After teaching English at Fairfield University, Dr. Edrik Lopez brought 17 years of experience to Deerfield in the fall of 2016. Mr. Lopez explained that he “had to reorient [himself] to secondary education” in coming to Deerfield and while he “thought it might be tough to adjust,” he emphasized that “this year was the most rewarding teacher year [he’s] been blessed with. Deerfield brought back the joy in teaching for me.”
He was “unable to find a way to move [his] family up [to Deerfield], and a job opened at a Connecticut school that shall not be named,” where he’ll be next year with his family.
He emphasized that he leaves Deerfield with two impressions: “Deerfield students are brilliant and intellectually courageous; and they are funny and soulfully caring…[and] Deerfield’s leaders work very hard for the student body. They not only grind it out on the daily tasks of keeping the school functioning, but they also care about the vision and mission of the school.”
He said, “Deerfield is an incredible place, and it is easy for me to say it is the best place I have taught at…Deerfield transformed me.”
Sarah Tarrant Madden
After three years of service as a college advisor and a dedicated boys and girls water polo and swimming coach at Deerfield, Ms. Sarah Tarrant Madden will be heading to the Hopkins School in New Haven, Connecticut to continue her work as a college advisor. Throughout her time at Deerfield, Ms. Madden has impacted many students.
Maddie Blake ’17, JV swim captain and water polo player remarked, “Ms. Madden is a special coach because she is dedicated to helping every player on her teams succeed. Ms. Madden has brought an unparalleled level of experience and enthusiasm to the pool, and she will be greatly missed.”
Doris Zhang ’18 further explained, “Ms. Madden really focuses on each individual player’s strengths and weaknesses, helping everyone improve regardless of what level they’re starting at. Also, she is great at making practices intense but also fun and light-hearted at the same time.”
Uwa Ede-Osifo ’18 added, “Ms. Madden is very down to earth and kind which really helps when beginning the broad process of applying to college. Her advice is very straightforward and honest, which her college advisees appreciate.”
“Ms. Madden was a strong voice of reason who I could confide in about any topic,” Evan Santos ’17 said. “She consistently kept me as well as the other PGs in our dorm on a straight path, reminding us of our goals at Deerfield.”
Ms. Madden remarked, “I will miss the boys in New Dorm, my wonderful college advisees and stellar academic advisees, the [water] polo and swim teams, plus many generous colleagues here at DA.”
Math teacher Ms. Alice Grimm arrived at Deerfield in the fall of 2015 and has taught several classes including Linear Algebra and Fourier Analysis. She has also aided the math team enormously as its faculty advisor.
Reflecting on her Deerfield experience, Ms. Grimm stated, “[I will] miss terribly [my] amazing colleagues who have done so much to support [me] over the past two years.”
She remembers fondly when, on the day of the Pulse shooting during summer vacation, a student reached out to her by email to reassure her of her place at Deerfield.
Ms. Grimm recalls one of the most memorable conversations she has had at Deerfield: “One of our students, a young black woman, asked me if I felt like my queerness fundamentally shaped the way that I experience Deerfield. I made a confused face and she offered that for her being black palpably affected every aspect of her experience at Deerfield. I’ll remember that moment of solidarity and vulnerability for a long time.”
She will remember the GSA meetings, commenting, “you all give me life!” Although her future plans are “not firmly established, which is both exciting and terrifying,” Ms. Grimm hopes to teach at an independent day school near a major city.
Ms. Charlotte Patriquin, Library Director, arrived at Deerfield in fall of 2013 and has played an instrumental role in the running of the library, aided by her previous experience of working at the Mount Holyoke, Beloit College, and DePaul University libraries. She will be departing with a “great respect and appreciation for Deerfield.” She noted that “it was especially meaningful to have participated in the Boyden Library renovation project from concept to reality,” which concluded when the library reopened last winter. Ms. Patriquin emphasized that “this is a very special place, and I feel privileged to have been a part of it for the last few years.” Her future plans include “getting more deeply involved in the community, doing more traveling, and learning new things.” Ms. Patricia Kelly, Assistant Director of the Library, commented, “During her tenure, Mrs. Patriquin challenged the library staff to think on a higher level and review their best practices for customer service, analysis of the library collection, and information literacy.
Science Teaching Fellow Ms. Meghan Jimenez joined Deerfield in fall of 2015 and has taught a variety of classes from Physics IA to Robotics. After two years of teaching at Deerfield, Ms. Jimenez will be joining the faculty of the Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island next year where she will teach engineering and robotics and running the Design-Innovate-Build Lab, which is similar to Deerfield’s iLab.
Ms. Jimenez will miss seeing students “in different contexts” and “knowing people beyond the classroom,” such as having a student on her team, in her class, and in the iLab at night. She has loved “seeing the kids in [her] class come up with these really cool ideas for projects and just making them happen even though they’re absolutely not normal high school projects,” including a remote-controlled surfboard, a drone that follows the user around, and a hockey puck launcher. Ms. Jimenez said, “I’m really excited for the future, but also really grateful for everything that I’ve learned here.”
During her time at Deerfield, History Teaching Fellow Ms. Kayala Corcoran ’10 has taught African and Latin American History and has been a vital member of the Inclusion Committee. Next year, she will be teaching at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
She feels that she has found her home at Deerfield and is saddened to be leaving. Ms. Corcoran added, “Getting to work with Deerfield teachers, the people who inspired me to do what I’m doing right now, has really been an honor.”
A highlight for her was teaching in Tanzania over spring break on a Global Studies trip. She said, “I’ve seen students do really good work and really participate genuinely in learning and embracing what is different…I hope that every student and every teacher gets to do something like that at some point in their educational careers.”
A fun fact: Ms. Corcoran didn’t get any APs while a student at Deerfield. She went out to Thai Blue Ginger with Mr. Flaska’s assistant in the Dean’s Office her senior year and, laughing, said that getting no APs is “possible, kids, so don’t tell me it’s not!”