Faculty Blog

Tribute to Derek Boonisar on His Twentieth Year of Service at Fenn

*Each year, the faculty gathers to honor those who have served for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30+ years at Fenn. Here is one exerpt from that evening written and delivered by Jerry Ward. 

Filling the shoes of a legend is close to an impossible thing to do. Derek Boonisar arrived one day at Fenn twenty years ago as a twenty-five year old teaching candidate with two years of experience. He was here to interview for a full time position that involved teaching Latin, coaching sports, and advising middle school students. The young man didn’t know that day that the faculty member he would be …

Posted by in Jerry Ward on Thursday April 16, 2015
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A Tribute to Elise Mott, 20 Years at Fenn

*Each year, the faculty gathers to honor those who have served for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30+ years at Fenn. Here is one exerpt from that evening written and delivered by Lorraine Ward. 

It’s not hard to recall all the good things about Elise Mott as a colleague, friend, educator, mother, and citizen.  If I had to describe her in two words, they would be “gracious goodness.”  Elise does everything with a commitment to the good—the good of her students, the good of the larger world outside of Fenn, the good of the natural world, the good of her family and …

Posted by in Lorraine Ward, Elise Mott on Thursday February 12, 2015
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Listen and Learn: A Calm Sea Never a Captain Makes

Sometimes I hate my boat. However, hating a needy pile of wood, sail, and line is less distressing than what it teaches me about myself. My trying to remove the stubborn barnacles from the bottom-sides after eight months in drydock is a harsh reminder that ten minutes of a simple power-washing on Labor Day would have negated the hours of cursing, scraping, and crawling on the back-stabbing scree of a New England boatyard that occupied my day yesterday. Years ago I blithely and absent-mindedly watched as a friend showed me how to make a wire splice. Tomorrow I am paying some old salt two …

Posted by in John Fitzsimmons on Wednesday January 14, 2015
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Professional Development

One of the bonuses of working at Fenn is the opportunity to take advantage of professional development. In my six years of working here, I have been given many opportunities to explore interests and pursue professional passions due to the monetary support I receive from Fenn and the collegial support I receive from my colleagues--who are asked to cover my classes and assume my school responsibilities while I am away learning. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to attend national conferences out of state such as the National Council of Teachers of English Conference last year in Boston …

Rich Beyond Measure

A Note to my 8 and 9th Grade Students



I've never met a man who was truly awake. I wouldn't know how to look him in the eyes. 

~Henry David Thoreau 

 

Somebody once asked Thoreau if he would give a talk on the evils of alcohol and tobacco. He declined, stating that since he had never tried alcohol or tobacco, he wasn't able to speak about the effects of either tobacco or alcohol from personal experience—and personal experience is what generates our most powerful ideas and motivates our most profound actions. Retelling our experiences inspires readers to look …

Posted by in John Fitzsimmons on Friday August 1, 2014
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World Peace Game

This week we engaged in a thought provoking day of professional development at Fenn, in our Multicultural Educators Forum, where we heard the inspiring story of the World Peace Game created by our workshop speaker, John Hunter. He created the game 35 years ago as an enrichment activity for a gifted and talented program in his Virginia-based school. Over the years he has refined and broadened the game, which is now the subject of an award winning movie and is outlined in his 2011 TED talk.

In a previous post this fall I discussed some common characteristics identified by a study conducted by …

Posted by in George Scott on Thursday February 20, 2014
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The Love of a Son

How often have I pondered the question about how a perfectionist “good girl” like me could have ended up with three spirited, independent-minded sons and no daughters?  How often have I asked out loud—sometimes in sheer frustration, sometimes in absolute wonder—how I, of all people, ended up with three boys who rarely saw the importance of the attention to detail about the upkeep of the house, of their homework, of remembering that it was trash or recycling day, of how much time it would take to make out college applications and what the due dates were, and at 11:…

Wintertime at Fenn

Growing up in Mexico City winter mornings meant crisp, cool temperatures, the thermometer somewhere in the sixties, always with the promise of the beautiful southern sun during the day, where a warm fleece would more than suffice to venture the elements. What a surprise for a young Mexican exchange student when in 1978 in Lexington Massachusetts she saw her first snow and became even fearful of it when during the Blizzard of ’78 she had to stay home for almost a week!

A lot has changed since then. Today, for me, winter means so much more than snow and cold days. I live winter through …

Posted by in Gisela Hernandez-Skayne on Saturday February 1, 2014
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The Importance of Feeling Connected

In September of 1976 I walked onto Fenn's campus as a new seventh grader. I was coming from a local junior high school, and I was repeating seventh grade. Needless to say, I was feeling shy, vulnerable, and insecure. Before the first day of school, my parents and I read through the parent handbook to get a better understanding of what I needed to bring to Fenn, and I thought I had everything covered. Just like the students of today, however, I did not bring any sports clothes, and I had signed up for football. So I did what any normal Fenn boy would do and just got dressed, which included …

Posted by in Jon Byrd on Wednesday November 6, 2013
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Nobody Told Me to Read “The Odyssey”

Nobody ever told me to read The Odyssey—and that was the greatest educational travesty of my life. I first read it after high school while working at Colonial Motors in West Concord. I didn't "get it" any more than the most confused among you, but what I did do is "feel it." I felt its primordial power and emotional bareness; I felt another world, another age, and another human journey come alive inside of me. It made me feel that I was a part of long and unbroken lineage of humanity searching for truth and purpose in a world—especially my world, a world not always blessed with …

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An Independent Day School
for Boys Grades 4-9

516 Monument Street, Concord, MA 01742

Tel: (978) 369-5800 Email:  info@fenn.org

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