Teachers who Attended Greylock as Students Reflect

A small group of the staff at Mount Greylock Regional School attended the high school as students and have returned to teach. These teachers, having spent a large portion of their lives in Williamstown at Mount Greylock, have watched the school environment change. Teachers such as Liza Barrett ‘82, Brian Gill ‘89, Faith Manary ‘07, Lindley Bell ‘08, Ted Burdick ‘12, and many others have chosen to give back to the community that educated them. 

The new Student Support Center teacher Lindley Bell reflected on her time as a student at Greylock and how the school has changed in the past fifteen years. Bell said her favorite thing about Greylock as a student was the community environment. “Students had a lot of school spirit, our pep rallies were a blast. I loved the small school feel; everyone knows each other and you are like a big family,” she said.

Bell admitted that when she moved back to the area she wasn’t looking to teach at Mount Greylock, but librarian Liza Barrett reached out to her and told her she should come visit. “I visited her one day and I immediately realized I needed to be here,” said Bell.  

Barrett, now the school librarian, graduated from Greylock in 1982 and came back first as a seventh grade English teacher. Barrett shared that while she was at Greylock she ran cross country, played basketball and ran track. 

“Academically, I loved my teachers and I was close to all of them,” Barrett said. “We did a lot of team dinners at our coach’s houses and it helped the team and school community feel tight knit.” 

Barrett also loved the English classes as a student at Greylock. “We had electives in English,” she said. “I enjoyed delving into a different topic each quarter. I loved that flexibility.”

PE Coach Brian Gill graduated from Mount Greylock in 1989. “My reason for returning was as much coming back to Williamstown as it was Greylock,” said Gill. “My dad passed away about two years before I moved back. My mom was in Williamstown and Greylock didn’t feel like just my dad’s school anymore. My wife also wanted to move back here and so the transition felt relatively easy.”

As a student, Gill enjoyed the relationships with his teachers. “I felt like they were really invested,” Gill said. “Part of that may have been that my dad was a teacher here and I knew a lot of people to begin with.”

Gill commented that student autonomy has changed the most since his time as a student. “There is a lot more direct supervision now,” he said. 

Barrett talked about the size of the school changing since she was a student. “We are about half the size. We went from 200 in a class to 100 in a class,” Barrett said. “I also think the stress level of students is much higher now. We were less competitive with each other and there was less pressure about college and jobs post-graduating.” 

Bell said that her favorite thing about Greylock as a teacher is building relationships with kids. “I love getting to know students and finding out the best way to help them succeed.” 

“As a gym coach, I get to see students every year for six years,” Gill said. “I love the consistency of relationships and watching the growth of students from seventh grade to senior year.”

Barrett added that her favorite thing about Greylock and teaching is the relationships with students and interactions with colleagues. “I love my job in the library,” Barrett said. “I love knowing the whole school and putting the right book in the right kids hands. I really enjoy getting extra time with juniors and seniors.” 

After teaching middle schoolers English for so many years, Barrett now mostly has upperclassmen in the library periods. “My first years in the library have been all the kids I taught in middle school so it has been really fun to have this full circle moment.”