Director of New Faculty Development, John Hay Whitney Chair of History and Public Affairs
John Lyons arrived at Groton in 1995 and was chair of the History Department from 2006 to 2012. 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. In 1996, he was awarded Groton's John Hay Whitney Chair in History and Public Affairs, and in June 2000, Lyons received the Henry and Wendy Breck Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2012 received the Jonathan Choate '60 Faculty Award for excellence in teaching and coaching. His professional development activities include 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 holds the Charles C. Alexander Endowed Varsity Football Coach position and coaches boys JV ice hockey. At various times he has directed Groton's Teaching Intern program, moderated Groton's Model UN group, and served as a member of the Curriculum and Studies committees as well as a dorm head. His wife of 29 years, 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. Rounding out the Lyons clan is a black Lab, George.