Seven Valued Members of Faculty Leaving For New Ventures
The senior class won’t be the only ones leaving Pace after this academic year. Seven members of the faculty will be departing from the halls of the Academy for new opportunities. Jenni and Kevin Coale, Megan Dickherber, Tom Kates, Jere Link, Claire Strowd and Regina Tate will all be starting new chapters of their lives after the last day of school on May 23.
History teachers and husband and wife Kevin and Jenni Coale will be moving to Washington D.C. for Mr. Coale to work in a position that includes teaching world history, working in Admissions and coaching both lacrosse and football at Episcopal High School. Mrs. Coale, AP Art History teacher and Assistant Director of Admissions, is looking for a job in the area. “I am looking into the culinary world of catering and non-profits,” she said. The Coales are glad for their time at The Academy. “‘Ubuntu’ is an expression in the Xhosa and Zulu languages that I’m especially fond of,” said Mr. Coale, “Roughly translated, it means: ‘I am because you are.’ This is what I think about when I think about my time at Pace. I am so grateful that Pace decided to take a chance on me six years ago, and feel very lucky to have enjoyed the opportunities and support I have had in that time.”
Dr. Link has worked at Pace a mere three years, but has taught for 27 years. Prior to Pace, Dr. Link worked at cross-town rival Westminster and before that, as a college professor. He will semi-retire next year, teaching part-time and researching at Kennesaw State. “I will enroll in the ‘school of hard knocks’ to figure out why the U.S. does not have a national health care plan worthy of our citizenry,” he said, “Old age ain’t for dummies.” The always witty Dr. Link will be missed not only for his extraordinary mind, but his laughter as well: “Kids who make me laugh out loud and forget what I am supposed to be teaching” is what he said he’d miss most.
Head girls’ basketball coach and chemistry teacher Ms. Tate looks on her time at Pace as one of “tremendous growth and bittersweet moments.” Many students have agonized over her class or her tough basketball practices, but all appreciate her passion. “I’ll miss her intensity but also her love for the game [basketball] and how it’s been transferred over to the players and how she interacts with everyone,” said senior Evelyn Hobbs, who played basketball for four years and took her class sophomore year. As for her favorite memory, Coach Tate returns to the court: “Making it to the state championship game in 2011… That season was incredibly challenging and the team almost fell apart, but we were able to come together and experiencing that was almost dreamlike.” Coach Tate will coach varsity girls basketball at Shiloh High School and teach chemistry, along with some AP Chemistry courses in the future.
Mrs. Strowd, as head of admissions and member of the English department, will not be moving to another teaching position next fall, but rather, is still “figuring out what the next phase of [her] career will be.” Her fondest memories of Pace include the nature of Pace students and a club she formed with former band director Scott Campbell and the late Pat Howells: the Cheese Club. “One Friday afternoon years ago [we] sat at the front desk of the Castle and sampled cheeses that Mr. Campbell had brought,” she said, “We gathered again the next couple Fridays and eventually formed the Cheese Club, which lasted several years and cultivated a robust membership of current and former staff members and even the occasional alum.”
The versatile Mrs. Dickherber is not only a member of the math department, but the science faculty as well. Her continued interest in science is why she will depart Pace to attend Georgia State as a full-time student to earn her doctorate in cellular biology, specifically studying cancer and the role of the immune system. Mrs. Dickherber has worked at Pace for the last three years, but taught at Pace prior to the birth of her children for many years. One of Mrs. Dickherber’s favorite aspects of Pace is the relationships she has with her contemporaries. A favorite moment was “racing Ms. Anderson one day from the Inman Center, across the gardens, and into the faculty lounge to see who could get to the cookies they just put out for the faculty first.”
Mr. Kates, the head varsity lacrosse coach and member of the History department, has accepted a position at the prestigious Haverford School in Philadelphia teaching history and coaching lacrosse. Haverford has one of the top lacrosse programs in the country, perennially ranked in the top 15. Mr. Kates has taught at Pace for the past eight years, a career highlighted by winning the Kessler Award, a teacher of the year award decided by faculty vote. “My favorite memory is the students’ reaction when I won the Kessler Award; that was pretty special to me,” said “TomKat,” as he is affectionately called by many of his students.