Master teachers
become
mentors for life

Besides fantastic teachers, we count among our faculty four former Peace Corps volunteers, a Fulbright scholar, an Olympic soccer player, a bilingual writer, a rescue diver with 50 dives in five countries, published authors of poetry, fiction, and academic and scientific writing, and an almost-grandmaster chess player. Others have performed all sorts of interesting roles in countries spanning the continents. All teach with an enthusiasm their students can’t help catching.

Students gravitate to teachers with similar interests and develop lifelong relationships. One faculty member says fondly of his former students, “I’m in touch with a great many. Two of them I’m convinced will make significant contributions to theoretical physics.” Another teacher recently heard from an alum who proposed to his girlfriend at a waterfall the teacher had suggested visiting on a trip to Puerto Rico.

“The teachers here are your friends. You can talk to them about anything, class-related or not. You can high-five them in the hallways.” 

–Middle School student

English faculty member Dr.  Elizabeth Barbato LaPadula has completed two graduate degrees while teaching at NA. She has published a chapbook of her own poetry, led a student trip to Italy, and designed the original Capstone trip to Boston.

Listen to an eighth grade poetry discussion

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NA’s Community of Practice is a collegial, faculty-led professional support network that provides a platform for teachers to explore, share, and discuss research, best practices, educational issues, instructional technology. The Community of Practice meets monthly throughout the school year.

“When one teaches, two learn.”

Science teacher Drew Kesler says he learns alongside his students every day. “When we studied magnetic fields and how they might guide migrating loggerhead turtles, one student asked ‘What will happen to the turtles when the poles switch?’ I’m still trying to figure that one out!”

NA draws teachers who want to continue to learn and grow—those who continually refresh their classes with new ideas gained from writing a master’s thesis or sailing the Galapagos. They cite the relationships with bright students, academic freedom, and collaboration with colleagues as reasons they love teaching at NA.

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Listen to the discussion as Upper School students compare books by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass in a humanities class.

English faculty member Vanessa Gabb co-founded online literary magazine “Five Quarterly” and has had two chapbooks of poetry published. She also serves as advisor to the editorial staff of the student newspaper, The Minuteman.

Prior to teaching French at NA, Debra Ronan worked for a world-class art auction in New York City and graduated from culinary school. She incorporates cooking and tasting projects into her classes.

Humanities faculty member Garrett Caldwell played soccer professionally in Canada and England and internationally for Canada's Olympic team. You can play him yourself if you happen to have a copy of the video game “FIFA World Cup ’95-’97.”

His students call him “Sensei”—and his classroom the “Math Dojo.” 

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Math teacher Robert Rezvani’s connection to Japan comes from his mother (she is Japanese; his father is Iranian) and the two years he spent teaching there. “I open my students to new ways of thinking,” he says. “Math is taught differently around the world.”