PaulGallagherPaul grew up in the western suburbs of Boston — a small town called Natick, in a house that sat at the ten-mile mark of the Boston Marathon. In high school, Paul took a fair amount of Latin and Greek . In college, it was history primarily, mathematics and physics secondarily, and a good bit of geography and political science sprinkled in. Prior to Nueva, he worked in admissions and financial aid at Davidson College in North Carolina, taught physics and statistics, coached a wide variety of sports in Danbury, Connecticut, and was also an outdoor educator, trip leader, and camp counselor in Center Tuftonboro, New Hampshire.

1. What brought you to Nueva?

First, the work. Working in college admissions, I missed the human elements of my work as a classroom teacher, the opportunity to be around school people — students and teachers — and the rhythm of the school year. Second, the people. I was lucky in my first job to land among willing mentors and to work with and for people from whom I could learn. It was clear to me in my interview that Nueva had those people, and my experience to this point has not disappointed. Third, the West Coast seemed like an interesting experience for this lifelong East Coaster and cultural New Englander.

 

2. Who is your hero, and why?

I don’t think I have one. If I had to pick a single individual, I would cop out and pick two: my parents, for their wisdom, patience, unconditional love, and their unflagging commitment to family. Their relationship with each other and the sacrifices they made for me and for my sister only become more impressive to me with time.

 

3. What three words would you use to describe yourself?

I thought about asking someone their thoughts before I remembered that I make my students do this themselves all the time. They put you up to this, haven’t they? Steady, honest, challenging.

 

4. What are you passionate about, what do you do during free time?

Passion is a tricky word for me. I try to seek out new experiences — meeting new people, living in new places, traveling. If I were to be passionate about an ideal, it would be accountability, I think, but I believe that accountability ought to go hand in hand with forgiveness. I’m interested in food and drink, and learning more about that is interesting to me. Glassblowing is an aspirational hobby of mine. Since moving to California, I have made a glassblowing friend, who may someday help to make that happen. I am a supporter of the Boston Celtics and Red Sox, I have purchased a couple fruit trees since moving here that I tend to, and I learn something about bicycles every time I try to fix something on my own cycle.

 

5. If Nueva was a university, which would it be, and why?

Ha! I’m not going to touch that one. So much of students’ experience in college is what they make of it. If Nueva is a land of academic opportunity and fertile ground for personal growth — and I believe that it is — then the schools most similar to Nueva are those where students come to believe they will most be able to “put themselves out there” and take risks.

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