Spotlight on Teachers

Jerry Sheng ’20

Ms. Sara DeMarsilis

First year as a teaching fellow in chemistry

What faculty member do you look up to, and what about them do you hope to emulate?

“My job, specifically [as] a [teaching] fellow, gives me [many] different people to look up to because of the way they set [me] up with a lot of resources. First and foremost, my mentor is Mr. [Paul] Oberto, [instructor in chemistry,] and I get to work with him very often in lesson planning and working through [material] for our co-taught class. He makes me comfortable with struggling through things, and I never feel awkward trying new things in the classroom. He’s someone I really look up to and [hope to] emulate. I also get to coach with [Ms.] Christie Cooper [Girls Varsity Soccer head coach] on the soccer team. Anyone on campus knows that she is a very warm, lovely, welcoming person. She is someone that not only students, but also [I,] as a new faculty member, can go to and talk about anything. That is a very beautiful quality in someone, and I hope I can emulate that. I want my students, the players on my team, and the girls in my dorm to feel like they can come to me about things, whether it be chemistry, soccer, or [anything else] some things they need to talk about.”

Jerry Sheng ’20

Mr. Parker Reed

Five years as an instructor in English and theatre

Why did you decide to come to Hotchkiss?

“I thought that it was a pretty impressive community of intellectually curious and passionate people. I had never really heard of boarding school before. I thought it was a place where you send miscreants and ruffians to form some sort of banding bond with society, but then I realized that it was not that at all. I came here to visit and thought it was a bit of a paradise, and it was a pretty easy choice after I had seen it and spoken to people.”

What’s one thing on your Hotchkiss bucket list that you have yet to accomplish?

“I’d like to direct more faculty, staff, and spouses in conjunction with the students. Maybe not a full-length main stage production, but something that is bigger and takes more time and enables students and faculty, staff, and spouses to see each other in different ways. [I want to see them] collaborate with each other in a more personal and vulnerable way.”

Jerry Sheng ’20

Mr. David Bolmer ’73

32 years as an instructor in mathematics

How does it feel to have been a faculty kid and then a faculty member?

“Well, growing up as a kid and being a ‘faculty brat’, as we were called back then, was a little strange, because I knew everybody. We were the little kids who would come home from Salisbury Central and go out to the football field and kick around or go to the gym and play basketball; we knew the teams that were practicing. It was stranger when I came back to teach. There I was, 29 or 30 years old, I had already taught for a while, and all of a sudden, there are teachers who, I knew growing up as a kid, I then had them as my own teacher, and all of a sudden… it was ‘call me Dave, call me Steve, John, or something.’ That was a little strange. I meet former students now, at the 20th reunion, and when I say ‘you can call me Dave,’ they can’t do it. I really don’t care, but I think it’s kind of funny.”