By Matthew Li
OES is a community driven school. Next year, we will be losing a significant portion of members in the math and science departments, and these are their stories.
OES is a community driven school. For me, knowing an interesting aspect about nearly everyone in the student and faculty body of the upper school says something about how tight of a community we have formed. Being able to build real friendships between students and staff in the school is a gift not everyone receives in high school, if at all. So when one of us leaves, you can instantly feel the change on campus, even if you yourself did not lose someone special.
When three leave the community, however, you know it must be time to write a Dig article about it. This piece is our farewell to Chad and Owen, two beloved members who are leaving OES after this year (spring 2019).
Chad has been at OES now for a total of six years, seven counting this year. Working as a structural engineer, Chad has traveled the world, helped to design a seven-story museum in D.C., a bridge in Hong Kong, and more. He then got a teaching license and is now a well versed physics and math teacher, who has built a complex understanding of these subjects and how they are interconnected and applied to the real world. Chad is also a husband and a father of two children. Even though he has had a very successful career as a teacher and friend of many at OES, Chad is excited about his future. His wife will be working with the U.S. State Department as a foreign service officer; the family will be in D.C. next fall, and then another country by the spring of 2020. “Every three years or so”, they will be moving to a new country, where Chad will be teaching in international schools and traveling.
When I had Chad for physics freshman year, I didn’t make it easy for him. There were days where I was not allowed to sit facing a certain direction, so as not to distract the kids who were trying to learn. Chad, I apologize for that. Having you freshman year helped me grow and mature, to become a better person and student. You see students how they should be seen, as people; asking that students and teachers be honest with each other on how best the classroom can function, and stating that “Change is the only constant”. On behalf of myself and the rest of the OES community, thank you for your time and we wish you all the best in your future.
Chad’s favorite memory from OES: I will never forget the time in my first year when the 4th graders (now in 10th) started a petition to keep me at the lower school. It made me feel loved at this school.
While I have not been taught by Owen, I have heard a lot of good things about him as a teacher and a person. Owen has been teaching at OES since 2016, where he joined us after teaching physics at Reed College. An adept educator, Owen has studied visual and auditory neuroscience, physics, applied mathematics, and more. This academic year, Owen has taught Trig-Based Physics, Honors Precalculus, Advanced Electricity & Magnetism, and Mathematical Revolutions in Classical Physics. He helped lead the Robotics Activity, helping students explore their passion to build. While Owen did not dive too deep into his reasons for leaving OES, he is excited to return to working at Reed, teaching freshman and sophomores under the title of Physics Department Associate. Owen Gross has proved to be an empathetic, passionate teacher, who we are glad to have had as a member of the OES community. When asked if he would like to share anything else with the Dig readers, he told me he has “a strong affinity for all of the students I have taught, but I will especially miss my former (and current) students in the class of 2020, who started in the Upper School at the same time that I did. I wish them all the best in their senior year.”
Also, we did not forget about Bevin. If you would like to read about her departure, Viraj has covered her story on The Dig as well.