Belmont Hill Bids Farewell to a Treasured Member of the English Department

A proud graduate of Kenyon College’s class of 2005 and an impassioned literary mentor, Mr. Mooney joined Belmont Hill’s English department in the fall of 2016, immediately making a meaningful impact on the school’s academic, athletic, and extra-curricular realms. Reflecting upon his time on the Hill, Mr. Mooney, a crucial pillar of Belmont Hill’s SAFE, Pride and Short Story club programs, mused, “It’s been great. It’s been too short. Two years is not enough time anywhere. There’s a lot that will be missed. I’ve grown to appreciate what a special place this is, and especially for you students. I think that a boys’ school is unfamiliar and a little daunting initially. Quickly, I grew to realize the benefits of it, particularly for you all, as students.”

Mr. Mooney is departing for Hopkins School in Connecticut after two years at Belmont Hill

 Mr. Mooney says he has especially enjoyed the broad scope of classes he may teach on a given day, revealing, “I have loved our English department philosophy of teaching across many grade levels, whereas in other disciplines I know it can be harder to do. Teaching from seventh to eleventh grade is a broad range. Seventh graders are very different from Juniors, and it keeps me on my toes. It’s been a fun mix.” Even as he moves on to the Hopkins School in New Haven, Connecticut, Mr. Mooney, who coached Belmont Hill’s Form II Football and Baseball teams, vows to continue Belmont Hill’s renowned teacher-coach tradition:  “I have loved coaching football. I’ll be doing that at my next school. I’ve also really enjoyed coaching baseball, and this is the first time I have done that. Coaching alongside Mr. Sweeney has been a particular privilege.” In typical Mr. Mooney fashion, when asked about what elements of Belmont Hill he has most enjoyed, he deflected all credit to his students: “I think the rigor with which you all approach pretty much everything you do while still maintaining some levity, humor, and, hopefully, sanity has been very impressive. You guys are far beyond where I was as a sixteen, seventeen year old. It has been really inspiring to see your accomplishments in many different arenas. That is the fun of teaching. It is why we do it.”

In addition to his time advising students, Mr. Mooney has fostered priceless friendships while working alongside others in the English department, adding, “Some of the colleagues, the friendships I have made here have been really special. The English department has a particularly strong faculty, I think. I have learned a lot from everyone there, particularly Mr. Leo and Dr. Tift. They have been invaluable. I’ll miss them.” In terms of areas for improvement, the teacher-coach points to “opportunities to simply breathe for a moment,” or “actively reflecting rather than just going, going, going.” As a treasured member of our school community departs, he aims to continue growing, revealing, “The joy of teaching, in addition to working with you all, is the ability to be a lifelong learner, and that is the core of the job. I value that and look forward to that in a different setting that is still has a lot of similarities to this place.”



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