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Saying Farewell To Teachers
Katherine Heaney '16 Senior Writer
May 20, 2015
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Nick Albertson came to Deerfield in 1978. After a long tenure as history teacher, college advisor and varsity golf coach, he will miss interacting with students and the congeniality of being with his fellow faculty. He will also miss the daily excitement of Deerfield. However, during retirement he looks forward to slowing down. He quoted a colleague, saying, “Time to graduate from high school.” He will spend summers on Beal’s Island in Maine with his wife, Pat, perhaps working on a lobster boat as a sternman. After 37 years of working at Deerfield, Mr. Albertson is proud of the friendships he has made over the years and will cherish the memories of raising his three daughters in the Pocumtuck Valley. He is confident that Deerfield will continue to burgeon long after he retires.

Having first joined the Deerfield staff in 1976, Michael Cary has contributed greatly to Deerfield’s English Department, chaired the Philosophy & Religion Department, and served as Dean of Admissions. Additionally, Mr. Cary left Deerfield in 1996 to serve as the Head of School at The Lawrenceville School in 2003, and then returned in 2010. Next year, Mr. Cary will enter “semi-retirement”. He will stop teaching, but will stay involved with the Office of Advancement. Mr. Cary said, “I will miss my classroom, room 58. The mementos on the wall remind me of places I’ve been and students I’ve met. I will also miss moments in class when I can see the lights go on in student’s minds.” Mr. Cary looks forward to focusing on his poetry and art work, continuing his work with the National Park Service and spending time with his grandchildren.

David Pond has been the Associate Head of School for Alumni Affairs and Development for 33 years at Deerfield. The article “After 33 Years, David Pond Is About to Swim Away” quotes Dr. Curtis’s praise for Pond’s achievement: “David is regarded as a legend, and inspires both deep respect and admiration.”

Over her seven years teaching English at Deerfield, Ada Fan has had the opportunity to work with “wonderful students, devoted faculty, hard-working and thoroughly admirable staff.” Dr. Fan will return to Andover, where she and her husband lived for many years previously. She feels that her greatest achievement at Deerfield, in addition to contributing to the development of students, was helping students do there best in situations that weren’t always comfortable: “navigating the rapids as best we can in this life” is something everyone needs to work on, she said. Dr. Fan has helped The Scroll navigate its rapids with diligence, wisdom, and encouragement.

Frank Henry, who came to Deerfield as a student in 1967, has served DA as a development officer briefly and then as an English teacher for 32 years A recap of Mr. Henry’s history with Deerfield as well as the details of his retirement can be found on the Features page of this issue.

After 40 years at Deerfield, Dr. Bicknell has announced his retirement. Although an eventful future lies ahead, he will always fondly remember the “vibrant students” and the school community here at DA. Dr. Bicknell remarked, “Doing this work has kept me young,” and explained how much he will miss all the people he has met at the Academy. He also looks forward to not living on a school calendar schedule. Still, he will be back at Deerfield once a week working on special projects within the counseling program. Dr. Bicknell is proud to have founded the program in 1975, his first year at the Academy.

During her seven years at DA, psychologist Sheila Fritz has been a tremendous asset to the counseling program. When asked what she will miss about Deerfield, Dr. Fritz replied, “Everything!” Besides missing the Academy grounds and beautiful buildings, she expressed how Deerfield has been very good to her and her family. The students are caring and kind and her colleagues have always been supportive throughout her time here. She is excited to begin a new chapter in her life where she will be able to serve students in a similar environment. She will hold a leadership role at Groton School where she can develop and implement programs that she believes will enhance student mental health. While she doesn’t often openly speak about her faith, she does believe that during her tenure at Deerfield she has been successful at fulfilling one of God’s greatest commands—“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).

For four years, Huck Laughner has taught in Deerfield’s science department. Dr. Laughner will miss Deerfield students’ creative minds, especially watching them go up to the whiteboard in class to demonstrate a different solution from his own. During his retirement, he is excited to spend time with friends, family and his children. His biggest lifetime accomplishment was heading the Sierra Club chapter in Charleston, SC, where the Club was instrumental in passing the first law forbidding captive marine mammals in the state. In addition, he has also done much work on instructional methods for teaching science in the classroom and evaluating methodological innovations.

English teacher Eve Goldenberg, who has also taught at Exeter, will teach at Milton Academy next year in Milton, Massachusetts. Discussion in Ms. Goldenberg’s classes this year led directly to school-wide conversation on race and inclusion. Despite leading the DA girls varsity crew to Nationals both last year and this June, she will not be coaching next year. (Milton does not have a crew team.) Ms. Goldenberg’s choice to move to Milton will allow her to live closer to a major city as well as to have time in the afternoons to spend time with her daughters.

Mary Ross taught science at Deerfield for three years; and next year, Dr. Ross will continue to do so at The Rye Country Day School in Rye, New York. During her time at DA, Dr. Ross was always very busy on campus as a teacher, a dorm resident and an advisor for both the yearbook and Baking Club, and mentions that in the future she looks forward to “enjoying some leisure time.”

Jael Hernández will teach Latin and Spanish at the Thacher School in Ojai, California next year. Mr. Hernández is excited to hike, camp and surf, and to have more time to himself next year. While he is looking forward to getting to know Thacher’s community and the West, he will miss many aspects of Deerfield. He will particularly miss singing the Evensong every Sunday after sit-down dinner with the people he has grown to know and love here at DA. He, along with Ms. Goldenberg, was particularly valued by students who didn’t feel part of the dominant culture, as mentioned by Michael Beit in his farewell tribute to Mr. Hernández.

Lauren Brozovich, who has taught English for two years at DA and advised both Albany Road and the yearbook, will miss “everything” about the community. Dr. Brozovich said that her “wonderful colleagues, spectacular freshman and junior English students,” and the girls on her corridor, have inspired her with “enthusiasm, positive energy and dedication to their work in all aspects of their lives.” Next year, she will be an assistant professor of English at the University of Houston (tenure-track) and will specialize in 20th and 21st-century American Literature. She is excited to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in her areas of research specialization and to continue to write poems and conduct scholarly research.

Amanda Zranchev, science teacher, coach and curling aficionado, will fondly remember the Deerfield faculty and students whom she feels she was lucky to work with and learn from. Her openness and support of students were both widely praised. Ms. Zranchev is headed to Manhattan to teach physics at the Trinity School. In the future, she looks forward to traveling.

Math teacher Miriam Singer is leaving to teach at The Kent Denver School in Denver, Colorado next year, where she will fulfill her childhood dream of living near the Rockies. Ms. Singer will remember most fondly the relationships she had with her students in the dorm, on the courts and in the water (now with a National youth crew championship under her belt), and in the classroom. Ms. Singer said of the students at DA, “You guys are a special bunch, and you make leaving this place most difficult.” When asked what she is most looking forward to in the future, Ms. Singer replied, “I don’t know yet. Maybe that’s what I’m excited about: not knowing what’s to come.”

In addition to the plethora of teachers leaving DA permanently, several teachers are going on sabbatical for the 2015-2016 school year. Next year, science and health teacher Kristin Loftus will head to the accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing program at UMASS Amherst. Ms. Loftus is excited to get to be a student again and learn in school.

Françoise Ellis, master teacher in French, will travel to Europe for her sabbatical next year. Mrs. Ellis—known to all as “Françoise”—will remain mostly in France in the summer and fall, but next spring she will be traveling throughout Eastern Europe and all the way up to the Baltic Sea. While in France, she will live in Paris, something she hasn’t done in more than 40 years, to take classes and attend conferences at the Sorbonne.

Math teacher Greg Meier will be around Deerfield on sabbatical next year. Mr. Meier will complete an online program through Penn State working towards a masters degree in Applied Statistics. He is most looking forward to being a “student” again and diving into statistics. In addition, he will travel the path of the Revolutionary War battles in New England and the Mid-Atlantic States. While away, he will miss the students in the classroom, on the fields and around campus.

Stephen Taft, a long-time Spanish teacher at Deerfield, who has been instrumental in advancing Deerfield’s use of technology in the Spanish curriculum, will be taking a leave of absence next year to teach English in the School Year Abroad program in Spain, directed by his wife and DA former Spanish teacher, Dr. Virginia Invernizzi.