New Faces in the Math Department

Media taken by Alejandro Izurieta ’25

Among the many new faculty here at the high school, the math department seems to have the most new members. Amy Pan, Spencer Irwin, and Nick Kurian are the newest additions to the school’s math team. While students may feel as though they are already knowledgeable on the respective personalities of each teacher,  how much do we genuinely know about them? 

Ms. Pan, a newly announced Precalculus and Data Science 2 teacher, began her work at Grace long before she started teaching. 

“I started at Grace years ago as a math-science center consultant, and I really enjoyed it,” she explained. “The students I worked with were honest, funny, and bright.” As a result of her positive experience, she further immersed herself in the Grace community as she began her teaching career.

Before Ms. Pan arrived at Grace, she had never been employed as a teacher. At her previous school, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, she studied chemical engineering. Her school, located across the street from the high school, was extremely rigorous, which likely aided in her fluent transition from being a student to becoming a teacher. She described it as “heavy on math and science, [having] tough exams, but some great professors who take teaching seriously.” 

Another addition to Grace’s math team, Mr. Irwin began teaching three math classes this year: Standard Geometry, Intensive Geometry, and Calculus. Before Mr. Irwin began his career at Grace, he previously worked at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School. He describes the school as being “pretty similar to Grace.” He continued, saying, “It was a small independent Episcopalian school.” 

Mr. Irwin explained that his co-workers, lab days, and the location are what initially drew him to the school. He declared, “Meeting the math team was a very big draw from me.  We had similar ideas about ways to teach math.” 

While it is evident that Mr. Irwin’s interests typically revolve around the mathematics department, he additionally expressed his admiration towards other appealing aspects of the school. “The idea of lab days was really appealing to me…,” he continued. “And lastly, it’s just the location: I don’t think you can really beat the location of Grace.” 

Moreover, Mr. Irwin found himself encapsulated by the school’s Data Science program. “ [their two year program] is very cutting edge, and it is the way that all schools will go soon enough,” he describes. 

Mr. Kurian previously worked at the Professional Children’s School where he was able to witness a plethora of amazing people: “For a few years, I had Japan’s biggest boy band in my classes…. There was even a short TV show in Japan about their time in NYC.” The classes were overflowing with young actors, dancers, athletes, and other performers. 

Mr. Kurian had heard similar comments of admiration towards Grace from a multitude of people. He teaches Calculus and Data Science 1: Statistics and Probability. He explained that he actually discovered Grace through a recommendation. “My mentor recommended Grace Church; she said it was a fantastic place that was a good mix of rigor and creativity.” 

Yet as each respective teacher begins to establish themselves as prominent members of the Grace community, it is vital to recognize the various journeys that led them to these positions. 

While a mere three months has passed since the start of the new school year, the new math teachers have already found their experiences at Grace to be rewarding, enjoyable and comfortable. 

Ms. Pan emphasized her gratitude towards her newfound teaching experience as she is finally able to witness the Grace environment with minimized obstacles such as COVID, hybrid learning, and full-time teaching for the first time. She exclaims, “there have always been some really fun and amazing people along the way, both students and faculty, that make it worth it. Also, the food is always worth it.” 

Similarly, Mr. Irwin has also enjoyed teaching here so far, as he proclaims, “My experience has been great. It’s always good to get to know a new group of people and kind of meet students as that happens naturally.” Although he finds himself to be very busy, he emphasizes that that is not a bad thing, rather just something to get used to. 

Mr. Kurian keeps it short and sweet as he states, “I’ve loved the students!  Very smart, very funny, and a pleasure to teach!” 

As Grace continues to provide an environment where new students feel that their transition is fluid and pleasant, it seems to give new coming teachers this exact experience. The three new members to the math department are indisputably becoming prominent aspects of the Grace community with each day.