Departing Faculty: English Teacher Zoe Balaconis

Departing+Faculty%3A+English+Teacher+Zoe+Balaconis

Mary Randolph, Former Editor-in-Chief

Upper School (US) English Teacher and Speech and Debate Coach Zoe Balaconis will depart the US after seven years for a teaching job in Asheville, North Carolina. Ms. Balaconis worked at the school from 2013-2014, as well as 2016-2022; she has taught classes ranging from English 9 and 10 to True Stories and the Personal Essay for seniors.

Ms. Balaconis said her favorite aspects of teaching at the US included the individual relationships she formed with students in class, where she was able to share laughs and bond with all students, no matter their personality types.

“I’ve loved all my students: quiet, screaming, naughty, rule-following, funny, serious, writerly, book-skeptical. I always looked forward to coming to class—every year, every day—to see them and whatever hijinks they’d cooked up. I will miss them so
much.”

This year, Ms. Balaconis took the time to go on a field trip with seniors who she taught when they were sophomores.

“When the current seniors were in my sophomore class, our field trip was canceled because we all went into lockdown. This year, now that we’re all back, we had a reunion for that class two years later, and we went on that field trip. We took a bus to Mount Auburn and walked the paths and ate Oreos and caught up on everything we’d missed,” she said. “I loved seeing the group again and how nice it was to reminisce about our class ’round that table, back when Oscar Capraro ’22 put gum wrappers on the wall and everyone looked so young.”

A former student of Ms. Balaconis, Dylan Higgins ’22 commented on her ability to make storytelling captivating and personal, often through sharing her own funny anecdotes.

“Ms. Balaconis taught me that I could actually enjoy writing by showing me how to tell stories,” Dylan said. “She was organized and challenging, but she also made time to let us string her bow, tell[ing] us stories about her long-lost criminal friend named Kiwi Dave and more.”