Farewell to Faculty Members

By Andrew Su (IV) and Mary Deng (V)

Ms. Craven:

Seventh-grade English teacher Ms. Andrea Craven will retire with 27 years of teaching under her belt.

Before teaching at BLS, Ms. Craven taught at a small Catholic school. In 1995, while her daughters were attending BLS, she became a substitute teacher. She was later asked to teach seventh grade because then Head of School Cornelia Kelly found Ms. Craven to be nurturing.

Ms. Craven says how her strict, yet fair, reputation has led to her former students “[appreciating] that I helped them to be grounded in seventh grade, [which] warms my heart.”

Ms. Craven has been an active member in the BLS community, holding the positions of Registrar assistant, yearbook advisor, supervisor of ushers for Commencement Exercises and coordinator for photographing student identification cards.

“I have been lucky enough to work with so many different great students and members of our staff through participation in these various roles,” reflects Ms. Craven. “Though I am retiring as a classroom teacher, I hope to remain a vibrant participant in the BLS community!”

Ms. Dunn:

Physics and chemistry teacher Ms. Katie Dunn will be moving to the Golden State of California to be closer to her family.

Experienced in many subjects, Ms. Dunn has taught AP Environmental Science, Algebra 2, chemistry and physics at BLS, all within three years. Prior to becoming a teacher at BLS, Ms. Dunn was a student teacher. She says that the feedback students has given her has helped her learn and grow.

Ms. Dunn’s classes were an inspiration to many of her students. Her adaptive lesson-planning made each class engaging.

“[Ms. Dunn is] one of the most ‘goated’ science teachers I’ve ever had,” says Aidan McVay (III). “I’m lucky to have been in her only physics class.”

Ms. Dunn’s time at BLS has almost entirely aligned with the pandemic. Remote learning  required her to develop new content and create new interactive systems for her students to learn from.

Ms. Dunn concludes, “I’ve most enjoyed the wide variety of challenges that arise day-to-day — how to improve a lesson that doesn’t go right, or work with someone who doesn’t understand yet. Teaching doesn’t get repetitive or boring.”

Ms. Garside:

Following her debut as a seventh-grade earth science teacher at BLS, Ms. Courtney Garside (‘14) is seeking a breath of fresh air with her move to Oregon.

Having been a student at BLS, Ms. Garside knows how difficult it can be for sixies to enter a new community. She believes that “there’s a lot that goes into the transition from elementary school to BLS […], so [she] tried to structure [her] class in a way where we weren’t just learning science. We’re also learning skills needed to be successful here.”

In addition to teaching, Ms. Garside advises the BLS SciTeam. She supervises team meetings, completes registration for team events and both writes and grades the tests for Olympiad competitions with schools across Massachusetts.

William Liyuan (IV), a member of the team, says, “Ms. Garside, as our advisor, was very welcoming to us. Her classroom provided an engaging environment for a variety of STEM activities.”

As Ms. Garside leaves BLS, the first school she has ever taught at, she says, “I’m excited to see the grand scheme of things, try new things and see new places, but this [school] will always be my home.”

Ms. Moran:

Having spent 50 years as an educator and 20 years as a Boston Latin School faculty member, BLS English Department Head Ms. Susan Moran will retire and move to Minnesota at the end of this year.

Ms. Moran has strived to offer her students a rich, engaging learning experience and the opportunity to explore both contemporary and classical literature. Her contributions to the curriculum and constant support for teachers have helped provide students with the necessary skills to succeed in reading and writing.

Ms. Moran teaches an English section every year and also oversees three annual events: Poetry Out Loud, the BLS middle school Spelling Bee and Prize Reading. She encourages all students to participate in these activities.

Describing her departure, Ms. Moran references 17th-century English writer John Donne’s poem, “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” saying, “I will always feel a deep and abiding connection to the people and the place that have meant [so] much to me, so that, even at a distance, my memories of BLS will make ‘me end where I begun.’”

“Makes me end where I begun” refers to the two lovers in Donne’s poem who still have a strong connection with each other, despite their separation. Similarly for Ms. Moran, even when she is over a thousand miles away in Minnesota, she will think of BLS and her interactions with her students fondly.

Mr. Mulhern:

After 23 years at Boston Latin School, Associate Head of School Mr. Jonathan Mulhern (‘98)  will serve as the principal of Galvin Middle School in Canton for the upcoming school year.

Mr. Mulhern has worked closely with teachers and faculty to provide guidance to students as they make their way through BLS. His contributions include developing the Peer Mentoring Program, which has helped sixies adjust to their new environment, for the past ten years. He is also the coordinator for Student Leadership and W Block programs.

“For a long time, the reputation of the school was that it was for you to come in, and you either sink or swim, and nobody’s going to help you. And again, this is not an individual legacy for me, but […] what I’ve been happy to be a part of and what I hope continues beyond my time here is that we’re a place where we help each other,” says Mr. Mulhern.

Although BLS has been a place of countless positive memories, interactions, lifelong friends and colleagues for him, Mr. Mulhern looks forward to working with more middle school students and staying closer to his family in Canton.

He says, “I have great faith that this place is getting as good as it’s ever been and better going forward because a lot of good people are still here, and I’m going to be right there cheering for everybody here as much as I can.”

Mr. Mulhern wants people to know that even though he will be leaving for a different school during an incredibly difficult year, he plans on continuing to help BLS.

Mr. Smith:

Mr. Nathaniel Smith, an Alpha Omega Aide, has been part of Boston Public Schools for 31 years and will be retiring this year.

Alongside Dr. Vanessa Prosper and Alpha Coordinator Mr. Erik Wagner, Mr. Smith has been working within this department for five years to provide students with support. His role is to ensure that students stay on task and to aid special education students who may need the additional assistance. The Alpha program focuses on helping those who have been absent for a long period of time catch up, while the Omega program works with students long-term. 

Mr. Smith is also proud to be one of the founding members of BLS’s first Black Boys group and is excited to coach basketball after retiring. Upon his retirement, he will also be volunteering and working on a project to erect a statue commemorating Black activist and abolitionist Crispus Attucks, the first victim of the Boston Massacre.

Although he has only been at the school for a few years, he believes that “Boston Latin School is a great atmosphere for all students of all races and ethnicities.”

As he ends his dedicated career with Boston Public Schools, he says, “I will miss the students because they’re so willing and a joy to work with. And then my faculty: just wonderful, wonderful people. [They] make you feel at home since day one. And it’s just a community, family that I will always cherish.”