A Fond Farewell to Departing Faculty

A Fond Farewell: Faculty Departing the Groton Community


As the bittersweet end of our school year nears, we prepare to say goodbye to ten faculty members who have served as positive role models and inspired the Groton community. Three will be heading off on sabbatical, while seven will be pursuing different endeavors.


Shop teacher Douglas Van Dyck Brown ’57 taught woodworking at Groton from 1970 to 2020 and was the school archivist. He has been on sabbatical this year and will be retiring this spring. A respected teacher through the decades, Mr. Brown impacted the lives of thousands of students. Elyse Cabrera ’22 points to Shop as an integral part of her Third Form year. She says, “Mr. Brown’s calm and patient teaching style and the stories he told us about Groton made Shop an entertaining class.”


Classics teacher Andres T. Reyes ’80 is retiring in his 27th year of teaching at Groton. He looks forward to finishing up two archaeology manuscripts that he started with the late, distinguished archeologist Dr. Judith McKenzie and continuing his research on C.S. Lewis’s work. Dr. Reyes also plans on cataloguing the antiquities in the display case outside his classroom and continuing his research associateship at the University of Oxford. Dr. Reyes reassured that he will not “disappear off the face of the earth into terra incognita.” Rather, we will likely see him on and off the Circle for many years to come.

English teacher Ellen Rennard will be teaching English at the American College of Sofia in Bulgaria. Some of her favorite memories from Groton include a homemade ice cream party at her house for her students, last year’s Boys’ Varsity Hockey games, and reading a poem at a Groton graduate’s wedding last fall. Along with missing her students and the lasting friendships she made, she will also greatly miss the wildlife around her home which made her feel like she was “in a Walt Disney movie.”


History teacher Stacey Spring will be teaching history at BB&N next fall. She is exceptionally proud of the Varsity Girls’ Basketball team, which she feels “personified the best of Groton students: resilient, unified, and determined.” She says that her history students inspired her every day. “I am, and will continue to be, inspired by their curiosity, willingness to pose daring questions, and to think deeply about how to make the world a better place,” Dr. Spring said. 


Spanish teacher Matthew Ferguson will return to teaching English in Spain next year. He says the thing he will miss the most is “when students laugh,” and he will always fondly look back on “the silly moments in class” and his conversations with fellow Spanish teacher Stephen Fernández, who has endlessly supported him.


Counselor Adam Reid will be leaving the Counseling Department to focus on his business, CBTeam, which treats anxiety and OCD in youth and adults. One of the most important lessons he will take away with him is the importance of community. Mr. Reid says that he has developed great relationships with his colleagues and will miss talking with Suki while grabbing a bagel in the morning. “She always served with kindness and put a smile on my face with her stories,” he reflected. 


Physics teacher Andrew Evans, who also served as the Mock Trial coach and Boys Varsity Basketball assistant coach, will be pursuing a law degree at Tulane University. He feels very invested in the lives and successes of his advisees, students, and team members, which he says is the hardest thing for him to walk away from. Whether it was the Boys’ Basketball team’s win against BB&N last year, Mock Trial’s win against Windsor, or leaving kids dumbfounded by experiments in class, his time at Groton has left him with many cherished memories.  


Director of Enrollment Management Cort Pomeroy will leave for sabbatical after 20 years at Groton. Along with his wife, he plans to travel around the US and Europe during the next year. Currently on Mr. Pomeroy’s list is South Carolina, Vermont and Southern California. After that, Mr. Pomeroy hopes to spend a few months living in Tuscany or somewhere else in Italy. He will miss seeing his “Groton family” comprised of “faculty, staff, students, and advisees,” but hopes to visit campus to catch his son Henry ’23 playing hockey.


Music Director Mary Ann Lanier has been at Groton for 20 years, first as an adjunct voice instructor and then as a full-time teacher. Next year, Ms. Lanier will go on sabbatical. Her main goal is to finish her dissertation for her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education at Boston University. She also hopes to study free improvisation with secondary school chamber musicians and travel extensively. Ms. Lanier hopes to visit a scholar in Greece for her dissertation, eat cheese in France and Italy, and travel north to Norway. Ms. Lanier will also take some time to reunite with family members whom Covid-19 has prevented her from visiting. She will miss seeing what the music prefects and other student musicians come up with next year.

Science teacher David H. Black ’80, who has taught on the Circle for 32 years, will go on sabbatical next year. He is planning on spending time hiking, fishing, reading, and travelling. Additionally, Dr. Black hopes to work with scientists in tracking and maintaining records of rare and endangered species in Rhode Island. By the time he returns, Dr. Black wants to be ready to teach his students about the latest advances in ecology and environmental science. He will miss much of campus life, but he looks forward to visiting campus to catch up with students or grab a meal in the dining hall.


We are sad to see these wonderful faculty members depart from the Circle this year, and we wish them luck in their future endeavors. 


This fall, we will also be excited to welcome back Sr. Viacava, Mr. Prockop, and Mr. Das from their sabbaticals.