Q&A with Kristen Leatherbee and Tim LeRoy

profile-largerGroton faculty members Kristen Leatherbee and Tim LeRoy—soon to be Mr. And Mrs. LeRoy—recently took time to answers some questions about their jobs, dorm life, and their wedding in St. John’s Chapel this summer.

Can you explain your roles at Groton? What is most challenging, and satisfying?
Kristen: I am a full-time math teacher, Upper School dorm head, advisor, and JV coach for girls soccer and basketball. My greatest challenge has been adapting to the quick, relentless pace of boarding school while trying to balance all my roles here, making sure each gets adequate time and attention. By far the greatest satisfaction of working at Groton is the students. I am delighted each day working with these amazing young adults—we laugh together, discuss mathematics, and have interesting and fun conversations.
Tim: This is my first year as Director of Student Activities. My biggest challenge is understanding the Groton culture and close community. Fortunately, I’ve had some outstanding student prefects who have helped me along the way and provided a lot of great ideas. Students work so hard here, and it’s really satisfying when they are excited about the events and activities that are scheduled for them. I also am a tri-varsity coach for girls’ soccer, boys’ ice hockey, and baseball.

Kristen, what’s the most satisfying part about running a dorm? And what are the challenges?
Tim and I love running an Upper School girls dorm. Each night at check-in, it is incredibly heart-warming to see what a wonderful “family” we have and to see the girls supporting each other through thick and thin. While running a dorm has its challenges, the group of girls we have this year have minimized them–we work well together. As I tell the girls, they are the one and only Leatherbee Dorm at Groton, as next year it will become the LeRoy Dorm after Tim and I are married. I tell them, what a great way for my last name to go out in style!

Kristen, how did attending the 2012 International Conference of Math Education (ICME) in Seoul influence your teaching?
I had the honor of attending with fellow math department faculty Jon Creamer and Laura Lyons, thanks to the generosity of a Groton parent. It was inspiring to hear and learn about different cultural approaches to teaching mathematics, especially about how some cultures inspire their students to think creatively when problem-solving. Following this conference, I am more mindful of the diverse math backgrounds that our incoming students have. I am also better educated about different methods and approaches to use as part of my teaching practice, especially around using technology in the classroom.

Tim, what aspects of the student activities program have you enhanced this year?
We most wanted to improve by having multiple events planned for each weekend. Our goal is to always have options for our students, from Second to Sixth Formers. I made sure when planning the “big weekends” (formal, theme dances, etc.) that I worked closely with the SAC (Student Activities Committee) and listened to their thoughts/opinions.

Some of my favorite weekends have been Movie on the Circle (with an inflatable movie screen), an Italian ice cart for St. George’s weekend, a Gatsby-themed winter formal, broomball on the rinks, the SAC Haunted House, Dorm Lip Sync, and so many more! I look forward to continuing to build and bring new ideas to our community.

How did you meet?
Kristin: We actually were introduced through Stacey and Bob Low (Groton’s Athletic Director). Stacey and Bob were my colleagues at the time here at Groton, and Tim was a former colleague of Bob’s through a summer program at Cardigan Mountain School. After our engagement in December of 2012, the Lows were the first Groton faculty members we told of the exciting news.

What’s most exciting about getting married on campus?
Kristen: Our friends and family have heard so much about Groton and boarding schools, so we can’t wait to finally show them the beautiful campus we call home. It will be fulfilling to show our friends and family what we do each day and why we love being a part of this amazing community. Morning Chapel will have even more meaning for us after this summer, as we are getting married in the stunning Chapel. The part our friends/family are most looking forward to is staying in the dorm; they can’t wait to enjoy campus as much as we do during the summer months.

Will Bruschi have a role in the wedding festivities?
Kristen: Bruschi (named after the former New England Patriot, Teddy Bruschi) is our six-year-old beagle/shepard mix rescue dog. He is very sweet and quirky, with a fondness for cheese. He loves hanging out with the girls in the common room of the dorm, especially to “vacuum” up all their crumbs. Although he does not have a role in the wedding ceremony, we did order him a special collar and bowtie to wear for some pictures on the big day.

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