a significant amount of time; 8 have children; 8 are males, 6 are female;
  • 5 are faculty of color;
  • 7 have post-graduate degrees (5 of them have doctorate degrees),
  • 4 are in the process of earning a post-graduate degree;
  • 6 have worked in a boarding school;
  • 5 attended an independent school for high school,
  • 9 attended a public high school;
  • the median age is 39.5.

Each new faculty member will be assigned a mentor to support them and help them understand our routines, our expectations, and our school culture.

Faculty News:

In late June, Daniel Jackson, our Music Director, informed me that he had accepted an offer from a public school in Virginia. Fortunately, Tom Pousont, the Music Director at the First Church of Deerfield, accepted our offer last week to be our next choral conductor. We are very fortunate that someone who is as qualified as Mr. Pousont and who knows our community so well will be leading our choral program.

Summer Work and Professional Development:

There has been a tremendous amount of activity this summer. If we exclude senior staff, more than two-thirds of the faculty have been involved in some kind of summer activity. Roughly half this group engaged in collaborative projects and the other half in individual ones.

Eleven faculty members organized and supervised trips to the Dominican Republic, Spain, France, China, and Europe. They all worked out very smoothly and our students’ blogs revealed great excitement about their experiences abroad. We are incredibly grateful for the time that the faculty leaders dedicated to give our students invaluable educational experience.

Five Deerfield faculty members participated in the KIPP-STEP program this summer. Jeff Armes reported that it was the best group of students he can remember in all of his years leading this program. Mr. Armes will be stepping down this year as the KIPP-STEP Director and will be replaced by Ivory Hills. Jeff has done an incredible job for more than 14 years as the KIPP-STEP Director. Hundreds of students who have been enriched by this superb program owe him a great deal of gratitude. We’ve witnessed the impact this program can have on these students when we have had the privilege to teach some of the summer program’s graduates.

Six faculty members worked in the Experimentory this summer. After reading the Experimentory’s blog , it’s evident that the forty-five students who attended the program had a superb experience. One of them wrote: “Although this moment was extremely bittersweet for me, I really enjoyed last night’s organizational meeting. I began to realize the uniqueness of this place and the strength of the relationships I have formed. I never imagined forming friendships so quickly!” Congratulations to Jill Schaffer and her faculty for another successful summer leading the Experimentory.

Fifty-six summer grants were awarded to forty-five faculty members (some faculty received more than one grant). They have attended conferences, reviewed curricula, designed new courses, joined coaching clinics, and started working on the release grants that were approved at the end of last year. Four release grants involving ten faculty members will take place this year: Developing Teaching Models for Chemistry and BiologyDeveloping Common Analytical Writing Practices in History and EnglishWriting Conferences (English); Developing a Problem-Based Learning Approach to Geometry.