Faces@Key features members of Key's faculty who have been profiled in recent issues of What's Happening at Key!, a monthly parent bulletin, and Key alumni who have been profiled in The Key Review, the School's newsletter.


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    Ellie Young - Math Coordinator

    “The process of learning and how it unfolds is both complex and exhilarating,” said Math Coordinator Ellie Young in conveying her passion for her work at Key. “The challenge of teaching math is in translating to a child how and why a process works and in setting up a series of experiences that enable the child to discover the important principles of math.”

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    Karin Walsh - Pre-School Teacher

    A glimpse inside Karin Walsh’s Pre-Kindergarten classroom offers no hint of the challenge that comes with managing the development and well-being of a classroom full of three-year-old children. Patient and poised, this Bank Street-educated teacher and her assistants carefully guide their students through a host of activities that range from exploring books and literature to honing computer skills and from testing hypotheses at the water table to tending the class gardens.

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    Derek Lieske - Upper School Physics

    Well into his doctoral program in theoretical chemistry at the University of Maryland—a stint that followed his three-and-a-half years as a research fellow in a doctor of pharmacy program at that same institution—Derek Lieske realized that his favorite activities were student-related. “As a grad assistant,” he said, “I looked forward to my time in the classroom, to the follow-up tutoring sessions, and even to grading the tests…. I liked the research aspect of my work, but I loved the teaching.”

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    Mike Reffner - Upper School Math

    Mike Reffner teaches Advanced Placement Calculus, Pre-Calculus and Statistics in Key’s Upper School. A veteran high school mathematics teacher, Mike came to Key School in 2004 just after concluding a thirty-three-year career in the public school system. “A friend of mine was teaching math at Key and told me how much he liked it, which inspired me to apply. I came in for an interview and taught a class and I loved it. I am now in my third year and I still love it.

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    Brian Boyd - Athletic Director

    He grew up in a very small town, and went to college in a very big city. He was a champion soccer and tennis player in high school, but was recruited by the basketball coach at the University of Chicago. He declared himself a math major as a freshman, and ended up with a degree in British history. His sights were set on law school, but after falling in love with teaching during his first week of an interim job as a recent college graduate, he ultimately pursued a master’s degree in modern European history.


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    Ben Trubits - Class of 2000

    What piece of advice do you have for current Key School students and/or parents?
    Your time at Key is some of the safest intellectual space you’ll ever have. Don’t be afraid to explore it; embrace the guidance you’ll have among your peers and your faculty to learn something new every day, even if it’s not what’s on the day’s lesson plan.

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    Mike Norfleet - Class of 2011

    What piece of advice do you have for current Key School students and/or parents?
    Utilize what’s in your back pocket. Key prepared you for college and beyond, so remember the work ethic, lessons, and other things you learned at Key. Grasp new skills and concepts – don’t forget all of the things you did in Upper School because it’s going to help you a lot more than you could ever imagine in college. Have an appreciation for what you learned and what you had because it will take you far.

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    Rachel Haile - Class of 2000

    How do you feel the program at Key prepared you for college and beyond?
    So many ways. At Key, I learned how to write, how to think and how to build an argument. Those skills helped me immensely at Grinnell College. But I also learned more uncommon skills: how to pitch a tent, how to sing on stage, how to be quiet and truly focus on the task at hand. There’s more to life than measurable achievement. And I started on the path to understanding that at Key.

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    Allison Cook Roland - Class of 2003

    What piece of advice do you have for current Key School students and/or parents?
    It is easy when thinking about college to become narrow minded in the path you think you need to take and the AP classes you need. Don't focus too much on one path. Diversity is good. Branch out and try new things. And it is definitely ok to change your mind.

    There are so many extracurricular activities offered at Key. Try them all. Upper School is the time to start figuring out what you really like. Never turn down an opportunity.

    Lastly, always have a Plan B… and probably a Plan C, too!

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    Reggie Thomas - Class of 2000

    When you visit Key 20 years from now, what would you hope to find?
    I hope to find that Key continues to be a place of freedom of respectful expression, broad opportunities and a strong foundation for the best-educated, humble, well-rounded citizens of society.