Memory Lane

Catching up with former faculty


Marie Brockhoff, Copy

Teachers are an integral part of Seabury, both at the front of a classroom and in more personal interactions. But what happens when they leave the bubble? Here is what some of our beloved former teachers have been up to since they hit the road.

In spring 2020, former science faculty member Christopher Bryan left to become the executive officer at the Office of the National Guard Bureau Joint Chaplain in Washington D.C. Primarily, Bryan coordinates with chaplains from around the country and internationally, as well as organizing training conferences. Another aspect of his job is domestic operations. “With the riots going on in D.C., when we brought 25,000 members of the national guard in during January, and with Coronavirus relief as well, we’re trying to make sure we have chaplains to take care of all the personnel,” he says. 

Although Bryan moved east in the spring, his wife and fellow faculty member Cris Bryan continued teaching English for the fall semester. During the winter break, she joined her husband in D.C. and is currently taking a well-deserved break, but she applied for a competitive internship at Polyface Farms, an innovative, environmentally focused farm in Virginia. Unfortunately, she found out she was not selected. “Then, two weeks ago, [Polyface Farms] said they had been thinking a lot about her and offered her a job as chef at the farm,” says Christopher Bryan of Cris. “They think she’ll be a good mentor for these young interns,” he says. “She’ll be cooking one meal a day for 25 people, so she can be involved on the farm as much as she wants, which is really excellent.” 

Longtime faculty member Nancy Landi retired from Seabury in spring 2020  and is indulging in her newfound freetime. “After teaching after all those years, I have had to figure out how to relax and not live my life in 42 minute intervals,” says Landi. “I can do things when I want to do them and for how long I want to do them.” She fills her days with reading, gardening, and family time, as well as making a plethora of baked goods. “I think you could survive for months just with all the baking that I have in my freezer, because obviously I can’t eat it all!” 

Recently, Landi made Lawrence Journal World headlines. “I realized in early September that my identity had been stolen and used to make a false unemployment claim,” says Landi. “I’ve been dealing with trying to correct that since then.” Nevertheless, Landi is ready to fight. “I’m not going to pay taxes on stuff I didn’t get,” she says. 

In 2019, former science faculty member Anthony Howcroft left to pursue a graduate degree in Chemistry at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after marrying his fiance, Sydney. Howcroft’s focus is Chemical Education, and he is currently preparing for his Master’s Thesis. “I’m doing research on how we teach chemistry; how we have classes; how we help students learn,” says Howcroft. “A lot of research is with things that can catch fire or explode, so currently I’m trying not to do too much with things that can catch fire or explode,” he says of adapting to pandemic restrictions. 

Howcroft believes his time teaching put him strides ahead in graduate school. “With answering students’ questions, I have a much deeper understanding of science and the interconnectedness of it. I’m a much better graduate student now having that experience and knowledge,” says Howcroft. 

Bryan’s teaching experience has also helped him in his new position. “The task I’m doing now, organizing a training conference, really fits into my job as a teacher. My job at Seabury has really helped me communicate and get along with all kinds of people,” he says. “The job for most teachers and chaplains is taking care of people and supporting them.”

“Being [at Seabury] as a teacher was an incredible time in my life, to be able to get to know you guys and build those relationships, . . . and I really miss the faculty,” says Howcroft of what he misses most. “I don’t particularly miss all the grading, but I miss all the stuff that happens in between.” 

“I miss the ease of friendships between students and teachers . . . I miss sitting next to [faculty member Michael] Pulsinelli at Morning Meeting and us laughing under our breath. It’s the little things you miss,” says Landi. “Oh, and I miss teaching geometry, that’s the best!” 

“The students. I really miss being able to continue those relationships,” says Bryan. “Sometimes I have spent years of watching people grow and learn and discover who they are. Being such a part of [students’] lives is such a privilege.” We all miss our former teachers, but Bryan has some final words of advice: “Don’t lose heart, and don’t lose hope; we’ll get to the other side of this difficult year together.”