Welcome to the Circle: History Department

Nihal Kayali

Nihal Kayali joined us this year fresh from Yale University, and is looking forward to her first year of teaching.

Ms. Kayali grew up in San Diego, CA, only two blocks away from the beach, and loved track and field from an early age–She watched the 1992 Barcelona Olympics from her crib. She played soccer and ran in high school, and was on both the cross country and track teams at Yale and is “thrilled” to be coaching the Girls Cross Country team this fall as well as the Track and Field team this spring. She is also teaching World and the West.

She looks forward to  experiencing Groton’s beautiful New England fall and becoming familiar with all of our traditions, which seem to her to “spontaneously erupt” every day. She is already working hard to learn everyone’s names on the Circle, which has been “more of a challenge than [she] anticipated.”

Mr FrancisHarold Francis has been very visible around campus lately, both in his office in the Athletic Center, the dining hall and in his dorm. He is Groton’s newest Assistant Athletic Director, as well as an upper school boy’s dorm head and an assistant coach of Varsity Football.

The boys of Francis Dorm, including Ace Cowans ’15, already consider him to be a “solid, fun, and kind guy.” Also, according to John MacEachern ’16, on the field he is a “knowledgeable coach who is great at showing younger guys how to play the game.” His biggest responsibility has been organizing Groton’s intricate game schedule. This poses a challenge since games are constantly being changed. Hopefully, he will still have free time to continue his passion of reading comic books. Mr. Francis graduated from Hobart College, where he played football his freshman year. Before coming to Groton, he was a Middle School teacher and basketball coach at BB&N.

“I have high hopes for the basketball season with him as the head coach,” says John MacEachern ’16.

MrSpring -Talia Horvath[1]Ryan Spring is currently teaching two sections of American History and two sections of World and the West. He grew up in southern New Hampshire and attended Phillips Academy Andover. He then attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where he double-majored in American Cultural Studies and Russian Studies. He continued his educational career, attending graduate school at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Mr. Spring first taught at the Phillips Exeter Academy Summer Program for three summers, during which he met his wife, Stacey. He then worked at Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey, where he taught American History, Western Civilization History, and Russian History for fifteen years.

Mr. Spring decided to come to Groton because his wife was interested in pursuing graduate school in Boston. He wanted to be closer to his family in southern New Hampshire, and he thought the change from Blair would be good for him and for his family. He currently coaches Girls’ Varsity Soccer. According to Marie Wesson’15, he is praised for “the unity he has built in a team with a whole new coaching staff and many young, new players.” He is the head of Spring’s dorm, where he lives with his wife and his two children, Owen, 4, and Eleanor (Elly), 1.

Leave a Reply