online edition

The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

    • Abraham Kirby-Galen

    • Hannah Solis-Cohen

    • Keri Matthews

    • Dante Brio Jr.

    • Nathaniel Peters '14

    • R. C. Saylor

    • Jessie Ramos-Willey

Welcome to The Hill!

The Razor welcomes new faculty and staff to Hopkins. Here are some personal introductions and tidbits. Be sure to give them a warm welcome!
Abraham Kirby-Galen
Where did you grow up? I grew up in a town called Arlington outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
What is your academic background? I attended high school at Gann Academy, The New Jewish High School of Greater Boston, and I attended college at Williams College where I double majored in Math and Arabic Studies.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising this year? I will be teaching Enriched Geometry and Algebra II, and advising ninth grade. I will also be helping out with the technical aspects of the theater performances this year.
What was your favorite experience as a student? As a student, I enjoyed studying foreign languages. Learning a new language is humbling and frustrating at times, but it is also a lot of fun. Speaking other languages has opened up doors for me to learn about cultures and personal narratives that I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to experience.
What particular tidbit should we know about you? I’ve just returned to the United States after teaching math for two years at a school in Jordan. I loved living and traveling in the Middle East. My goal for this year is to improve my culinary skills so that I can recreate some of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes. I get hungry just thinking about it!
Do you have a pet? Growing up, I had a beloved guinea pig named Diego Rivera (we called him Diego or Diggy for short). I have great memories of taking care of Diego and watching him play. But all my life, I’ve always wanted a dog, and I’m going to adopt one very soon!
 
Hannah Solis-Cohen
Where did you grow up? I was born and raised on the Upper West Side of New York City. I lived there until I went to boarding school in eleventh grade.
What is your academic background? I graduated the University of Virginia in 2016 where I earned a B.A. in History.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising this year? I will be teaching two sections of Atlantic Communities I and coaching the Rowing team. I will also be co-advising with Richard Thornburgh.
What particular tidbit should we know about you? Every summer I travel up to my childhood summer camp, Songadeewin of Keewaydin, a wilderness tripping camp just outside of Middlebury, Vermont. My favorite camp pastimes are leading girls on canoeing trips through parts of Northeast Quebec and Ontario, and teaching them how to sail and whitewater kayak.
Are you a sports fan? Sport? Team? Participant in? I was a four year member of the UVA varsity rowing team as well as a two year member of the United States Junior National Team. My favorite sports to watch are rowing, cross country skiing, and college basketball. I live to cheer on the Hoos in every sport.
Do you have a pet? I have two labs Mabel and Millie. Even though they are sisters, they could not be more different. You can often see Mabel sitting in the front yard smelling the flowers and chewing on sticks, while Millie is out on a run with me or chasing after squirrels and other woodland creatures. Despite their vastly different energy levels, their favorite foods are both carrots and watermelon.
 
Keri Matthews
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Woodbridge and was lucky enough to attend Hopkins School; or Hopkins Grammar Day Prospect Hill School, as it was then called. I have many fond memories of specifc teachers at Hopkins, but the nature of the Hopkins environment and instillment of the love of learning has been the second greatest infuence (after my parents) on who I am today.
What is your academic background? After Hopkins, I graduated from Tufts University with a major in clinical psychology. I then moved back to Connecticut, got married and decided to restart my education with a master’s degree in Computer Science. For the past seventeen years, I have been working as a computer science professor at Sacred Heart University. Now, I am thrilled to be returning ‘home’ to teach at Hopkins.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising this year? This year I will be teaching Computer Science, Math, Web Design, working in Academic Support and will be working on some new computer science initiatives (including the Junior School Coding Club).
What particular tidbit should we know about you? In the winter, I spend every spare moment possible on the ski slopes. I would like to believe I can still hold my own on the mountain, but my daughter, Sydney ’23, can easily beat me in any race and my son, Logan, can gracefully land tricks I wouldn’t even consider attempting. In the summer, I work on home improvement projects. Cabinet building is my favorite, but I also enjoy electrical work, sheetrocking and various other projects.

Dante Brio Jr.
Where did you grow up? I grew up right here in New Haven, CT.
What is your academic background? For high school I went to that school in Hamden with the Hornets as their mascot. I completed my Bachelor of Arts from Stonehill College, just outside of Boston.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising this year? I will be coaching Varsity Football in the Fall and Varsity Basketball in the Winter. I will also be working in the Athletic Department, with Equity and Community, and assisting with Pathfnder.
Who or what has inspired you most in life, and why? This is a very simple answer for me: my mother. She is the ultimate rags to riches story. She went from being a single mother high school dropout on welfare to a owning her own business with a college graduate as a son. She inspires me daily because I know what she had to get through to make it where she is at and I do not take that lightly. My mother had to make many sacrifces in order for me to have a chance at a better life and not end up like so many of my childhood friends. To live through the struggle with someone and to make it out stronger than you went in, you can understand why she is my inspiration.
Are you a sports fan? Sport? Team? Participant in? I love football and basketball. I played football in college and I support the Tennessee Titans. Ed Reed is my favorite foot- ball player and Allen Iverson is my favorite basketball player with Dwayne Wade coming in second on that list. Fun fact: I graduated high school thirty points shy of one thousand, still haunts me to this day.
Tell us about a book, flm, television program, performance, etc. that has impacted you and why? The Color of Water by James Mcbride, and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates are both are very powerful and infuential. I would highly recommend these books to any and everyone because there is something that can be learned to help us all better connect with each other and be hypersensitive of others’ struggles.

Nathaniel Peters '14
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Cheshire, CT.
What is your academic background? I graduated from Hopkins in 2014 and Swarthmore College in 2018 with a major in Astrophysics.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising this year? I’m teaching three sections of AP Physics I, assistant coaching Junior School Boys Basketball, and working with Junior School Quiz Bowl and the Robotics club.
Are you a sports fan? Sport? Team? Participant in? I’m a New York Yankees fan, which is usually pretty happy, and a Phoenix Suns fan, which is almost always miserable. I’ve also been involved with basketball, softball, baseball, frisbee, and soccer teams in my life.
Tell us about a book, flm, television program, performance, etc. that has impacted you and why? Every time I’ve interacted with Shakespeare’s The Tempest has been really interesting. I’ve portrayed Ariel and Prospero, seen it performed twice, and read it a handful of times. Every time, something different comes out of it for me. Just about every character can be portrayed sympathetically or cynically, which gives directors a really interesting space to play with when creating their production.
Do you have a pet? I don’t have any pets, but I hang out with my parents’ dogs (a golden retriever and a medium-sized mutt) whenever I can.

R. C. Saylor
Where did you grow up? I spent my childhood in Alta Loma, CA (a Los Angeles suburb) and my formative years in Greenville, IL (a rural, farming community).
What is your academic background? I earned my BA in Art from Greenville College, and my MFA in Sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising this year? I am excited to be teaching Woodworking and Art courses at Hopkins.
Who or what has inspired you most in life, and why? Back in high school, I got involved with leading youth activities and building things. I coached two soccer teams, and helped my father build a house. In college, I learned more about making things, and I was a skateboarding camp counselor. When my kids were born, I coached soccer and baseball, and worked towards putting together a portfolio for graduate school. After RISD, I taught some college courses, and build houses and cabinets. It was upon refection that I discovered my interests were in playing and learning and making, and sharing these activities with others!
Do you have a pet? Tell us about it! Before moving back to New England, I had a black cat, named Finn, that would wait for me after work. He would jump in my lap and nuzzle my chin and then climb on my shoulders and stretch out across my neck. We shared food and drink (mine, not his!), played tag, and cuddled. He was a dear sweet friend.
Are you a sports fan? Sport? Team? Participant in? Since grad school I have become a Sox & Pats fan, but I cannot watch too often because I get emotionally attached to the outcomes of the game.

Jessie Ramos-Willey
Where did you grow up? I was born in Puerto Rico but grew up in New York City.
What is your academic background? BA from Wesleyan University, MS in Counseling from CCSU [Central Connecticut State University].
What are you teaching/coaching/advising this year? College Counseling/ninth grade adviser.
What was your favorite experience as a student? Study Abroad - I studied in England and traveled throughout Europe when I wasn’t in class. While I was in Scotland, I spotted Nelson Mandela leaving his hotel. I thought that was pretty cool.
What particular tidbit (hobbies? life experiences? 15 minutes of fame?) should we know about you? Although I grew up in a city, I defnitely feel more comfortable in the country. I moved to a rural area in CT so that I could have a large garden. Initially, I used it as a way to entice my children to eat more vegetables and it worked! We now grow enough that we can have fresh vegetables all summer.
Do you have a pet? Tell us about it! I have two dogs that are both rescues. Meadow (Black lab/Coon Hound mix) loves people and sometimes tries to push me across the street to say hi to strangers. Riley (Japanese Chin) is socially awkward. He loves his family but it very afraid of strangers.
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The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
     
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
Hopkins School
986 Forest Road
New Haven, CT 06515

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