jacob rivers

Educating our Educators


The Williston–Mount Holyoke partnership continues to inform and inspire teachers

Two years ago, Williston and Mount Holyoke College launched a new master’s degree program designed to better prepare educators for careers at independent schools. Three faculty members (Emily McDowell, Sue Michalski, and Andrew Syfu) are now in their final year of the two-year Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership program, which is coordinated by Director of Curriculum Kim Evelti. Two more faculty members began their coursework this summer, taking online and in-person classes.

One of the new candidates is third-year English teacher Jacob Rivers, who was accepted into the program this spring, along with English teacher Alex Tancrell-Fontaine. Jacob says he was initially hesitant to apply, but discovered that the program was just too well suited to his needs to pass up. “It was fully funded, and it was built for my schedule,” he explains. “It was specifically designed not only for a boarding school teacher but for a Williston boarding school teacher.”

Jacob reports that his first course has already given him new strategies that he’s looking forward to using in the classroom. He particularly appreciates the caliber of the program’s guest speakers, and the connection he’s able to make with master teachers with years of experience.

“Even the casual things they say have little nuggets of information that are really helpful and change the way I think about things,” he says. “Which, in turn, changes my classes.”

Learn more about making an impact on Williston’s students and faculty.