Faculty updates

Faculty updates from the Hackley Review Summer 2021.

Thomas Chin Retires
After 23 years of service to Hackley, Thomas Chin will retire at the end of this school year. For more than two decades on the Hilltop, he taught a wide range of Middle and Upper School Visual Arts courses, namely all of the photography courses in the Upper School. Thomas designed the scaffolded Upper School photography sequence that allows our students to take courses ranging from an introductory course to an advanced offering where they can create their own AP Photography portfolio. Thomas adapted his course and pedagogy as photography evolved, teaching both darkroom and digital photography. For most of Thomas’s tenure, he also served as the faculty advisor to The Hilltop, Hackley’s yearbook, as well as an academic advisor. He has organized and chaperoned countless domestic field trips and several trips to China.

Doug Clark Retires
After 41 years on the Hilltop, Doug Clark P ’15 ’17 will retire at the end of this school year. Doug is a gifted, versatile, and engaging math teacher. His knowledge of mathematics and love for teaching math are evident and impressive when you visit his class or talk to him about his work. In recent years, he has primarily taught AP Calculus classes but throughout his tenure, he’s taught every level of Upper School math. For many years, Doug served as chair of the Math Department. He has also served as an academic advisor to Upper School students.

Doug also enjoyed an impressive coaching career at Hackley including varsity girls’ soccer, boys’ basketball, and golf. Those who work with Doug know that there are certain “Doug-isms” that carry special meaning for his students and our community. As his gargoyled self attests, “It’s good to know stuff.” We have also heard Doug encourage us to “Do the math” when problem-solving. More recently, he’s been exhorting his students to “be part of the solution.” Colleagues and students alike appreciate Doug’s wisdom, wit, and insight.

Doug’s teaching has been recognized formally as a two-time recipient of the Oscar Kimelman Award, once in 1997 and again in 2005. Colleagues and administrators honored him as the long-time holder of the McLean Chair in Mathematics and Science, one of the school’s endowed chairs saluting teaching excellence.

Read the Doug Clark Tributes

Bill Davies Retires
After 45 years of teaching, including the last 21 years at Hackley, Bill Davies will retire at the end of this school year. During Bill’s tenure at Hackley, he has taught a wide array of courses with distinction. His wit and sense of humor are always there to keep the classes lively. As a department chair, a role he held since 2005, Bill worked with the history faculty to teach rich and varied content as a means to hone core skills essential for historians—namely reading, writing, and research. Bill oversaw and supported colleagues’ work to bring notable curricular changes to both the Middle and Upper School. His teaching was recognized formally in 2007 when he received the Oscar Kimelman Award and in 2008 when he was awarded the Davidson Family Chair in History, one of the school’s endowed chairs saluting classroom excellence.

In addition to his work as a teacher and department chair, Bill served in a number of other roles. He was a class dean for the Class of 2006, leading them from grade 10 to grade 12. He was an academic advisor in the Upper School for most of his 21 years. Bill has served on many committees, bringing his experience and insight to shape thinking and planning on schedules, ethics and character education, civic engagement, and more.

Adrianne Pierce Retires
To know Dr. Adrianne Pierce P ’18 ’21 is to know a world of inquiry, adventure, and a fierce commitment to social justice. In 26 years on the Hilltop, Adrianne has been a classics teacher, a class dean, the Allstrom Chairholder, a Round Square representative, a diversity coordinator, a department chair, an advisor, a faculty rep, a mentor, a colleague, and a friend.

Adrianne led many of the pioneering efforts with R.E.A.P. (Rwandan Education Assistance Project) and the Duha Complex School. In her role as the Allstrom Chair for Foreign Affairs, she oversaw the NAIS Challenge 20/20 Rwanda program. She managed exchanges between Green Hills Academy and Hackley teachers, and was instrumental in developing Hackley’s Global Education program over the years. She served on the Round Square team from its inception, helping Hackley host the Americas Region Middle School Round Square Conference in 2017, bringing countless exchange students to Hackley, and chaperoning our own students to annual conferences in Switzerland, South Africa, and beyond.

Diane Remenar Retires
After 25 years of distinguished work at Hackley, Diane Remenar will retire at the end of this school year. She has been an outstanding and versatile Spanish teacher in the Middle and Upper School teaching a wide range of classes and age levels during her tenure. She demonstrates her joy, passion, and sense of humor every day. Always open to innovation, Diane introduced a service-learning element to her AP class with great success. In addition to her teaching, Diane has been an attentive, caring, and firm academic advisor, and once served as the Director of Boarding. For several years, she and Margaret Randazzo co-directed the Senior Projects program. Diane’s teaching was recognized formally in 2016 with the Parents’ Chair, one of the school’s endowed chairs saluting classroom excellence. The Class of 2021 presented Diane with the Rice Award in the spring of 2021, recognizing her for inspiring their intellectual curiosity and preparing them to seize tomorrow’s challenges.

Linda Sadler Retires
After 20 years, Linda Sadler P ’16 ’18 will retire as Hackley’s Director of Student Support Services at the end of this school year. Since 2001, she has led Hackley’s Student Support Services with expertise, compassion, wisdom, and a singular focus on student well-being. During her time on the Hilltop, she has been a compassionate presence, a trusted voice, a school leader, a counselor, a friend, and a champion for many community members. Linda provided all of the learning and counseling support for Upper School students during her first 16 years at Hackley, and helped create the Learning Specialist and Upper School Counselor positions. She helped establish the Upper School Peer Advisory Program and created the annual student Stress Down Days in the Upper School—complete with massages, therapy dogs, and healthy comfort food. She also helped found the Tri-State Learning Partnership, a group of learning professionals in independent schools who provide resources to support best practices in educational testing, accommodations, and learning support.

Phil Variano Retires

After 41 years on the Hilltop, Phil Variano P ’09 ’11 ’14 will retire at the end of this school year. In honor of his outstanding work, dedication, and longevity, Phil’s gargoyle (completed fall of 2020) will welcome many generations of Hackley students as they enter Saperstein Arch.

Phil joined the Hackley community in 1980, first hired to teach Middle School English and Upper School psychology. Early in his career, he also worked alongside Randy and Mary Anne McNaughton for several years at Hackley Summer Camp. In 1989, Phil was appointed Director of the Middle School, succeeding Mort Dukehart. During his tenure in that role, he created support services, technology support, and the advisory system while also bringing health education to Hackley classrooms. In 1994, Phil was appointed Assistant Headmaster and then in 2017, he was named Associate Head of School for School Operations, overseeing Buildings and Grounds, Athletics, the Infirmary, Auxiliary Programs, and supervising staff.

Over the last 27 years, Phil has served as a senior administrator for four different headmasters/heads of school, providing valuable counsel and advice, and served as Acting Headmaster during Walter Johnson’s last year as Headmaster. No matter the role or responsibility, Phil operates in the best interest of the Hackley community, always with warmth, kindness, and a wry sense of humor.

In addition to his teaching and administrative roles, Phil has had a major influence on Hackley’s athletic programs. He coached more than 100 seasons of Hackley athletics, including varsity tennis and varsity soccer, and also started Hackley’s varsity squash program.

Read the Phil Variano tributes

Pat White Retires
Pat White will retire at the end of the school year after leading Hackley’s Department of Physical Education since 2005. For 15 years, Pat has brought to the Hilltop her deep knowledge of—and passion for—the health and physical education of students, and has led her department in creating and delivering an outstanding program for generations of Hackley’s students. During this time, she has been a valuable member of the Academic Committee and the Health and Wellness Committee, an impassioned advocate for student well-being, and an expert on aquatics. Hackley is honored to have been Pat’s “final stop” in an astounding 42-year career in education.

And Erich Tusch Pivots
After 41 years as a full-time educator, the last ten of them at Hackley, Erich will transition from his full-time role as Hackley’s Director of Instructional Technology at the end of this school year, continuing part-time as technology support. During Erich’s tenure, he helped transform Hackley’s approach to academic technology, assisting our faculty in expanding computer science offerings to reach more students, and co-led the process that created Hackley’s first Makerspace. Erich’s invaluable role during the pandemic ensured that an entire community of teachers could quickly pivot to navigate the uncharted waters of distance learning. Erich is not just a teacher and administrator, he is a leader, a confidant, and a friend.

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