Meet the New Faculty Members

Left to right: Ramon Tejada, James Cramphin, Sonia Yang.

Left to right: Ramon Tejada, James Cramphin, Sonia Yang.

Shirley Wei, Editor

This year, the Academy welcomes three new faculty members. The Governor talked to Ms. Sonia Yang, Mr. Ramón Tejada ’05, and Mr. James Cramphin. Responses have been edited for clarity.

 

Ms. Sonia Yang

Mathematics Department                                          Dorm Parent, Perkins                                                  Coach, Girls Thirds Soccer

 

The Governor: How do you like the Academy so far?

 

SY: Everyone here is friendly, and I can feel their care for the community. Everybody is motivated by what they are passionate about. Also, the collaboration on campus makes me love this place.

 

TG: What was a challenging or rewarding experience for you as a teacher? 

 

SY: Teaching math to children with severe autism, who need my attention all the time. Classes were challenging. At the end of the year, I helped them build a book recording their stories of applying math to their lives. I felt rewarded after the project because I know my students had learned something from my teaching this year. 

 

TG: What are a few things that you like the most about Governor’s so far?

 

SY: I like the dining hall here—both the food and the space allows me to take a  rest during the day. Unity Days were impressive—I think allowing students to have fun while getting to know each other better helps students prepare their new school year.

 

TG: How is the Academy different from what you had imagined before the year started?

 

SY: I grew up in Beijing, went to Boston University, and worked in London, which means I have been accustomed to living in big cities. Coming to Governor’s gives me a different kind of lifestyle. I love the quietness here so I can really devote myself to teaching. 

 

TG: If you could tell your students something about you that they wouldn’t know otherwise, what would it be?

 

SY: I was raised up in a Christian family. My father is an evangelist.

 

TG: Are there any students who have impressed you so far? If so, who are they?

 

SY: My thirds girls soccer team. Some of the players had never had any experience with soccer before, but they keep working hard and learn a lot. Although some players are not playing major roles on the team, they support each other and cheer for their teammates. 

 

TG: What’s the one thing you want to achieve at the Academy this year?

 

SY: The goal for me this year is to build a good relationship with my students and know more about the community.

 

TG: Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along?

 

SY: Don’t be afraid of change. You may lose something good, but you may gain something better.

 

Mr. Ramón Tejada ’05

Language Department                                                                                                                                      Dorm Parent, Peirce                                                                                                                                              Coach, Boys Varsity Baseball & JV Basketball

 

TG: How do you like the Academy so far?

 

RT: This is an amazing school because of our wonderful students and community members that have created a homelike atmosphere for all of us here. As any school or place, we always have work to do to continue to improve and make the Govs experience an amazing one for everyone. However, I truly appreciate that Govs does not shy away from facing these issues challenges. 

 

TG: What is one thing that made you decide to join the Academy as a teacher? 

 

RT: It was truly exciting to see so many of the same faces that supported me while I was a student here. It motivated me to come back and try to provide the same support and care I received while I was here. 

 

TG: What was a challenging or rewarding experience for you as a teacher? 

 

RT: Teaching can be a very challenging job but it is the most rewarding one of all. My first year of teaching I kept questioning whether or not this was the thing for me. I started as a history teacher and remember teaching my ninth-grade world history class with the hope of turning my students into independent thinkers. I hit rock bottom at some point that first fall when a week into a lesson, it was evident to me that I was not getting my point across. I will never forget that Friday when almost half of the class started to generate really intricate questions. It was one of the best feelings I have ever experienced. It was that experience that helped me understand that embracing the process is more important than the end result. 

 

TG: What is something that you like about this school so far? 

 

RT: I have enjoyed seeing how so many of our students truly embrace taking on leadership roles. I must admit feeling a huge sense of pride when I see students from Lawrence being leaders of this community. As I have also said before, I love that there are so many of the same faces still on campus. This is a place filled with committed and caring people. 

 

TG: How is the Academy different from what you had imagined before the year started?

 

RT: Nothing, really. Everyone has been very supportive with my transition. Our language department is full of amazing people and it is truly a pleasure to be back on campus. 

 

TG: If you could tell your students something about you that they wouldn’t know otherwise, what would it be?

 

RT: I have always been inquisitive about the meaning of life and for a very long time it was a struggle to find the answer. That all changed when I had my daughter with my amazing wife. There is not a better gift in life than being a father. Naya is the reason for everything.

 

TG: Are there any students who have impressed you so far? If so, who are they?

 

RT: Everyone has impressed me. The new students are showing that they will be a resilient group that are not just adjusting to a new school but also embracing the challenges of learning a new language. My other classes are great as well. It is easy to see the leadership of my students in Spanish IV and their willingness to take on risks. I would be terrified of singing in front of people, and they were all willing to sing or rap different Spanish songs in class. No easy task for the first week of school in front of a teacher you just met. I love my classes.

 

TG: So what’s the one thing you want to achieve at the Academy this year?

 

RT: I want to connect with as many students as possible and hope that they can see me as another member of their family on campus. That they can lean on me for support and to appreciate our experience together.

 

TG: How do you want your students to remember you?

 

RT: I want my students to remember our Spanish class as an opportunity to be more open-minded and to understand the value of learning about different cultures. There is nothing more powerful than understanding how our unique differences can still connect us together to make this spectacular place we call Earth. I do not want my students to see our class just as a place to get work done, I want it to be a space where we can grow as individuals to make our community a better place together.

 

TG: Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along?

 

RT: When life gets tough, we see time as our enemy. However, always remember that it will also be the cure. We become stronger through enduring our challenges.

 

Mr. James Cramphin 

Associate Director of Admission                                                                                                                    Head Coach, Varsity Baseball

 

TG: How do you like the Academy so far?

 

JC: I am certain that Govs is a good school.  While I haven’t been here long enough to experience all of the success stories first-hand, the people I have met — from the faculty/staff to the students — have been incredible welcoming, kind, driven, and talented.  Clearly there are a lot of incredibly talented teachers, coaches, and students here, but it’s the great community that ties everyone together that makes Govs special. I feel lucky to be a part of it!

 

TG: What is one thing that made you decide to join the Academy as a teacher? 

 

JC: I decided to leave my previous school in Connecticut (The Canterbury School) and move to Boston when I got engaged to my wife, who lived in Somerville, MA.  She has a twin sister and I wasn’t about to ask her to move away from her family. So, ultimately that’s why I decided to move to Boston. When I heard about the opportunities at Govs to join the Admission team and head the successful baseball program, I threw my hat in the ring immediately.  It’s an amazing opportunity to connect with and mentor super-talented students in a close-knit community.

 

TG: What was a challenging or rewarding experience for you as a teacher? 

 

JC: I lived on campus and ran a tenth-grade boys dorm at my last school.  The time (and energy) commitment that boarding faculty members sign up for can be tough on their families but can lead to really rewarding, deep, teacher/mentor relationships that can last for decades.  I am commuting to campus at Govs and have mixed feelings about not being connected to dorm life here, though I am very much looking forward to the spring, when I’ll be able to get to know the baseball team in the afternoons.

 

TG: What’s something you like about this school so far?

 

JC: Oh that’s easy—it’s the people!  Everyone is not only super friendly, but genuine too—I can’t wait to meet more students and adults on campus.  Please introduce yourself to me if you see me in the dining hall or around campus!

 

TG: How is the Academy different from what you had imagined before the year started?

 

JC: The food is better than I expected!  For those of you who only know Govs food: appreciate what you have—it’s not this good at every school!

 

TG: If you could tell your students something about you that they wouldn’t know otherwise, what would it be?

 

JC: Hmmmmm.  The Sandlot is my favorite movie and I (still) love sour candies and collect baseball cards. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

TG: Are there any students who impressed you so far? If so, who are they?

 

JC: I’ve got to shout out the seniors on the baseball team, especially our captains, Aidan Cann, Zach Clough, and Jack Julian.  I spent some time with them this summer and feel very fortunate to have them help provide leadership for my first year as a head coach.

 

TG: How do you want your students to remember you?

 

JC: I hope my past students and players remember me as a mentor who had their best interests at heart and who helped them become better people.

 

TG: Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along?

 

JC: Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.