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Dear St. Andrew's Family,

As an English and math teacher, I teach on both the first (English) and second (math) floors of Amos Hall. One of the privileges of my dual-department status is that while teaching English, I get to hear the constant and very loud movement of furniture in the math classrooms above my head (as students scoot tables and chairs to make space for group work on the whiteboards), and while teaching math, I get to hear the same noise occasionally coming from English classrooms below (as students swap seats to gather for small group discussions or act out a scene from Othello).

While I most often get an “oh, that’s weird” response when I tell people that I teach both English and math at a high school, this duality suits both me personally, and St. Andrew’s academic culture as a whole. After all, this School is the very place where I came to love both the sciences and humanities. I vividly remember, at the outset of my IV Form year, telling my physics teacher Mark Hammond that I was “a math person—but not a science person.” He swiftly disabused me of that notion in a conversation I remember to this day: he made it clear that the idea of being a “math person” or a “science person” or an “English person” was a useless construct we lean upon to justify our insecurities about a particular subject.

There’s a pressing need for interdisciplinary thinking and learning in today’s world. This was the message of the address author Alec Ross gave to students at yesterday’s School Meeting. In a world of big data and increasingly powerful artificial intelligence, Ross said, “leaders of the future will need to have aptitude in understanding science and technology, but must also possess domain expertise in humanities. Don’t be afraid to be intellectual expeditionary and omnivorous. It’s within the application of one domain to another that real insight and innovation arises.”

It’s a privilege to be modeling that interdisciplinary work here at St. Andrew’s by actually living the daily movement between the arts and sciences, and it’s my great hope that through this work I am helping my students to prepare for the future that Ross describes. While only one lucky student drew the card of having me as both a math and English teacher this year, I believe that all of my students are affected by the fact that I teach in these two departments, whether for the simple fact that I truly empathize with the students for the constant gear-switching required of them, or because we use math analogies to unpack concepts in English class and vice versa. While the products of these disciplines are so different, the fundamental skills and habits of mind utilized by each are, in fact, quite similar. When students produce an analytical essay on Salvage the Bones or a written solution to a tricky problem about escalators, the process of intellectual inquiry is almost identical. At its core, my job is to teach critical thinking, problem solving, question-asking, interpreting, communicating; these goals are the same whether we are downstairs holding our paperbacks or upstairs marking up whiteboards.

Mark Hammond—along with Lindsay Brown, Elizabeth Roach, Nan Mein, John Austin, Monica Matouk, John Higgins, Eric Kemer, and a litany of other SAS teachers-slash-heroes of my life—inspired within me an interdisciplinary hunger that I carry with me to this day. If my SAS history is correct, the most recent teacher to teach both the sciences and humanities here was Lindsay Brown, beloved history teacher and crew coach. He took on about every job one can do at St. Andrew’s over the course of his decades-long tenure, including teaching a section of geometry alongside his humanities course load in his early years at the school. While I covet any opportunity to be in a club of two in which the other member is Lindsay Brown, I expect that it will not last long. If Ross is correct, teaching on both floors of Amos Hall will not be such an outlandish thing as it might seem today. But for now, I’ll cherish my privileged status as the English teacher who gets most excited about Tolstoy’s integration metaphor (in which he uses calculus to describe the course of human history in book ten of War and Peace), and as the only math teacher who will openly acknowledge that yes, grading English papers takes way longer than grading math tests.

All my best,
Pemberton Heath ’08
Math & English Faculty; Academic Advisor to V Form Boys; Basketball & Soccer Coach
In the Classroom
Mark Hammond and his IV and V Form physics students study Newton's Third Law of Motion in class on Wednesday. 
Will Robinson's AS Global Studies class met in the Warner Gallery today to talk with PH15, an Buenos Aires-based arts organization that hosts arts workshops and activities for disadvantaged children. A gallery show of art created by Argentinian children and adult artists through PH15 workshops is currently on display in the Warner Gallery (the show's opening will be held this evening). Classes have been in and out of the Warner Gallery all week; Spanish, creative writing, and visual arts students have produced their own creative responses to the artworks, and these classes will be meeting with PH15 representatives throughout the day. 
Go Saints!
Saints swimming went up against Tatnall this past Tuesday for their first meet of 2017, and both the boys and girls emerged victorious with a combined score of 210 (over Tatnall's 127). Read a recap of this and all other Saints swim meets (written by head Coach Richard Samulski) on our website
Girls squash won 8-1 against Friends Central on Tuesday. Go Saints!
All three Saints boys basketball teams (varsity, JV, and thirds) played this past Tuesday. Varsity and JV fell to conference powerhouse Sanford School, while thirds fell to Tower Hill. All three teams played with heart and determination!
Girls varsity basketball (seen here) joined efforts with Wilmington Friends during their game on Tuesday to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. Each team wore yellow ribbons to symbolize their solidarity with the cause of Go 4 the Goal, a New Jersey-based non profit that raises money and awareness for pediatric cancer throughout the country. 
Campus Happenings
Author Alec Ross delivered a talk to students at this Thursday's School Meeting on what skills students need to be competitive in "industries of the future". His book by the same name was distributed to all students and faculty thanks to the generosity of the mother of chemistry and biology teacher Dr. Sara O'Connor. Dr. O'Connor's mom does water aerobics with Ross's mom (yes, really), read the book at her suggestion, and then purchased the book for all faculty and staff to read in anticipation of Ross's visit. To read more on Ross's excellent talk, visit our website.
Last Thursday, alum Jamie O'Leary ’14 returned to campus to speak with students about feminism and gender equity. She gave a talk in Engelhard, visited with various classrooms (History of Religious Thought, History of Social Reform, and Global Studies), and led a discussion on gender relations with faculty. Read more about her activism and research at Princeton University on our website.
Dr. Nike Olabisi and Dr. Jennifer Nauen from University of Delaware visited campus this past Tuesday to meet with students interested in learning more about careers in biology, life and health sciences.
In late 2016, religious studies teacher Jason Kunen was invited to his alma mater, Haverford College, by his undergraduate mentor, Professor of Philosophy Ashok Gangadean, to participate in a Deep Dialogue Sanctuary following the election. Jason took along four students—Tad Scheibe ’19, Charlotte ’17 and Wilder Berl ’19, and Sam Winslow ’17—to speak at the events. "It was a chance for evolutionary leaders and thinkers to come together to reflect on the state of our global society, as well as the human condition and consciousness," Jason said. "The students all spoke really well, and I was so proud of them. Many of the other participants saw our students as the embodiment of hope for the future." Mr. Kunen and students are seen here posing with Professor Gangadean in prototypically "philosophical" poses.
Seen below are attendees at last Friday's Breakfast Bible Study (including the aforementioned Jamie O'Leary '14, in the purple scarf). "We discussed the journey of the Magi (three wise men) and the significance of their visit to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus," said Associate Chaplain Dave DeSalvo. "The wise men were the first, along with the shepherds, to acknowledge a new kind of king, a king whose power comes through humility, compassion, sacrifice."
Below, a pre-Winter Break photo from Pell Dorm's Secret Snowflake gift exchange in late December.
News & Notes
Parents, Please Send Us Your New Insurance Cards
As we begin a new calendar year, we'd like to ask current parents that if you have new health, dental and/or prescription insurance, please send the Health Center a copy of the front and back of your new or updated insurance cards, so that we may keep your child's health record up to date. Please snap a picture of the front and back of the card(s) and email it to us at We wish everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful 2017!
Order an Exam Basket for Your Studious Saint!
Exam baskets are back on sale! Purchase an exam basket for a student who is studying for our upcoming midterm exams, and we'll deliver them all over campus in the coming weeks. These baskets are filled with treats that will help students to perform and excel in their exams (or at least give them something fun to snack on while they are hitting the books). All proceeds from basket sales will go to fund all-School activities hosted by the Class of 2017, including the St. Andrew's prom. Visit the Saints Shop to order your Saint a basket today!
Upcoming Events
Fri Jan 13—Warner Art Gallery Opening: PH15
Mon Jan 23-Thu Jan 26—First Semester Exams
Fri Jan 27-Tues Jan 31—Winter Long Weekend
Fri Feb 3-Sat Feb 4—Trustee Weekend
Sat Feb 11—Winter Play
Fri Feb 17 & Sat Feb 18—Winter Musical
Sat Feb 25—Spring Break Begins

All-School Calendar  |  2016-17 School Calendar  |  2017-18 School Calendar
We Leave You With This
We enjoyed our first big snowfall of the winter last weekend. Photo borrowed from our Instagram account; follow us at
Copyright © 2017 St. Andrew's School, All rights reserved.

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