Welcome to the Circle: English Department

Vuyelwa MaqubelaMr. and Mrs. Maqubela are coming to us from Andover, where they lived for 26 years. Originally from South Africa, they fled to Botswana after being exiled from South Africa due to Mr. Maqubela’s involvement in anti-Apartheid activism. By the time they were welcomed back to South Africa, they had moved to the US and started a family. Though they have always wanted to go back to South Africa, they only recently realized that they want to stay in the US longer as they and their three sons have made fulfilling lives for themselves here. Their eldest son, 28, got engaged this summer, their second eldest, 25, is currently working in Cambridge, and their youngest son, 20, is a junior at Boston College.

Mrs. Maqubela is eager to teach novels from various places around the world, including those from South Africa, in her English classes. She will explore the real-world issues that the literature highlights in all her classes. Additionally, Mrs. Maqubela is looking forward to being a part of the track program in the spring, as she was a high school track star herself, unbeaten in the 50, 100, and 200 yard dashes all four years of her high school career.

One of things she loves most about Groton is the community atmosphere it offers. She admires that it has a very distinct personality and is uniquely unapologetic about its differences with other ISL schools. She was pleasantly surprised to hear that Groton has chapel every day as it reminds her of her own high school experience. She looks forward to every chapel talk, and although she is nervous to give one herself, she will do so eventually when the “inspiration” comes to her. One of her main goals is to open up the Headmaster’s House to the students and get to know everyone in this community. In addition to Parlor, she wants to welcome anyone on campus to stop by for snacks, drinks and good conversation.

We loved getting to know Mrs. Maqubela a little bit better and hearing her amazing story. Just as she has welcomed us all into her home, we encourage you all to welcome her to the circle. We are so glad to have you here, Mrs. Maqubela!

Johnathan Freeman-CoppadgeJohnathan Freeman-Coppadge

Johnathan Freeman-Coppadge worked at the Indian Creek School in Maryland where he taught a full workload of English, French, and drama before moving to Groton with his husband, Darren. Although he has quite a schedule this year, teaching English to the III, IV, and V Forms, Mr. Freeman-Coppadge, or Mr. F-C, enjoys the pace of Groton, finding it much more relaxed than his previous school.

Along with teaching English, Mr. F-C is helping to organize the fall drama production of Romeo and Juliet with Ms. Sales, which he is very excited about. He is affiliated with Bradley’s dorm and has found check-ins to be very fun and a good bonding experience. He is also the new faculty head of the Groton Community Service organization and is looking forward to seeing how GCS currently works and to encouraging participation in community service.

Mr. F-C grew up in Pennsylvania with two younger brothers and graduated from St. John’s College. He also spent a year teaching English in France. In his free time, he enjoys reading, writing, and running; and he also has quite an adorable dog.

We are very excited to get to know Mr. F-C as an English teacher this year, and we hope he has a spectacular first year on the Circle.

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