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Faculty Alumnus Spotlight: Mr. Rogers

The Class of 2004 Graduate Sat Down with Stella Chen to Talk KUA Memories

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I don’t know if you know this, but whenever you access the wifi, watch a movie in Flick, or go through a PowerPoint presentation during All School Meeting, you are enjoying the efforts of alumnus Stephen Rogers, KUA class of 2004. As one of the go-to members of the Technology department, he is the one who takes care of our audio visual needs on campus.

I had a chance to sit down with him and learn more about his KUA experiences, both as a student and as a member of the faculty.

SC: So what is your educational background, and when did you come to work at KUA?

SR: I was a four year senior [at KUA. After that] I went to Sarah Lawrence College in New York City, where I primarily did Computer Science for four years. I graduated in 2008, and then I started working here primarily in the Technology department and a little bit in Arts Department. I have been here since 2008, and I am currently starting my 10th year working at KUA.

SC: Why did you want to come back to KUA? Did you always want to come back?

Mr. Rogers as a student in the fall play, “The Foreigner”

SR: Well, at the time, I had stayed close to a number of faculty members at KUA. I also had been working at KUA in the summers while I was in college, primarily in the Maintenance Department. At that time, KUA was developing a bunch of summer programs, like various camps and things, and I became pretty involved in helping with some of their technology. It was kind of a combination [of my desire to return and KUA’s invitation]. But mostly it was a little more of a natural thing.

SC: Have there been any changes to the school or campus that have impressed you?

SR: KUA has a changed a lot. Lots of the facilities, physically, are a lot more impressive. The facility has grown. When I was here, the buildings and facilities were smaller. Also, our athletic teams are considered more impressive [right now]. But overall, I mean, a lot of the community has remained the same, including some of the faculty.

SC: How do you feel about being a faculty member here instead of a student?

SR: Earlier, it was interesting working with many of my colleagues who were also my teachers. And still, many [faculty members here used to be my teachers]. I used to — and still do —  look up to many of them that way.

Mr. Rogers “remained close to a number of faculty members.” Here he is at his wedding with Mr. Kardel, Mr. Weidman, and Mr. Meltzer.

Now, even being here for as long as I have, I feel like many of them may still remember me as a student.  I have been here long enough that they might remember me equally as a faculty member now, too. When you are a young faculty member, the transition can be interesting, especially with the connection both with students and with faculty members.

When I started here, I was 23, and that [age] was pretty close to some of our oldest students. That age difference takes some time for a young faculty member, both in learning to navigate life with the students, and in working with your former advisers and teachers that are now your colleagues. I don’t think it was difficult [for me], but I think it was [a] different [experience], because [I was]  back to a place where [I was a kid], but now [I’m] an adult. Once you become a faculty member, you see why there are many [rules] put in place.

SC: Are there any of your teachers from when you were a student that are still teaching here today?

Mr. Rogers (and Mr. Meltzer) standing beside Flickinger before prom

SR: Not lots [and] lots, but a number. Teachers who [are still here] are Ms. Howe, Mr. Dewdney –  and  Mr. Kaplan came my senior year, but I never had him. Doc, he came in my sophomore year. Mr. Creeger, Mr. Weidman, and Mr. Kardel,  have been here all that time, although Mr. Kardel left a few times between.

Ms. Haskell, Mr. Hyjek, and Mr. Diamond – in his first year, he was a very young faculty member, and he was here during my junior and senior year. And then he was here for one more year, and he left and then he came back. And Ms. McCabe. Most of the Arts Department hasn’t changed. Oh yeah, and Mr. Kluge.

SC: What was your favorite part of KUA when you were a student?

SR: I was very involved with the arts in Flick. [And that kind of set the foundation of me coming back]. Flickinger was very important part to me when I was here, too. My favorite thing? That’s kind of hard…Mr. Creeger was my advisor and I really enjoyed spending time with him. I really enjoyed doing some KUA theater [work]. I really liked All School Meeting, although we called it Morning Meeting, it was very much the same. Although, we had it three times a week. The community and the people, those were the things I really liked.  Some of my closest friends in the world are from KUA.

Mr. Rogers in the winter musical “Into the Woods”

SC: Is there any activity or program that was cut or lost from the time when you were a student?

SR: We had a wrestling team…mountain biking is kind of coming back right now, but the cycling team was nationally ranked when I was here. Sports seem a little different… there was no Strength [activity], that was the big thing. Strength didn’t exist. They have added a lot of sports. There used to be a lot less than now. And we had a lot of formal dinners.

My freshman year, we had formal dinner three times a week. And my sophomore year, twice a week. Day students used to have dish crew everyday at lunch, so we used to do more student dish crews.

[Lunch time used to be longer, too]. My freshman year, lunch used to be two hours. Lunch used to be crazy long. It was split into two halves: we had what was called the “first half” and “second half,” and each one was 55 minutes long. You were supposed to go to one or the other, and the other one was equivalent to office hour right now. We called it “extra help.” And the teachers were supposed to choose the one or the other [as well]. The teachers were then supposed to be in their offices, or in their classrooms for the other half.

SC: Wow, it sounds like there have been a lot of changes to the school day since your time as a student here.

Well, thank you for your time!

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Faculty Alumnus Spotlight: Mr. Rogers