In 1980 at my eastern boarding school, a girl in my dorm was transferring to Thacher. I checked out the cover of the Thacher brochure, saw kids riding at gymkhana, and knew that this is a special school. In the mid-1990s, while finishing up my doctoral degree, I looked up information about the school at the local library (no internet yet) and wrote to Mr. Mulligan. They flew me out during Gymkhana Weekend, and I thought, “It’s just like the brochure!” I think I believed every day would be like gymkhana!
Favorite Thacher teaching moment
When former students email me from college telling me that they are history or political science majors because of the classes I taught them when they were Toads.
Most memorable Thacher camping trip
Camping on Santa Cruz Island when the wild horses were still there and would come into our campground each night to drink from a trough—or on a recent trip when a couple of students did flips off a high rock into Franklin Lake at Mineral King in the Sequoias as the moon was rising.
Since you asked me to brag, here’s the professional accomplishment I'm most proud of
Designing new history courses that offer students a comprehensive understanding of current global issues. Specifically, in my Chinese History class, students research and address major challenges confronting China today. In my Pacific Rim class, students learn to think and write like a diplomat as they engage in contemporary foreign policy issues. In addition, our Mandarin teacher, Eric Shi, and I have been able to take students to travel in China, Korea and Japan; this summer will be our fourth trip. Generous families created a fund to support this extraordinary experience.
Favorite job perk
Being able to teach, coach and get to know my own children’s amazing classmates. And, of course, fiesta bar at the Dining Hall. I love the bottomless tub of guacamole and homemade salsa that our amazing kitchen staff makes.
Hardly anybody knows that
I try to get away with wearing the same outfit each week to formal dinner.
Favorite place at Thacher
Sitting by the window at my kitchen table, drinking coffee, and watching the freshmen ride past my house.
Favorite place on earth
Sitting on the dock at my childhood home in Marblehead, MA.
The book, movie, work of art, or piece of music I cannot imagine life without
I read Jane Austen on every Extra-Day Trip. It helps me unwind after a long day of camping.