New Teacher Spotlight: Scott Kelly

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Some familiar faces at MFS never seem to change. Many teachers in many departments have taught older and younger siblings or even other MFS teachers during their long tenures here. But in recent years, the world language department has suffered an epidemic of transience, most notably in the French portion, where two of the last three hires have left after just one year. But this year, Scott Kelly has joined the French department and says he is here to stay.

A native of Lansing, Michigan, Kelly attended Kalamazoo College, a small liberal arts college close to his home that he describes as “the Oberlin of Michigan.” While a Michiganian at heart, he is hardly a homebody. After visiting France as part of his school orchestra sophomore year, playing none other than the French horn, he was inspired to see that the language he was learning in school had global uses. After picking up some conversational German during a year abroad in Germany, he searched up and down the East Coast for a teaching job, from Connecticut to New York to Trenton, before finally finding Moorestown Friends.

Kelly has taught at a number of schools in the past, and while always a French teacher, his passions and interests stretch far beyond francophone pursuits. At his previous teaching posts at boarding schools, he helped to coach cross-country and distance running, a sport he enjoys himself. He has also partaken in numerous school diversity groups in an effort to connect with “other students who do not take French.” Kelly also claims to be an experienced chaperone on “all kinds of school trips,” which will doubtless serve him well during Intensive Learning.

Mr. Kelly is a fan of the Harry Potter book series, and a position in those books seems to closely parallel the position he now holds. Like recent MFS French teachers, all Defense Against the Dark Arts instructors leave after one-year stints, the result of a curse by Lord Voldemort. Luckily, the curse at Hogwarts is eventually lifted, and Kelly hopes the same will occur with his tenure as French teacher. “I hope to teach here for a long time…assuming the job’s not cursed.”

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