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Beyond the Nametag: Mr. Nilsson & Mr. Savage
hadley newton 12 arts entertainment editor volume 86
October 23, 2009

Peter Nilsson

Peter Nilsson, assistant academic dean and study skills coordinator, joins the faculty this year as a sophomore English teacher and a dorm resident on Barton II, the same hall he lived in over four years ago. Mr. Nilsson taught at Deerfield from 2001-2005 before leaving to pursue a music career in New York City.

There, Mr. Nilsson focused on playing the piano as well as composing and producing his own music. During this time, he said, “I performed with a rock group, funk group, jazz group, Nigerian reggae group, as well as Manhattan-based Americana group, among others.”

Mr. Nilsson also composed music for theater and small chamber ensembles, dabbling in folk soul, hip hop, and musical theater. When confronted about these successes, Mr. Nilsson modestly joked, “Whether or not I was good is yet to be determined.” While in New York City, he met and married his wife Crystal, whom he has brought with him back to Barton.

“Having been here before, it’s not much of an adjustment,” explained Mr. Nilsson. During his previous stay on Barton II, he even turned his apartment into a mini-recording studio, where students could come to sing and play music. He expressed his excitement to please his hall-mates in “hoping to have a chocolate-covered pretzel stick feed. They’re delicious and it would really bring us all together as a hall.”

When not in his English classroom, Mr. Nilsson can be seen playing the piano during school meeting and coaching an ultimate Frisbee team.

Samuel Savage

Samuel Savage is a new language teacher this year who is living just off campus on Wells Street with his wife Caroline and two boys, Eli and Phineas. This year he is teaching Spanish 2 as well as Latin 3 and 5, where he is fondly known as “Magister Ferox”.
Mr. Savage is familiar with the boarding school experience. He attended the Groton School for several years before earning a major in Classics and a minor in Spanish from Columbia University.

He has also taught at the Groton School, Head Royce in Oakland California, and most recently at the School Year Abroad Program in Italy.

Mr. Savage is associated with Mather II. But he noted that while at Groton he ran a dorm, “so I actually miss living in one.”
When asked what feed he would be most excited to host, he responded, “My wife makes this varsity-level pepper-mint bark. It’s so much better than that jv William-Sonoma stuff.”

While not teaching or coaching, Mr. Savage enjoys being with his family, cycling and playing the bass. In college, he sailed competitively in laser regattas (single-handed ship races).

He loves to travel, remarking “While I can’t see myself doing anything else [besides teaching], I’d like to be a guide for small tour groups in a foreign country.” One of the places he is most interested in visiting is Angkor Wat, because he “would like to see more of Asia” and he is very interested in archaeology.

In addition to teaching, Mr. Savage will be coaching Thirds Boys’ Basketball in the winter and junior varsity boys’ lacrosse in the spring.