Fall Sports at Avon
Even though fall interscholastic competition has been canceled due to the pandemic, Avon Old Farms still strongly believes in the value of athletics...physical, mental, moral and social. We have a very robust and diverse program in place to make the fall season exciting and beneficial to each student, further enhancing his Avon experience.
OFFICIAL FOUNDERS LEAGUE ANNOUNCEMENT
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and after many discussions prioritizing community health, safety and well-being, the Founders League has unanimously, and with great regret, decided to cancel all Founders League interscholastic competition for the 2020 fall season.
Cross Country - Varsity
Avon Cross Country is a large and diverse program with runners competing at all skill levels. It is our goal to inspire young men to become lifelong runners. We offer a program focused on character development, mental toughness, and discipline. It is our belief that the trials faced in training, and racing contains countless opportunities for personal growth and achievement. Each season offers new challenges to veteran runners and novices alike. Our boys spend their afternoons testing their mettle on our trails and hills, and each weekend punishing the competition.
Each year we compete against the best teams in New England prep school running. In our regular season, we compete locally including races against Hotchkiss, Kent, Suffield, and Westminster. Our season culminates with the Founders’ League championship followed by the Division 1 New England Prep School Championship where our boys compete at the highest level of high school cross country.
Our boys train on Avon’s own expansive network of trails and around the Farmington River valley. Each year our boys run to Heublein Tower in Simsbury, and log countless miles on the Farmington Valley Greenway. We have even traveled as far as Tolland for the opportunity to train on a new trail. We are blessed to live in an area full of running trails, and steep hills. There is no better place to forge talented runners.
About Mrs. Larson
I grew up in Palm Harbor, Florida, and graduated from Palm Harbor University High School summa cum laude in 2005. Upon graduation, I attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where I received a B.S. in Engineering Physics and minors in Mathematics and Meteorology in 2009. During college, I competed on the cross-country and track team, where I earned eight All-Americans and two National Champions, served as a team captain, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015. Following college, I joined the Department of Space at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to research the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. I continued my research at Dartmouth College, where I earned a M.S. in Engineering Science in 2012. While at Dartmouth, I served as a volunteer coach under Mark Coogan for the women’s cross country and track team.
What experience led you to Avon Old Farms School?
I began my teaching career in January of 2013 as a part-time physics instructor at Castleton State College. In August of 2013, I joined the faculty of Fountain Valley School of Colorado as science teacher, head track and field coach, and assistant fitness coach. During my time there, I helped the track and field team grow to record numbers with top state finishers and an athlete accomplishing the fastest 1600-meter time in the state of Colorado. I also assisted with redesigning the science curriculum and introduced engineering into their program.
Why do you teach at Avon Old Farms School?
I joined the faculty of Avon Old Farms School to assist with launching and developing our engineering and robotics program while serving the many important roles in the dorm and as a coach for cross country and track and field. I believe it’s important to challenge our boys academically, physically, and mentally while they discover themselves in pursuing to become a man of Avon who embraces integrity, inclusion, justice and service.
Chris Doyle sometimes likes to test his limits. He loves history: reading it, teaching it, and writing it. He enjoys talking about ideas: with students, colleagues, parents, his family, or even with strangers at a local coffee shop or museum. He usually can’t wait to run with the cross-country team on a fall afternoon, try to keep up with his wrestlers on the mat in the winter, or walk with his wife, Bev, and dogs all over the Avon campus on a Sunday afternoon.
Chris has initiated new classes in Global Studies, “Government and Crisis,” and a team-taught offering, with Dan Hodgson from the English Department, on inequality and protest in the Gilded Age and the twenty-first century. This course uses works of literature and history to explore the spectacular wealth and poverty of both eras and how they fueled social unrest.
Since coming to Avon in 2017, Chris has been deeply involved in organizing the Evans History Initiative. In 2019, with the help of the administration, staff, colleagues, and students, the Evans Initiative became a full-blown academic conference exploring slavery and its legacies on the 400th anniversary of the beginnings of American slavery at Jamestown.
Chris has a doctorate in history from the University of Connecticut, an M.A. in history from Trinity College, and a B.A. in history from Western Connecticut State University. His commentary writings have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant, and Education Week. His teaching has been featured in the New York Times.
Chris began teaching in 1985 following a brief stint in sales just after college. He grew up immersing himself in books: biographies, novels, stories about off-beat events in the past. He decided to give teaching a shot because he wanted to do something that would combine his love of history with the possibility of doing some larger good. Of his early days in the classroom, Chris says: “It was so much harder to teach well than I thought it would be. Students didn’t naturally share my enthusiasm for the subject or grasp what I wanted to get across to them. I had to draw them in. To do that, I needed good stories. That’s why I kept studying—to find more stories.”
As a veteran teacher, Chris has become increasingly concerned about showing students how historians think and work.
“Memorizing a bunch of facts isn’t history. History is an effort to explain the human condition,” Chris believes. “Historians must be true to facts, but they have to select and prioritize evidence. They also have an obligation not to ignore evidence that complicates their take on the past. And they have to try hard not to project their own biases and cultural baggage into their analyses, not to think anachronistically.”
These are difficult concepts to teach, but Chris is convinced that they make for more thoughtful people and better citizens.
- Students who know “Doc Doyle” as their history teacher often express surprise the first time they see him riding his motorcycle.
About Mr. Tibbles
The acres of forest surrounding our campus remind me of my hometown of Portland, Oregon. New England holds a special place for me because I met my wife during an intensive Mandarin language program at Middlebury College in Middlebury Vermont. Splitting our family ties across both coasts, we enjoy traveling and exploring what the United States and the world have to offer!
What experience led you to Avon Old Farms School?
After studying China academically, I left the United States to live and work in the People's Republic of China teaching English. Living in China increased my fascination with Chinese language and literature. I returned to enroll in the Chinese Language and Literature program for graduate study. I came back to the field of education after my graduate studies, beginning to work in independent schools as a Mandarin Language teacher. I have taught in a number of academic settings and levels: middle and upper schools, boarding and day schools, and single-sex and co-educational schools for a total of more than ten years in teaching.
Why do you teach at Avon Old Farms School?
Boarding schools offer a wonderful setting for a cohesive and holistic learning environment. As a teacher, I understand how wonderful it is to be known as a complete person. From sharing my academic passions to modeling a supportive family, I believe that we educate best when we care for and connect with those we teach and those we learn from.
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