Avon Old Farms School began hiring "progressive teachers who trained a student to 'seek knowledge and establish facts for himself'" in 1927 – a tradition that remains strong today.
SANDRA KATZ (2003)
About Major Bourgault
I was fortunate enough to attend Avon Old Farms School many years ago. Originally from Fremont, California, I ventured out to the East Coast and began my sophomore year in the fall of 1977 and graduated three years later. While here, I played football and lacrosse and was the captain of the wrestling team in my senior year. I was also a monitor my junior and senior years. My father, Jack '49, also attended Avon Old Farms School.
After graduating in 1980, I returned to California where I attended California State University, Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) and graduated with a B.S. in Finance. Instead of pursuing a business career, I opted to join the United States Marine Corps in the summer of 1984. During my 20 year career, I held a number of command and staff positions including infantry officer, CH-53E pilot, and the Deputy Director of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. I flew over a dozen combat missions during Operation DESERT SHIELD/STORM in 1990-1991. I am a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and was an adjunct faculty member for the Marine Corps University.
After retiring from the Marine Corps in 2004, I joined Team Avon Old Farms, a longtime dream of mine. I began my new career teaching English and history, working in the dorms, and coaching cross country, wrestling, and track. Over the years, my duties have expanded to include Assistant Dean of Students. In 2011, I became the Athletic Director; however, I still teach two sections of World Wars and one section of US History. I coach wrestling and run Elephant II dormitory. I live on campus with my wife and high school sweetheart, Anna. We have two grown children, Jenelle and Jake '09, and currently live on campus in Eagle Apartment with our two cats, Sparky and Sweetie.
What experience led you to Avon Old Farms School?
I am an Avon alumnus with a with a passion for history. I have spent my entire adult life training, educating, and molding young people: always seeking to bring out their very best. I take advantage of professional development opportunities every year. In 2009, I started "Push-ups for Patriots", a charitable event that we have run annually where participants join in a 24-hour push-up marathon and raise money for wounded veterans by contributing all proceeds to the Semper Fi Fund.
Why do you teach at Avon Old Farms School?
Avon Old Farms made an indelible mark on me during my formative years and I have very strong and fond memories of my time here. From the time I graduated I always wanted to return to the school and provide the same experience to a new generation of Avonians.