Teaching is a very well respected profession, and it is one of those professions that you should aim to get into, but that is not what Mrs. George was told from a young age. Her teachers always told her she was aiming too low and “not using her full potential” if she went on to be a teacher. That is all a part of Mrs. George’s story. From being discouraged as a student, to high school valedictorian, to a high school Biology teacher.
Mrs. George may have been told to aim higher as a kid, but she always knew she had the potential to be a great teacher. Even from a young age, she noticed how good she was at explaining things to her fellow students, who may have been struggling with the lesson. This led her to believe she could have a career in teaching. When asked why she wanted to become a teacher, she simply said she “wanted to be able to make a difference.” Mrs. George always knew she probably had the ability to aim higher, but she wanted to be able to make a difference in this world, and you can’t ask for much more than that out of a teacher.
While Mrs. George loves being a teacher, she does recognize the fact that her Biology class is a required course, so students have to take this class. Because of this, Mrs. George gets most of her joy while teaching when the students get excited about science. She wants her students to be excited about science so they can take some of this knowledge into the real world. Some teachers care more about the paycheck at the end of the week than the students, and Mrs. George is certainly not one of those teachers. She wants her impact to be felt beyond the classroom.
While Mrs. George is certainly busy with school and her family, like anybody else she too has interests outside of work. One of her most notable interests to me is her love for the Boston Celtics. Her fandom for the Celtics started all the way back when she was a kid when she would watch the games with her whole family. In fact her dad was on the season ticket waiting list for a long time. One of her fondest memories as a Celtics fan was getting to participate in a halftime event during a game and winning a prize. She is still a fan today. Other hobbies Mrs. George mentioned would be hanging out with friends, and when the weather is nice she enjoys boating. In New England there really only is a couple of months a year when the weather is nice, so when asked about where else she would live if she had the choice, without hesitation she said “somewhere warmer.” She went on to mention later that she did not want to be that far away from family. She concluded her answer by mentioning somewhere along the Mid-East coast.
While Mrs. George probably wishes she was somewhere along the Mid-East coast, she is still teaching amid a pandemic. Teaching during a pandemic is no walk in the park, especially for Mrs. George as she has actually had COVID. She said she had “basically every symptom, besides losing taste and smell.” While she is now COVID-free, she still feels the effects today. Mrs. George could not teach full time for about two months, she also explained how tiring simple tasks were while she was out, “ Just getting up and making sub plans was exhausting.” COVID even impacted her memory, she also described her brain as “foggy” during her bout with COVID. While Mrs. George was officially out for about a month, she came back and taught on and off for about another month, this just proves how important teaching is to Mrs. George. Coming back from the virus and teaching is no small task, but when you are as dedicated as Mrs. George is, she can’t help but make it look easy.
Mrs. George was once told to aim higher than teaching, and that she was not using her full potential by being a teacher. According to them she may not be using all of that potential, but she is certainly having a huge impact on the next generation, and that is the most important thing. From high school valedictorian, to high school Biology teacher. Coe-Brown Northwood Academy and the entire CBNA community is beyond lucky to have such a caring and impactful teacher and that is exactly what Mrs. George is.
The first thing a student may notice when they walk into the Science building, is the number of interesting characters inside. If a student ever finds themselves in room 701 on the second floor, they’ll find themselves in the presence of one of the Science building’s more enthralling habitants. Whether it’s his passion for birds, or his love for the wildlife of New Hampshire, Mr. Kutylowski is a captivating teacher to say the least.
When Mr. Kutylowski isn’t teaching, he enjoys bird watching. If you ever have a question about birds, he is your go to guy. When Mr. Kutylowski is in school teaching, his favorite class is Field Ecology. In Field Ecology, students are taught about local wildlife, invasive species, poisonous plants, and even bird calls. It is an interesting class, and is definitely worth taking.
Mr. Kutylowski, or Mr. K as some students call him, is a former student of Coe-Brown with a passion for nature. As a student at Coe-Brown, he enjoyed physical education with Mr. Struthers and mathematics with Mr. Usinger. After high school, Mr. K attended and graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Wildlife Ecology. To many of us here at Coe-Brown, Mr. Kutylowski is a biology teacher, but he hasn’t always been a biology teacher.
Mr. K has done a variety of different jobs involving nature, of which his favorite was the work he did in Maui. According to him, the work was extremely challenging but the people he worked with were amazing, and the locations were breathtaking. His least favorite work was observing Golden Winged Warblers in Tennessee. To many this would seem off, considering Mr. K’s passion for birds. It wasn’t the birds that he disliked however, but the vegetation surveys. As a student of Mr. K’s, I can confirm that vegetation surveys are the worst. To my amazement, out of all the places Mr. Kutylowski has traveled to, he says he loves Pawtuckaway State Park the most. This really gives perspective into Mr. K’s love for the state of New Hampshire. “Pawtuckaway state park. It’s close, but still the most important place to me. I only want to live in New Hampshire, but I would be happy to live in Maine or Vermont.”
It became apparent to me that Mr. Kutylowski is a content person. He wouldn’t want to live anywhere but New Hampshire, and if he had to live somewhere else it would be right next door in Maine or Vermont. Mr. Kutylowski said that it was New Hampshire that inspired him as a child, I assume he was referring to the nature and scenery of the Granite State.
He enjoys being a human and wouldn’t want to be anything other than himself. He did say however that if he had to be any animal, he wouldn’t mind being a Great Horned Owl. I think it is fitting, considering Mr. K’s love for birds. “I would be number one, a Human, but after that I would say a Great Horned Owl, they’re really big and smart but also quiet and sneaky, plus they can fly.”
As a science teacher, Mr. K is a man of fact and reason. However this doesn’t mean you won’t find him discussing seemingly outrageous scenarios. Hypothetical animal fights, science related movie references, whether they be 2001 Space Odyssey or Jurassic Park, and random trivia are welcomed in his classroom. I myself am a believer in the existence of Alien life, as well as UFO’s. I found it difficult to resist asking Mr. Kutylowski for his opinion on the subject. I came to find out that Mr. Kutylowski, a man of science, believes in the existence of Alien life. I discovered to my disappointment however, that he did not know enough about the Roswell incident of 1947, or UFO’s, to offer an opinion on whether or not they had visited us yet. “I absolutely believe that aliens are real, however I am too uninformed as to what is supposed to have happened in Roswell to pass judgement.”
Any student that has Mr. K is lucky to have such a phenomenal and interesting teacher. A man of unique personality and interests, Mr. K is passionate about the things in life that he loves. He is a dedicated educator, and is always there to talk to about nature, wildlife, and in some instances even UFO’s and the unknown.
Before he was hired here, Mr. Samuel had been at UNH getting his degree. When he graduated, there were very few options for work in the Chemistry world at the time. One of the many places he sent his application was to Coe-Brown, who he says that they were faster than most places in getting back to him. He was brought in on three separate occasions, his first meeting was an interview with the Headmaster, the second one was a mock/guest lecture in front of students and teachers, and the third one was a meeting with the Board of Trustees. From there, the rest is history.
When asked whether something like juggling impacted his career path, Mr. Samuel paused and thought for a moment. His quick answer was no, but after thinking he was able to see the overlaps between his studies and juggling. He says that he has a technical appreciation for the art of juggling but he could also just sit back and juggle for fun.
According to Mr. Samuel, however, the story of juggling begins before he was employed as a teacher or getting his degree at UNH. The story of juggling in Mr. Samuel’s life begins back in seventh grade. At Mr. Samuel’s elementary school, the seventh graders would run a school-wide carnival. The older kids would help run a ring toss station or face painting for the younger kids, amongst other things. For his part, Mr. Samuel started with doing street magic or sleight of hand tricks. However, not wanting to do just that for an entire school day, he learned juggling.
The path to learning how to juggle wouldn’t be easy though. Mr. Samuel says that in order to teach himself, he would juggle over his bed while learning from a book with two pictures in it. He said that this made it difficult but it was even more difficult that he couldn’t get feedback or know if he was actually improving. Without anyone but himself and the book, Mr. Samuel took about a month or two to learn how to juggle, practicing nearly every day during that time. By the time the school-wide carnival began, he had a strong enough grasp on the concept to do it for a day.
Juggling continued to be a part of his life after the carnival. When he got into high school, Mr. Samuel found a juggling club to join. There, he was able to get feedback that he had never been able to get before. Later on, at UNH, he found another juggling club that he says has become one of his major friend groups. Even during Covid, he and the group often call on Monday nights to talk, even if the discussion isn’t on juggling. In addition, he says that it has become a good icebreaker and a fast response for the typical ‘Tell me something about yourself’ question.
Here at Coe-Brown, there is currently no juggling club and, according to Mr. Samuel, he can’t remember anyone starting one. Despite that, Mr. Samuel says that he would be willing to help set one up if someone was willing to start one and keep it going. Because he already has other clubs to run and students to teach, it will rely more on the students to set up the club if they want one. It doesn’t have to be a club, either. Mr. Samuel says that he is very open to helping out individuals with an interest in juggling as long as they can work something out in his schedule. He says that getting feedback from someone else is very important when it comes to learning new skills and wants to give people someone to talk to, unlike when he was learning.
Mrs.Forward is awesome and more people should know why.
The first part of this interview focused on how Mrs.Forward developed her love for teaching. School was different when she was in high school, but she made the best of it. “My favorite part [of high school] was hanging out with my friends and being social”. The hard part was Mrs. Forward and her friends didn’t have texting or social media, so when she wanted to make plans with people, she would have to call them. We all think it’s hard now to make plans, but imagine what it was like back then.
To follow the topic of education, I asked her what teacher had the most impact on her. She said “I had a math teacher that was my biggest supporter. She helped me realize I could get through any difficulties that were thrown at me if I worked hard enough”. It’s always nice to have that one teacher who looks out for you!
When she was in college she took her very first weather class and loved it. The professor was awesome and she finally found a topic that was super cool.
The thing that makes Mrs. Forwarda good teacher is the fact that she makes a difference in the lives of children, spreading knowledge helps to make kids smarter and better problem solvers as they enter the world. A pro of being a teacher is that she gets to spend summers with her own kids and husband. When asked why it’s good to have friends at work, Mrs. Forward said “OMG it’s the best to have friends at work this makes work a better place when you have someone. spend so much time here and have to go through hard times that can be difficult “. The fact that Mrs.George and Mrs.Forward share a classroom makes it easy to share material for their course and laughter every day.
Mrs Forward also shared some insights into what it’s been like to be high school teacher during covid. I asked her when she felt most successful doing the pandemic and she said that “ she had a student last year that didn’t pass any classes except mine”. She felt proud that she was able to work hard to pull him through and encourage him to work. During the spring I personally had a hard time with staying on top of work and she was able to encourage me to work hard and that was my highest science grade ever because of her, so she does really love what she does and more people should know that.
Now that we have talked about her as a teacher let’s get to know her outside of school. I asked her if there was one word to describe her, what would it be, she said “AWESOME”. That is totally accurate and I feel the same way about Mrs.Forward. Outside of school she seems like a very fun and outgoing person. “Hanging out with my family, hiking in the woods, going to the beach and playing with my dog”are some of her favorite things to do outside of school. All of these things seem really fun especially in the state of New Hampshire.
For the final question I asked her what it is like to have a kid in high school and college during the heart of Covid-19. Her response to this was relatable. For her son Alex who is a senior now he missed the end of his junior year and has been remote this whole year. Us seniors can relate to this because the same thing happened to us. She also has a daughter in college with a nursing major. She said “She hasn’t met anyone this year and it has decreased the number of times she gets to go into the hospital which has been really hard”. No matter what age, we are all facing difficult times because of the pandemic.
To wrap up the interview I asked her if she would see herself teaching somewhere else other than Coe-Brown Northwood Academy. Her response reflects a lot about the environment and close community because she said “ the only thing that would change where I teach is if the atmosphere at school changed drastically and made for a terrible working environment.” I’m so glad that other students get to experience such a welcoming teacher and AWESOME person. Thank you, Mrs. Forward, for believing in me and pushing me to be a better person and student.
Mr. Dodge is a relatively new face in the Coe-Brown faculty line-up, having only started working here in the 2020-2021 school year. Even though he’s been here for less than a year, one would be hard pressed to find anyone who’s had him that could say anything negative. His ability to make anything interesting, as well as get off topic all the time, is often enjoyed by his students.
Mr. Dodge is an interesting man. When asked how old he was, he responded with, “I’ve done 29 trips around the sun in my time on Earth.” Mr. Dodge is a man I’ve grown to respect greatly. He’s incredibly humble and kind, he also has a fantastic taste in music. “I am a bit eclectic. I do need my music to say something. I want to feel something, to hear someone’s experiences or feelings or passions. I gravitate to lesser known music artists under the rap umbrella, most notably a group named Atmosphere. I’ll happily listen to just about anything that fits the above themes though.”
I respect Mr. Dodge greatly, so I was very interested in seeing who he respects. He said, “I most admire those who possess a core conviction and are willing to defend it to the appropriate lengths. That is not an easy line to define, but if right and wrong don’t matter, then what does? I think it’s easy to point to the current political climate and to highlight individuals like Jeff Flake, Mitt Romney, Adam Kinzinger and Ben Sasse. These are men who refused to bend to the moral ineptitude of their political party and leadership. They stood their ground. For the most part they did not remain silent. They stared the bully in the face and refused to budge. And they have been eviscerated for it.”
I asked Mr. Dodge what the most valuable skill he learned while working was, he said, “Tough one. I’m gonna go with conflict resolution. It’s incredibly beneficial to work through problems and it’s a heck of a lot easier to do it when you’re objectively approaching it. It harkens back to the saying that it’s easier to give advice than follow it. Jobs present problems and offer pay as compensation for you addressing or mitigating the problem. If you solve problems all day you arguably get better at the process, ideally making you more capable of looking at your own personal challenges objectively. All this practice can make you better at actually taking your own advice and effectively addressing your problems. This process can be incredible if it works. You get your affairs in order at home and in life and you will thrive at work and vice versa.”
Mr. Dodge’s tattoos are one of the more interesting things about his aesthetic.“My sleeve piece is layered in meaning, probably easiest to start with. The Death of Socrates is a painting by a French artist named Jacques-Louis David. David is considered the father of Neo-Classicism, a genre of art that borrowed the anatomical realism of the Greek and Romans while introducing a completely new and vibrant color pallet. David was patronized to create the piece to be used as propaganda in support of the French Revolution and the violent overthrow of the Monarchy. The why behind this specific story being told by David is where I became hooked. The painting itself depicts the last moments of the life of Greek philosopher Socrates who was sentenced to death by means of hemlock poison. Socrates was an old man when officials and local leaders brought charges and accusations against him. He was said to be ‘corrupting the youth’ in part due to his denial of the state gods. His Socratic method of questioning also drew the ire of many local personalities as Socrates made it a hobby to embarrass lawyers and politicians via conversation.”
One of the more interesting things about Mr. Dodge is that he was a journalist at one point. He was a collegiate writing intern with The Bleacher Report. “I can indeed claim some first hand experience with journalism as nearly one million sets of eyes came across my work on Bleacher Report while I was an active Featured Columnist. I began as a collegiate writing intern with B/R working in tandem with professional copy editors, SEO specialists, and creative directors to produce a wide range of content. I have published pieces covering the Olympics, NASCAR, college football, swimming, horse racing, and fantasy football among others.” When asked what he was most proud of in terms of his journalism career, he said, “Specific to journalism, I’m proud of the fact that I was able to make some legitimate waves as just a kid with a laptop and a passion for the topic at hand. I was making trips to Boston for local writer meetups, rubbing elbows with industry professionals, and beginning to make a name for myself. My first “pinch me” moment was when Patriots Hall of Famer Willie McGinest began to follow me on Twitter. McGinest was transitioning into the journalism field himself as a retired athlete and it was a huge sense of affirmation to gain his support and attention.”
I was very curious if Mr. Dodge had any advice for our generation, he said, “Adults are all making it up as they go. There likely won’t be a “it clicked” moment in life. We aren’t Pokemon, there isn’t a 3rd evolved state we magically turn into. It’s a slow, creeping progress that just sort of accumulates. I think we just get better at making it look like we know what we’re doing. So do your best, sometimes that won’t look or feel like much or even enough. Sometimes your best won’t even be close to enough. Those moments hurt, but they’re important. Do your best to find a balance between the past and future. We can focus too much on the past and lock ourselves into depressive states. We can also focus too much on the future locking ourselves into anxious states. Depressed and anxious states of mind are vital to our evolutionary success and existence, they’re tools of survival. So TL:DR of this one is boiling down to growing up feels weird and mental health is super important.”
I then asked Mr. Dodge the single most important question I could ever ask. How much would someone have to pay you to go a round with Mike Tyson in his prime? His response, “Well there’s no way I’d make it a round, much less a minute versus prime Tyson. So am I willing to be beaten physically for money? I suppose it would depend on how much for each category, economics teaches us that there’s a price and cost for everything.”