Dear Alumni and Friends,
I write today about champions and want to shine the spotlight on two LA teams and two LA teachers. Let’s start with the teams. Both boys’ soccer and football won the ISL this fall with title-clinching games right here on campus in front of huge crowds last weekend. Boys’ soccer won the ISL title, compiling a 14-1-0 record, and football won the ISL title on Saturday night under the lights, finishing at 7-1-0. The abundant fans at both games represented Spartan Nation sportsmanship and pride, and the athletes played with class and a positive competitive spirit. Three LA teams have reached the New England Playoffs: football and both girls’ and boys’ soccer. The girls’ had a strong season and lost on penalty kicks in the quarter finals, and football and boys’ soccer play on Saturday. I hope to see alumni, parents, and friends on the sidelines — details are at www.lacademy.edu.
Not to be outshone by accomplishments on our fields of play, two other champions on campus are legendary LA teachers, John Curran and Donna Mastrangelo. Both have made their mark in our classrooms and, combined, have benefited over 70 years’ worth of LA students past and present. The iconic Curran has been teaching in a student-centered way, complete with role-playing, seminars, simulations, trials, and debates, ever since he started at LA in 1971. I review all the newest theories on thinking and learning only to realize JC has been practicing them for 4 decades! He connects with every student, inspiring them to engage with the material and each other and to learn with others to think for themselves.
As for Donna …way back in 1984, Steve Hahn was looking for a triple-threat Spanish teacher who could coach soccer and basketball and live in Bigelow Hall. Donna came down from Bowdoin for an interview, and LA looked no further. Her style of teaching and coaching is powerful, engaging, interactive, sincere, high-energy, and the students who have had “Doña” not only gain expertise in Spanish, but they are carried away on a cultural learning wild-ride they will never forget!
I hope you will join me on a quick personal tour as I head over to the Ansin Academic Building to check in on John and Donna.
I will be back in touch in December.
Happy Thanksgiving to all,
Assistant Head of School
BTW: These last weeks of the term here on the hillside all of our arts performances are taking place – Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” music concerts, dance performances, and visual arts presentations. This coming week is exam week when students have culminating academic experiences and test their knowledge and their ability to manage their time, self-advocate, and internalize their learning. I just received a wonderful picture from the top of Mount Monadnock from Angelica Bishop ’10. How great to see that the spirit of Mountain Day lives on and that alumni get together long after graduation for another climb! In other news, we plan to have the new video conference center open by spring. (I hope you enjoyed the tour last month!) The old LA 3 & 4 building will begin its transformation into a new faculty apartment over the course of the winter. I look forward to seeing many of you at our gathering at Church in Boston next week, and be sure to mark your calendars for Reunion on June 5 – 6.
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