Before working at Pace, our teachers had a wide variety of jobs ranging from farming to game show production to serving in the Army. Most of the Pace teachers experimented with many different jobs before discovering their passion for teaching. Some of these faculty members include History Teacher and Dean of Student Academics Mindy Lawrence, Ceramics Teacher Ty Nicholson, Associate Director of Middle School Admissions Heather Bernes, Director of Athletics Chad Wabrek, Lacrosse Coach Chase Winter, and Upper School History Teacher Christine Carter.
Believe it or not, both Mrs. Lawrence and Mr. Nicholson were previously farmers. After college, Mrs. Lawrence worked as a Digital Historian, a creator of documentary style movies, a marketer and a farmer. “I rented a farm about an hour outside of DC, got a bunch of chicks, a few pigs, ducks and turkeys and made a go at farming,” said Mrs. Lawrence. Later, she became a personal assistant to a Grammy-nominated musician, where she “organized his performance and DJ-ing schedule, handled his finances, picked up his laundry, serviced his car, babysat his kid and pulled off an over-the-top 7th birthday party.” Spending so much time with his daughter is what caused Mrs. Lawrence to consider becoming a teacher.
Ceramics teacher Mr. Nicholson has experimented with a variety of careers including farming, serving as an Artilleryman in the Army, working at Tilly’s clothing store, installing satellite dishes, working as a CNC mechanic, making cowhide rugs, installing floors, repairing kilns, becoming a Commercial Artist and finally, teaching art at schools and community centers around the country. At the age of 15, Mr. Nicholson began working for his family’s farm located in the desert, so he had to work at night because it was the only time of day that there was enough moisture to bale hay. “Throughout High School, I would regularly work from around 11 p.m. to 8 or 9 a.m. driving a tractor,” said Mr. Nicholson. “One night, our little local radio station got stuck on a loop of playing “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney for 5 hours — it was the only thing I had to listen to besides the sound of the tractor. To this day, I cannot listen to that song,” Mr. Nicholson recounts.
Among the Pace staff is a two-time Emmy-award winning TV producer, Mrs. Bernes. Mrs. Bernes was a game show producer in Hollywood for “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Price is Right.” She really enjoyed her experience on both shows, but disliked the “long and grueling hours of the television production industry.”
Mr. Wabrek and Coach Winter have both worked in school sports throughout most of their careers. Winter first worked in sales at a printer company, but was encouraged by his brother to start coaching. Mr. Wabrek always knew he wanted to work in school sports, so he became a student teacher and had various teaching jobs. Lastly, Dr. Carter was a summer camp counselor at Camp Friendship, worked in a research center, worked at Talbots clothing store and was a professor at Georgia State before working at Pace.