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Meet Our Teachers

Dale Bryant

Education: BFA, MassArt; MEd, Lesley University 

Courses taught at St. John’s: Ceramics Wheelworking 1 and 2, Advanced Ceramics, Ceramics Handbuilding

What three words would you use to describe your students?  Enthusiastic, fun, challenging.

How would you describe the Prep community? This is the finest group of people I've ever worked with. I would describe this community as supportive, compassionate and focused on education.

What do you love most about teaching at St. John’s? See above! Also, I get to play in the mud with the boys. It doesn't get any better than that!

What do you hope your students take away from their experience in your class? I hope they will take away a willingness to take risks in their work and to open up to their creative spirit.

Favorite SJP tradition? One of my favorite traditions is the Empty Bowls Dinner Party. It's an art for social action project I've been doing with my students for about 15 years now. The students make and sell their bowls, local restaurants donate soup and bread, and the proceeds go to Haven From Hunger. The boys enjoy it, the community has been hugely supportive, and it speaks to who we are as a school.

Favorite book or author? I'm not good with superlatives. It's usually the one I'm currently reading which, right now, is “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. 

Bernie Gilmore '80

Education: BA English, cum laude, Distinction in English, Yale University; ALM in I.T., software engineering concentration, Harvard University

Courses taught at St. John’s: English for 20 years. Currently teaching AP Computer Science A, Introduction to Programming with Java, Algorithmic Thinking and Computational Technologies 

What three words would you use to describe your students? Energetic, creative, curious.

How would you describe the Prep community? Honestly, it amazes me. The students are so open to learning and so accepting of each other’s differences that sometimes I wonder how exactly that happens. My colleagues' commitment to getting the best from their students has me constantly working to keep up.

What do you love most about teaching at St. John’s? The way it lets me focus on what matters - helping students grow and learn.

What do you hope your students take away from their experience in your class? Two things above all. First, that large problems can become manageable if you learn to decompose them into smaller parts and tackle the smaller parts. That's a basic, essential part of computer science problem solving - and a lot of other problem solving. Second, that failure is not an end to an effort. Solutions aren't final and perfect. That's practically a given in computer science. There's no such thing as a bug-free, perfect computer program. There's a lot of truth in the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett's words when he wrote about failure, "No matter.Try again. Fail again. Fail better."  

Favorite SJP tradition? The senior walk across campus at graduation. Seeing it brings back memories of my last walk across campus as a senior, and we as faculty get to applaud the students as they pass among us before they get to the tent and all the ceremony begins.

Favorite book or author? Choose one? I always return to the novels of Thomas Pynchon, but I never miss new adaptations of Shakespeare like Joss Whedon's upcoming “Much Ado about Nothing.” And I read huge amounts of science fiction, in particular everything by Charles Stross these days.

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