The Sherrard Billings Chair of Classics was established in memory of Reverend Sherrard Billings, one of the three original masters at the school. Since 2012, Scott Giampetruzzi has held this chair.
Classics Department Head Scott Giampetruzzi is broadly interested in the history and literature of Greece and Rome and has devoted his attention more recently to the development of distinctively Roman views on philosophical thought in the literature of the late Republic and early Principate. Scott arrived at Groton School in 2003, where he has taught Latin and Greek at all levels, headed a dorm, and coached soccer, baseball, and lacrosse. Scott has a BA from Colby College and an MA from Fordham University.
The Lathrop Brown Chair was established in 1978 in memory of Lathrop Brown 1900 by his widow, Mrs. Helen Hooper Brown. Since 2012, David J. Prockop has held this Chair.
Dave received his BA from Williams in 1987 and an MA from Tufts in 1993. He then spent six years teaching science and coaching racquet sports at Westminster School in Connecticut before moving to Groton in 1999 with his wife and two daughters. Dave coaches boys varsity squash and girls varsity tennis and serves on a variety of administrative committees. In his time at Groton, Dave Prockop has taught all levels of physics, as well as astronomy, and he has conducted numerous tutorials on topics from boat hull design to quantum theory.
The Peter B. Camp Chair in English and the Humanities was established in 2012 by an anonymous donor, in memory of Peter B. Camp, faculty member 1969–94 and acting headmaster during 1977–78. Peter is remembered for his inspiration to Groton students, his devotion to the school, his gracious and caring nature, and his sense of humor. English Department Head Sravani Sen-Das is the first ever to hold this Chair.
Sravani taught at schools in India and England prior to joining the Groton faculty in 1999. Within her field, she has a special interest in classic modern literature, especially the works of James Joyce. The current director of Diversity and Inclusion, other responsibilities have included running a Lower School dorm and working in academic support. Sravani has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Delhi, as well as a master’s from University of London and a PGCE from Oxford University. She lives on campus with her husband Nishad, a mathematics teacher, and her three children.
The Dillon Chair of the Humanities was established through the generous gift of C. Douglas Dillon 1927. Since 2010, Andy Anderson has held this Chair.
Andy arrived at Groton in the spring of 1980 to coach rowing. After returning to the consulting world for six months, he came back to the Circle in January of 1981 to teach English and work in the Admission Office. After ten years in that capacity, he switched to teaching Spanish full time, a move that was possible because he grew up in Latin America and Spain. He now also serves as Associate Head of School.
Coaching rowing is a passion for him. He has coached national champions on the club, college, and high school level, including the Groton girls in 1995. For many years, Andy was a coach for the U.S. National team in rowing; his boats won three gold medals at the World Championships. At Groton, he coaches the boys varsity boats. He writes a monthly column for Rowing magazine and has published a book, The Compleat Dr. Rowing.
Andy lives in the Richards House with his wife Cola Parker and three children.
The Kendall W. Foster Chair in the Sciences was established anonymously in 1986 by a grandparent of Groton graduates in honor of Kendall W. Foster, an exacting teacher, warm human being, and a champion of the sciences who taught at Groton from 1943 until 1965. Since 2001, Stephen D. Belsky has held this Chair.
Science Department Head Stephen Belsky arrived at Groton in 1983 as a sabbatical replacement instructor in biology; he was on a break from his graduate work in plant physiology at Cornell but never turned back. During his own sabbatical year from Groton in 1993, he headed to Ann Arbor, where he completed his master’s in biology at University of Michigan. He has a BA from Swarthmore College. Mr. Belsky holds Groton's Kendall W. Foster Chair in the Sciences.
During his tenure at Groton, Mr. Belsky has taught chemistry and environmental science as well as biology. Though he is aging gracefully, he has remarked that teaching offspring of former students does give him a sudden jolt of reality.
Stephen Belsky is married to Kate Dennison, a member of the Classics Department and Groton's Head of Academic Support. Their three children are members of the Forms of 2012 and 2015.
The Geoffrey deC. Gund ’60 Teaching Chair was established in 1997 by Geoffrey deC. Gund ’60. Since 2007, David H. Black, Jr. ’80 has held this Chair.
David Black ’80 began teaching in the Science Department in 1989, after five years as an ecologist with a consulting company, where he assessed the environmental impact of projects throughout New England. Dr. Black earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard University and a PhD in ecology from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent at Canterbury, England. He used this background to develop a program in ecology and environmental science at Groton, which emphasizes field work, data analysis, and a rigorous scientific approach to the understanding of environmental issues.
Outside the classroom, Dr. Black has headed a boys' dorm and coached football, basketball, squash, and crew. He runs the Conservation Corps, an environmental science–based afternoon activity. Beyond Groton, Dr. Black is involved in the stewardship of open spaces in the Town of Groton and serves as a trustee of the Groton Conservation Trust. The parent of two Groton students, Dr. Black enjoys travel, hiking, and time spent outdoors.
The E. Roland Harriman Chair Fund was established in 1962 by Mr. E. Roland Harriman 1913. The Fund received a generous addition in 1993 from the Gladys and Roland Harriman Foundation. Since 2003, John T. Conner has held this Chair.
Dean of Faculty and Spanish teacher John Conner, affectionately known throughout the Groton community as "Señor," arrived at Groton School in 1981. A graduate of Amherst College, John received his MA in Spanish Language and Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin a few years after a backpacking adventure throughout Europe, where he fell in love with Spain, its language, people, and culture. John’s textbook series, Breaking the Barrier (Breaking the Spanish Barrier and Breaking the French Barrier) reflects his creativity, tongue-in-cheek fascination with pop culture, and belief that all students can succeed in languages. Breaking the Barrier shines an unapologetic light on the importance of grammar in mastering a foreign language; it was the first series to be showcased on Apple's iTextbook store.
John is a frequent speaker at language conferences throughout the world. He coaches boys varsity tennis, a perennial powerhouse in the ISL. His four children attended Groton.
The Huo Family Counseling Chair was established in 2021 by Sue Fang and Yan Huo P'21 in honor of excellence in mental health counseling at Groton School. Since 2021, Sheilaann Fritz-Ellis has held this chair.
The director of Counseling and Psychological Services, Sheila Fritz-Ellis Ed.D., LCPC, NBCC, LMHC has extensive experience in counseling in the private school setting. Before joining the Groton community in 2015, she spent seven years at Deerfield Academy. In addition, she has twenty-five years of clinical counseling experience outside of the school setting. The focus of her formal education and clinical experience is on adolescent development. She earned her doctorate in counselor education and supervision with a concentration in school counseling from Northern Illinois University, where she was an adjunct faculty member. She also was an assistant professor at DePaul University and adjunct faculty at the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Fritz-Ellis earned a master's at the University of Louisville and a bachelor's at the University of Kentucky, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Clinically she is trained in insight-oriented psychotherapy and has completed intensive training courses in CBT and DBT.
For Dr. Fritz-Ellis, being a counselor at a residential preparatory school is a lifestyle, not a career. She enjoys being a part of the greater community setting and engaging with students, faculty, and staff outside of her office.
The Independence Foundation Chair was established in 1959 by the Independence Foundation. Since 1999, Douglas Van Dyck Brown ’57 has held this Chair.
Douglas Brown, teacher of woodworking, graduated from Groton in 1957 and from Harvard in 1961. From 1961 to 1970, he worked with a small pipe organ–building company in Gloucester, MA. Since returning in 1970 to the school, he has taught all the woodworking courses, chaired the Arts Department for nineteen years, edited the Groton School Quarterly for six years, and has been school archivist for more than thirty years.
Lawrence Family Chair in History and World Affairs
The Lawrence Family Chair in History and World Affairs was established in 1988 through the generosity of James Lawrence ’26 and John Lawrence ’27, children of James and John, and John’s son-in-law, Ferdinand Colloredo-Mansfeld. Since 2000, Tommy S. Lamont has held this Chair.
Tommy Lamont earned a BA in history from Harvard University in 1983 and an M.Phil. in history from the University of Oxford in 1991. Tommy teaches American history and world history, as well as electives on modern China, modern India, and international relations. Past courses have covered the Holocaust, modern Russia, and modern Japan, and Tommy has traveled extensively around the globe, including trips with students to China, Japan, India, and Haiti. All three of the Lamont children are Groton graduates. Tommy enjoys foreign films, sailing, and playing loud and fast rock and roll.
James F. McClelland, Jr. and Paul Wright Teaching Chair
The James F. McClelland, Jr. and Paul Wright Teaching Chair was established in 2015 by Jamie McClelland ’66. It is awarded to a faculty member, who, in the judgment of the headmaster, demonstrates an exemplary dedication to teaching and personal character that instills in students the lifelong love of learning and intellectual pursuit, particularly in the areas of engineering, math, and environmental sciences. The first holder of the James F. McClelland, Jr. and Paul Wright Teaching Chair is Albert L. Hall.
Bert Hall arrived at Groton in 2002. After completing his undergraduate studies in civil engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he also played ice hockey, Bert headed into the real world as a licensed professional engineer. During that time, he worked on designs for bridges, buildings, and telecommunication towers. Through WPI and his first few years of professional work, Bert spent weekends as a backcountry ranger for the U.S. Forest Service. After five years of this trying work, he headed to University of Wisconsin, where he received his master's degree in structural engineering and met his wife, Marci, a professional cyclist.
Bert then turned his attention and energy to teaching; at Groton, he teaches physics and engineering, coaches girls ice hockey, and acts as school scheduler. Bert and Marci live on campus with their daughter, Isabelle.
The Murphy Family Chair for Asian Studies was established in 2009 by the Grayson M.P. Murphy Family to provide an endowment to fund Asian studies at Groton School, with particular emphasis on Chinese language and culture. Since 2015, Shannon Jin has held this chair.
The Elizabeth R. Peabody Chair was established in 1989 through the generosity of William Wood-Prince ’32 and other friends and family of Elizabeth Peabody. Since 2015, Peter McD. Fry has held this chair.
Peter Fry joined the Groton faculty in 2005 after working at schools in Ohio, Vermont, Morocco, and Maryland. As an English teacher, Peter works with Third, Fifth, and Sixth Formers, taking great pleasure in helping his students to become more skilled writers and more attentive readers. Peter has a special interest in nineteenth-century British fiction and offers an elective in that area.
His decision to pursue a career in boarding school education owes much to his own experience as a student at Exeter, where he was profoundly influenced by inspiring teachers and coaches. As an undergraduate at Yale, Peter majored in History of Art, played rugby, and sang with the Whiffenpoofs. Spending two years earning a master’s degree in English and Education at University of Vermont enabled Peter to combine his professional interests with his love of the outdoors and the New England landscape. An avid runner, hiker, and cyclist, Peter appreciates the natural beauty of Groton’s campus and its extensive network of surrounding wooded trails. Peter and his wife, Gretchen, live in a dorm; their three children are Grotonians.
The LuAnn S. Polk Coeducation Chair was established in 2002 by the Coeducation Committee and other members of the Groton School community to recognize Mrs. Polk’s twenty-five years of service to the school and her commitment to coeducation. Since 2007, Catherine W. Lincoln has held this Chair.
After graduating from Connecticut College in 1980, Catherine Lincoln joined Groton as a math intern, then was hired to be a full-time math teacher, coach, and dorm head. After serving as co-head of the Math Department for more than ten years, Cathy now devotes more time to crisis management and mitigation. An EMT and nationally certified firefighter, she has a master’s from Dartmouth College.
Over the years, Cathy has coached girls varsity and thirds soccer and girls varsity crew; currently, she times varsity basketball games. When she finds time, she can be found baking in her kitchen or working in her gardens. Her children, Alex ‘07 and Abigail ’10, are Groton graduates.
The Harold I. Pratt Chair of Music was established in 1986 by gifts from Mr. Pratt ’55, members of his family, and his friends. Since 2017, Daniel Moriarty has held this chair.
Organist and Director of Choral Music Dan Moriarty came to Groton from St. Stephen’s Church in Richmond, VA, and Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, PA, where he was music director. Prior to that, he was associate organist and founding director of the Boy and Girl Choristers at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City. In addition to his choral and organ work, Dan also directs the music for Groton School's musical. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music with an Artist's Diploma in organ performance and from Villanova University with a B.A. in English. Dan and his wife, Christina, have two daughters, Charlotte and Ellen.
The W. Homer and Helena P. Smith Chair in Chemistry was established in 1995 through the generosity of Homer P. Smith ’25 in memory of his parents. Since 1998, Sandra L. Kelly has held this Chair.
Sandra Kelly came to Groton in 1998 as an interim teacher, having just completed a two-year, post-doctoral position in analytical chemistry at Tufts University. She teaches introductory chemistry, AP Chemistry, and has sponsored tutorials on topics ranging from biochemistry to food chemistry. Sandra has a BS from the University of Indianapolis and a PhD from Washington University. She is a head of Kelly’s Dorm, an Upper School girls residence. She is married to Bob Kelly and has two children, Aiden and Rylee.
The Wallace Chair in the Performing Arts was established in September 2017 by the Monte J. Wallace Foundation, on behalf of Anne H. and Monte J. Wallace P’75, ’77, ’79, GP’12, ’17, FTR ’73-’79, John H. Wallace ’75, FTR ’93-’96 and W. Gardner Wallace ’77, P’17, in honor of the Chair of the Theater and Dance Department. Since 2022, Laurie Sales has held this chair.
Before becoming the director of Groton’s Theater Department in 2008, Laurie Sales spent three years as assistant director of education at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ. During this time, she wrote Lucky Girl, a piece of educational theater and a touring production, which explored the topic of domestic violence. Laurie has worked at the Tectonic Theatre Company alongside Moises Kaufman, the legendary playwright and director. Her work has earned many awards and honors in the field of writing and directing. Her play, As Far As We Know, which was performed in the NY Fringe Festival and the Encore Series, earned five stars in the publication Time Out NY. Laurie has a BS from Northwestern University and was a professional director at University of Washington.
At Groton, Laurie directs three mainstage shows and teaches courses in writing, public speaking, playwriting, theater, and the creative process. When she can find the time, Laurie enjoys photography, travel, four-legged friends, and various service opportunities.
John Hay Whitney Chair of History and Public Affairs
The John Hay Whitney Chair of History and Public Affairs was established in 1987 by the Trustees of Groton School through a bequest from Mr. Whitney’s estate, in appreciation of Mr. Whitney’s outstanding generosity to the school. Since 1996, John Lyons has held this Chair.
John Lyons arrived at Groton in 1995, received the Henry and Wendy Breck Award for Teaching Excellence in 2000, and became chair of the History Department in 2006. He currently teaches U.S. History and an elective on Constitutional law.
Following his undergraduate years at Middlebury College, John pursued an MA at Georgetown University. He completed two years as a history instructor at Northfield Mt. Hermon before spending the next ten years at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, DE, chairing the History Department during his last five years there.
After assuming many roles at St. Andrew’s, including head varsity football coach, varsity baseball assistant, dorm head, and residential dean, John and his family headed to Groton. His professional development activities have included a year as a visiting scholar in history at Middlebury College, three William Robertson Coe Fellowships in American History at Stanford University, and summer colloquiums with the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History, the Liberty Fund, the Center for the American Idea, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. John coaches varsity football, directs Groton's teaching mentorship program, and has served as a member of the Curriculum and Studies committees as well as a dorm head. His wife, Hannah, is a clinical nurse specialist in oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital; they have two daughters, Rachel, a 2008 St. Mark's graduate, and Molly ’12.
The Thomas S. Williams Chair was established in 1992 by the bequest of Henry S. Williams ’44, in honor of his brother Thomas S. Williams ’45. Since 2007, Katharine Leggat has held this Chair.
Katharine Leggat joined Groton after teaching at Northfield Mt. Hermon School from 1980–83. Her first job after graduating from college in 1978 was teaching in a tutorial school at Waterville Valley, a stint primarily intended to support her skiing “habit.” At Dartmouth College, Kathy majored in geography and played field hockey and ice hockey, a team she helped start during her first year there.
Like many faculty at Groton, Kathy has worn numerous hats over the years: full-time mathematics teacher, dean of students, acting assistant head, dorm head, coach of varsity field hockey and girls ice hockey. She is currently the academic dean, teaches in the mathematics department, is a field hockey assistant coach, and a dorm affiliate.
During free time, Kathy gardens, skis, reads, and enjoys being on the water. She lives on campus with her husband, fellow mathematician Jonathan Choate.
The Paul Wright Chair in Mathematics was established by Hugh Knowlton, Jr. ’41 and William J. Schieffelin III ’41 to honor the life, work, and example of one of the school’s most respected and admired masters. Since 1987, Jonathan Choate ’60 has held this Chair.
Jonathan Choate graduated from Groton in 1960. He returned to coach JV ice hockey shortly after he graduated from Colby, and two years later became a full-time math teacher. Jon was a state winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1988, received an Outstanding Educator Award from Colby College in 1997, and was elected to the Massachusetts Mathematics Teacher Hall of Fame. He has an MA from Bowdoin College.
Jon also was a co-principal investigator for the National Science Foundation’s “Fractals and Chaos” project and, as an outgrowth of that work, co-authored The Dynamics Toolkit, four books covering topics in fractal geometry and chaos theory. He has served on both the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Algebra and Discrete Mathematics task forces, and has given more than two hundred professional talks at the state, national, and international level. His column, Geometer's Corner, appeared in COMAP’s Consortium newsletter, and he created a website dedicated to the teaching of three-dimensional geometry (www.zebragraph.com).
Jon co-authored a series of books that use Google's “Sketch-Up,” a three-dimensional, architectural design program, to teach geometry at the secondary level. He lives on campus with his wife, Kathy Leggat, Groton’s academic dean. Jon enjoys landscaping and bicycling and likes to spend as much time as he can during the summer in boats.