Faculty & Staff

Blake’s success is firmly rooted in our faculty, staff and administrators, all of whom have a proven track record of professional success in their respective fields and who believe in Blake’s mission and core values.

Blake’s national reputation as leading independent school is a direct result of the thoughtfulness, innovation and lifelong value of its academic program, which is carefully designed and continually fine tuned by our teachers. In addition, Blake faculty are supported by eight Pre-K–12 department chairs, learning specialists, counselors, deans and other experts.

Our Commitment Beyond the Classroom

Blake believes a community is strengthened by dialog among peers and a broad sharing of innovative and best practices. The school is committed to recruiting and retaining talented, passionate and diverse professionals and offers them the training, resources and support they need to thrive.

Our teachers continually strive to improve their practice, and Blake has a well-defined and comprehensive professional development program that focuses is on the aspects of teacher practice that research indicates correlate most highly to improved student learning. Blake’s Effective Teaching Initiative (ETI), which is used as a model for other schools around the country, represents a full-scale effort to support the growth of all teachers at various stages of their career and at various levels of performance.

More than 73 percent of Blake’s teachers have advanced degrees and many faculty members have entered the classroom after having established careers in the field they now teach. Their expertise benefits students who gain a deeper understanding of subjects in which their teachers have extensive experience.

For more information regarding any of the materials within this section, or if you have any questions about professional development at The Blake School, please contact Assistant Head of School Rand Harrington at rharrington@blakeschool.org.

In a recent independent survey of Blake’s young alumni, over 95 percent agreed “the teachers at Blake demonstrate excellence.”

Faculty News

  • Mike Bazzett

    Milkweed Editions to Publish Bazzett's 'Popol Vuh' Translation

    The verse translation by Upper School English teacher Mike Bazzett of the Mayan creation epic "The Popol Vuh" will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2015.

  • Scott Hollander

    Teacher Appreciation

    Upper School English teacher Scott Hollander was recently nominated by a former Blake student for the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award.

  • Dr. Claude Steele

    World-Class Speakers and Educators at Blake

    This year, Blake is hosting several world-class speakers and educators who will bring our community together around common educational interests and reflect Blake’s commitment to academic excellence and lifelong learning.

  • Frank Sachs

    Sachs Receives National College Counseling Award

    The National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) honored Blake College Counseling Director Frank Sachs with its Margaret E. Addis Service to NACAC Award on Sept. 19 during its national conference in Toronto.

  • Upper School art teacher Jim Spector works with a student in his ceramics studio classroom.

    The Process and Experience of Learning

    Upper School visual arts teacher Jim Spector knows the true value in creating art goes far beyond the end product. And his students know their teacher’s passion for life and art go hand-in-hand.

  • "Simmer," a painting by Bill Colburn '88, is now on display as part of the 554CHANGE exhibition.

    Artist for Change

    Upper School visual arts teacher Bill Colburn ’88 is a featured artist in Intermedia Arts’ 554CHANGE, a multidisciplinary exhibition featuring artwork by 27 Minneapolis-based artists who are working as catalysts for community change.

  • NAIS Teacher of the Future: K.C. West

    Middle School English teacher K.C. West was selected as an NAIS Teacher of the Future for 2013-14. Each year NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) selects a group of teachers who exemplify creativity and innovation in the classroom and inspire their peers around the country. Learn more.

  • The Oldest Book in America

    In 2011, English teacher Mike Bazzett embarked on what he describes as "a foolhardy undertaking that for some reason I could not let go." Now his English translation of a centuries-old Mayan oral narrative is taking shape and getting published. Read more.

  • Announcing 2013 Fund for Teachers Fellows

    Congratulations to Blake's 2013 Fund for Teacher Fellows: Alita Shenk, Diane Landis, Susan Graham and Stacy Swearingen. Fund for Teachers awards fellowships for summer learning experiences to PK-12 teachers, empowering them to pursue their passions to then pique student engagement.

  • Advanced Ceramics teacher Jim Spector demonstrates how to use the pottery wheel to make a tea bowl.

    Third Graders Take the Wheel

    Kris Nelson was just test driving an idea when she had 21 of her third grade art students take a turn behind the pottery wheels in the Upper School ceramics room. By the end of class, she knew she’d be taking the lesson for another spin.