After dedicating 19 years to the Deerfield Academy community, Andrew Freda, a beloved math teacher, will be retiring. His contributions to Deerfield’s math department are extensive as a teacher of a wide range of courses. The complete textbook he wrote, “Algebra 1 for the Small Classroom,” was an integral part of his classroom for eight years.
Mr. Freda’s work with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) includes an editorial, “To CAS or Not To CAS,” about using technology in the classroom, published in 2008, and a four-part series, “Geometry…,” published in 2015. Prior to this publication, he spoke at the National meeting for the National Conference for Teachers of Mathematics – “Geometry and…(units to captivate our captive students).” In 2016, he spoke at the regional meeting for the NCTM, “Everything Old Is New Again: Connecting Calculus to Algebra.” He was also a referee for NCTM’s magazine, Mathematics Teacher, from 2008-2012.
His passion for teaching and care for students goes far beyond the third floor of the Koch Center. Chris Thagard’s ‘20 relationship with his sophomore year math teacher and junior year dorm associate “has meant the most to [him] because he is a very caring individual with a quick joke that will light up your day. He’s the most approachable teacher on campus.”
Beyond his work in mathematics, he was a member of the Admissions Committee, the Alternate Study Committee, and the Athletic Committee. Mr. Freda also served as a mentor for first-year teachers. His mentorship even extended to Math Teacher Gregg Meier, who began teaching the same year as Mr. Freda. “It is going to be really hard for me next year as I have always had Mr. Freda as part of my Deerfield experience. He is a good friend…His knowledge of math is incredible (as is his knowledge of Philadelphia trivia). I have been fortunate enough to not only teach with him, but also to work with him on several projects through the years. He approaches every task with the same commitment and drive – to do what is best for his students and their mathematical education. He is a true champion for the students, always reminding us that you are why we are teachers and to never lose sight of that fact.”
Andrew Freda also created a community service program that connects Deerfield students to local elementary-age students after school. Additionally, he coached Junior Varsity football and lacrosse, thirds lacrosse, and recreational squash and basketball. Passionate recreational basketball player and one of Mr. Freda’s students Julia Placek ‘20 says, “As a coach and teacher, he was the most supportive and always there for me. Mr. Freda is all around one of the best people on Deerfield’s campus.”
As Mr. Meier put it, “Deerfield students are losing not only a tremendously gifted math teacher, but a mentor who always had their best interests at heart! He will be missed!”