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A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12
A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12

TEACHER TUESDAY BLOG

"The teachers at ESD have transformed my life. In doing that, I have grown and touched the moon!"
- A member of the Class of 2018

Check back each week for a new post! 

Max Auge, Sixth Grade and Upper School Biology Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
My motivation to teach comes from my passion for learning and my passion for biology’s role in the betterment of world-kind.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
I work alongside students and colleagues who strive to do their best each and every day.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
Challenge yourself, follow your passions, and turn mistakes into opportunities for growth.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
My hobbies include biking, gardening, and dog walks

What is your favorite book and why? 
The Harry Potter series- its message is so uplifting. Love triumphs over evil.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Charles Darwin & Gregor Mendel- they were contemporaries and giants in our field that never met- to hear them share and discuss their theories on evolution and genetics, two big pieces of the puzzle of life.

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School, Middle School on Tuesday February 12
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Greg Randall, Upper School English Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach?
I was an English major who then went to graduate school, where I taught some freshman composition classes, including a night class at a prison, El Reno (Oklahoma) Federal Reformatory for first-time  offenders ages 18-28. (In one regard, these students were much like the ones that I teach now: they wanted me to take their writing seriously.) I needed a job. Early on in my first one at an independent school, I realized that I enjoyed the daily interaction with students and learning in an environment that promotes creativity and discussion.  Sharing my interest in reading and writing was a terrific way to spend the day.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day?
Many days my classes address the big questions, the ones that I consider often, and most often by way of the literature. I enjoy listening to my students' views on these questions as well as on the news of the day. Of course, reading closely and writing with commitment and a strong voice--the heart of an English class--are great fun for me. My colleagues, especially during nice weather on the back porch of the dining hall, are engaging conversationalists.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom?
The natural world is spiritual and medicinal--and we must protect our fragile home.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself!
Back in the early ‘70s when it was safer and acceptable, I hiked and hitchhiked most summers during college—around Maui, throughout Northern California, and from Oklahoma to the Grand Tetons. I’m less adventurous today. Working out at the YMCA on my way home from school helps me empty and then refocus my mind. When it's halfway decent weather, I spend much of my weekend outside, especially gardening or tinkering, and my favorite vacations are spent hiking in the mountains or on the coast, especially in Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, the Hill Country, and Olympic National Park. Spending time with my grandchildren is a hoot; they remind me of life’s simple joys.  

What is your favorite book and why?
Dickens’ Great Expectations has eccentric characters and a coincidental plot that spirals together. The humor and pathos reflect what life seems to be.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why?
My sister and I talk often about how we would like to know more about our parents, the stories that we have forgotten, stories that are a part of who we are. I would add our grandparents and brother for a long Thanksgiving meal of memories. Even better would be all of my family, past and present, at dinner.

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday January 29
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Mercedes Hotz, Upper School Spanish Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
I attended a boarding school throughout my secondary education career and encountered many wonderful and inspiring teachers.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
Due to the ESD faculty and students, it is a joy to come to ESD everyday to teach the subject I have never grown tired of teaching.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
The importance of honor and respect of others and the life lessons that deal with being responsible.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
My hobby is interior design. Outside of the classroom I enjoy listening to music and attending opera and ballet.
My sports team is Royal Madrid Soccer Team and the Chelsea Soccer Team.

What is your favorite book and why? 
Irving Stone's "Agony and Ecstasy: The Life of Vincent Van Gogh."

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Tchaikovsky, Picasso, and Jorge Luis Borges.

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday January 15
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Mike Schneider, Physical Education Department Chair

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
I started coaching young kids while I was in college and really enjoyed watching them learn, grow and enjoy being active. I was hooked.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
I always feel like I can make a positive difference in students' lives. The connections and relationships I have with students are priceless. And I love the people I work with. They give ESD their hearts and souls and I am inspired by them.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
Health and Wellness class is all about living life to its fullest and being the best you can be. Is there a more important lesson for anyone to learn?

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I love Disney musicals. Mary Poppins is my favorite movie. I love playing sports outside of school- especially softball and basketball with some of my old students.

What is your favorite book and why? 
Any Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes book. I love a great mystery.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
My dad, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln. Men of integrity who did the right thing even if it was the tougher decision.

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday December 18, 2018
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Laura Ripley: Upper School English Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
I was the little girl who got chalkboards and grade books for Christmas and played school with my stuffed animals; I think it was in me from the start!! In high school, I tutored my friends... my love for teaching has grown throughout my life, I guess!

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
I absolutely love the students; they are so great. It’s fun to teach in this environment! I also love the people I’ve met on the staff; it’s great to be welcomed as part of the community.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
That life and literature are connected...to paraphrase Fitzgerald, literature reminds us that we are not alone, that others have encountered many of our obstacles, and we can learn life lessons by connecting with literature.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I play French horn, and I love college football and basketball. I’m an avid Villanova Wildcat fan (woohoo!) And I love the Razorbacks and Clemson Tigers football!

What is your favorite book and why? 
Wuthering Heights!! Hands down, it’s my favorite. I love Heathcliff and Cathy’s story; they are both such complex, beautiful/terrible characters. And it’s such a love story!

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Jesus - I just want to talk to him. There’s so much to talk about! My Aunt Jackie - she died when I was 16, and I miss her still. I want to see what she thinks about my life and my kids. Emily Bronte - we could chat about Heathcliff. My photo submitted is of my kids and I on the moors of Yorkshire - the setting of Wuthering Heights!

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday November 6, 2018
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Megan Boyd '09: Cheerleading Program Director

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
My passion for ESD, its mission, and our community motivates me in everything I do here at ESD. In both coaching and my role as Director of Alumni Relations, I strive to live out the mission, founding tenets, and beliefs of the school to better prepare our students/future alumni to enter life after ESD and be successful. For our alumni, my goal is to connect them back to the school and facilitate the relationship between our alumni and their alma mater. Whether alumni realize it or not, ESD has had an impact on our lives and helped shape us into the people we are today.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
ESD is an incredibly fun place to work. I believe so firmly in the mission and purpose of the school that it is easy to come to work and perpetuate that mission.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
As a coach, I hope that my athletes will learn that everyone has their own strengths and can shine in many different ways. I strive to use each individuals strengths to lift them up and boost their self confidence.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I love to spend time with my friends and family. No matter what we are doing, I just love being with my people. My boyfriend and I travel a lot and we enjoy jet setting to places neither of us have ever been. We recently went to Santa Fe and next summer, we're doing a European tour of all the big cities like Dublin, Santorini, Barcelona, and Paris!

What is your favorite book and why? 
Ummm... anything that is not a textbook, having just finished my Masters of Nonprofit Management in July.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
This is very cheesy, but probably my dad (who passed away 5 years ago), Garth Brooks, and Beyoncé. 

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday October 23, 2018
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Dave Phillip: Middle School P.E. Teacher

 

What motivated and inspired you to teach?   I enjoy the daily interactions with young people in a competitive/fitness atmosphere. Each day is always different with young people!

What makes you excited to come to school every day? I hope to bring back a boys volleyball program to the school. This sport has been nonexistent for boys since 2001. A high school volleyball club has been created with over 20 male members involved on a weekly basis.

What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? Respect! Respect is the foundation to all relationships. & my favorite line from my favorite song: You can lose all your money, you can lose all your gold, you can never lose your heart, you can never lose your soul.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! I love the San Antonio Spurs! My wife and I love to travel, we try to create the most fun pictures while visiting exotic locations. A few weeks ago we went to Lorraine Lake, Canada, and the views were amazing. 

What is your favorite book and why? Well honestly, I like movies. My top four movies are Big Fish, Serendipity, The Matrix, & Signs. The key theme behind them all is everything happens for a reason.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? Gregg Popovich, the Spurs head coach, he connects to his players with respect and discipline, no matter their level. He is the best coach ever. My grandfather, he got Alzheimer’s when I was less than 12 years old and lived with us for 8 years with the disease. I never really got to know him well at all. My future self, that way I could give myself a heads up on some things!

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School, Middle School on Tuesday October 16, 2018
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Van Rusuriye: Physics & Mathematics Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach?  Teaching was never in my life long plans until Graduate school. While working on a physics doctoral program at Texas Tech University, I applied and was given a National Science Foundation grant that allowed me access into a local high school. Only 10 Doctoral students In Science Mathematics, and Engineering were chosen each. There I shared my love and passion of physics with teachers and students. What motivated me to teach is the difference I saw that I was making in the lives of the kids that I interacted with. To see light bulb moment and joy of learning in the students while sharing about my passion of physics inspired me to choose the teaching profession.

What makes you excited to come to school every day? I am excited and always look forward to come to ESD every day because I get to work with some of the most amazing students I've ever interacted with. Students who are analytical thinkers, love learning, and love to be challenged. My colleagues are also supportive and great to be around.

What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I would tell students that learning is more than a diploma. The best learning is through life experiences. To go out and enjoy life. Life is full of so many amazing things, but to make it more meaningful and fulfilling, one must find it in a cause outside him/herself.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! An interesting thing about me is that I learned to speak French before I could speak English. Other languages I learned to speak include Kirundi, Swahili, Setswana, and currently learning Spanish. I have forgotten some of the languages since I learned most of them before the age of 9.

What is your favorite book and why? It might sound like a cliché, but the bible is my favorite book. It has shaped my character and every aspect of my life in general. It is the inspiration of my life as I try to live up to it to the best of my abilities.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? I would love to have dinner with Jesus Christ because of his love and his underserved sacrifice for me. I owe my life to him and I would like to ask him many questions of his life on earth. I would also like to have dinner with Moses because of his life experiences and trials. I would like to hear about his life of going from living in a palace as a prince to spending 40 years in the desert and the challenges of leading the nation of Israel as the weight of the whole world on his shoulders. The third person I would like to have dinner with is George Washington. George Washington has had a profound impact on our nation’s history. To have a chance to spend some time with a leader like him would be very exciting.

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday October 2, 2018
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Claire Mrozek: History Teacher and Junior Class Dean

 

What motivated and inspired you to teach? I had some amazing teachers growing up who pushed me and helped me understand things about myself I would not have understood otherwise.

What makes you excited to come to school every day? Every day is different; I never know where kids are going to take the material. Plus, most of them say "Thank you" on the way out the door.

What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? Working hard is never a bad idea.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! I love pop culture. I love trying to figure out what the latest TV show, song, or internet meme says about what Americans care about in that moment.

What is your favorite book and why? I couldn't pick one. Every book I've ever read has given me something.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Teddy Roosevelt. What a crazy conversation that would be! I just think they all have very different Americas that I would like to understand better.

Posted by Julie A. Clardy in Upper School on Tuesday September 25, 2018
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Henry Heil: Head of Upper School and Government Teacher


What motivated and inspired you to teach?
 I was fortunate to have some incredible teachers, coaches, and mentors who hugely impacted my life both in and out of the classroom during my four years at Virginia Episcopal School. Upon graduation from college I, by some miracle, landed a one year internship at Culver Academy - one of the finest independent schools in the country - to teach history and coach. Working with motivated high school students clicked for me and I found that I could have a similar impact on them that my teachers had on me during my formative years.

What makes you excited to come to school every day? I walk into the Study Commons every morning with a smile on my face. It is a place where visible connections are made all day, every day. Not only is book learning happening, but students are building relationships with each other and their teachers. That is a special part of the ESD culture.

What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I want all students to learn how to ask good questions, advocate for themselves, and build their character. Life lessons are equally, if not more, important as those learned from the textbook.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! My family and I are huge Davidson College basketball fans. If I'm not at a school event between November and March, it is likely because Davidson is playing and we are all gathered around a TV or watching in person.

What is your favorite book and why? The End of Average by Todd Rose. It helped me understand that education can and needs to meet students where they are, breaking the old mold of standardization.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? Don Mattingly - childhood idol; James Madison - would love for him to see our country now and hear what he imagined it might become when authoring our Constitution; and John Henry Heil - while I knew my grandfather as a child, I would like for him to meet his grandchildren (including his namesake) and pick his brain about the interesting life he led.

Posted by Julie A. Clardy in Upper School on Tuesday August 28, 2018
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Choose groups to clone to:

Lower School

4344 Colgate Avenue
Dallas, Texas, 75225
214-353-5818

Middle & Upper School

4100 Merrell Road
Dallas, Texas, 75229
214-358-4368

Wolf Run Ranch

located near Anna, Texas

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