Teachers leave St. George’s for new adventures

Photo: Merryn Ruthling and Pixabay

Sailing Forward

After spending 15 years teaching at St. George’s, Mrs. Lisa Ayerst, upper school algebra II and geometry teacher, is sailing on to new adventures as she retires from St. George’s.

Mrs. Ayerst plans on sailing to destinations all over the world, including the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands and the Florida coast. While she will be leaving to spend more time on sailing adventures, Mrs. Ayerst is not leaving her home at St. George’s all together.

“I love teaching math and I love working with students, so I don’t see myself giving that completely up,” Mrs. Ayerst said.

Mrs. Ayerst has decided to continue on with her passion of teaching math by launching a tutoring service for students before and during school hours. Whenever she has the opportunity during her trips, she will be tutoring online as well.

According to Mrs. Ayerst, this will be a very bittersweet experience. Although she will still be around St. George’s tutoring, she will miss being a faculty member.

In particular, she will miss things like pulling pranks with the other faculty members, seeing the various wildlife early in the morning and running Make-A-Wish, which is now being sponsored by Upper School Latin teacher Mrs. Forest Imorde.

“Making the decision was not easy at all. I still get teary-eyed,” Mrs. Ayerst said. “I’ve been here a long time and I love this place, but this is a logical next step.”

Trading the Pyramid for the Capital

Upper School English teacher Ms. Jennifer Vasil is leaving Memphis to teach at a school in Washington, D.C.

“This is my eighth year at St. George’s, and I love St. George’s and Memphis, but I was just ready for an adventure,” Ms. Vasil said. “I’m at a good point in my life where I have the ability to do that. I have a lot of freedom to be able to pack up and go adventuring places.”

Ms. Vasil will be teaching at The McLean School, an independent school similar to St. George’s. One difference between the two schools is that the majority of students at The McLean School have learning difficulties, such as ADHD, anxiety and dyslexia, which Ms. Vasil is looking forward to because it is a new challenge that she thinks will help her grow as a teacher. She will be transitioning from teaching AP English Language to a course called Heroes of Our Times, a senior humanity elective.

Ms. Vasil will be leaving Memphis immediately after the school year ends. While in Washington D.C., she hopes to visit every single Smithsonian museum, take advantage of the metro and walk around the National Mall.

However, she will miss her home at St. George’s and all of the students and faculty members that she has built relationships with over the past few years.

“I’ve loved St. George’s. It really has been the best place that I have ever taught,” Ms. Vasil said. “I can’t say enough good things about this place.”

Pinning down a job in Maryland

Mr. Jefferson Brant, upper school history teacher and head wrestling coach, has accepted a position to teach global studies and US history at Sevren School in Maryland next year.

Mr. Brant decided to leave for several reasons, including being closer to his family and finally living on the east coast, which he has wanted to do for some time now. Additionally, after five years of teaching and an entire lifetime in Tennessee, Mr. Brant is ready for a change and the opportunity to try something new.

“Sometimes I think it’s healthy, even when you’re happy at a place, to push yourself and challenge yourself,” Mr. Brant said.

According to Mr. Brant, Sevren School is an independent school similar to St. George’s in terms of size and academic standards. He is excited to teach the courses that Sevren School offers because they will differ from the current world history course that he teaches. Mr. Brant is also enthusiastic about taking on the role of assistant wrestling coach at his new school.

“I have a lot of mixed emotions about leaving,” Mr Brant said. “I’m excited about living someplace new and trying it out before I get too settled, but at the same time, it’s tough to walk away from a place that you are happy at.”