Our Upper School teachers blend a passion for teaching with disciplinary expertise and a genuine compassion and affection for the young adults who are their students. Upper School students largely view their teachers as subject experts and mentors rather than authoritarian figures, a view that makes the ultimate transition to college much smoother.
80% of our Upper School teachers hold advanced degrees in addition to the baccalaureate degree, and almost half of those teachers hold a doctorate or terminal degree in their field of study.
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law
A former trial attorney, Tom Fones decided to pursue a career in education when he sensed that “there were more fulfilling careers than being a lawyer.” He teaches Debate, Advanced Debate, and the Law and Justice Seminar and joined the faculty in 1996. Mr. Fones strives to adapt to his students’ interests and style of learning and to connect with students as individuals. “I enjoy the interaction with the students, the give and take of ideas and experiences,” he says. Mr. Fones is advisor to the book club and coaches the debate team. He has received National Forensics League Diamond and Double Diamond Awards for Outstanding Speech and Debate Teacher, and was declared an Outstanding Inspirational Teacher by Carleton College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University. He is one of 10 authors of the National Debate Year End Handbook for National Federation of High Schools. He earned a B.A. in political science and English from Macalester College, and a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. Outside the classroom he enjoys reading, sports, and spending time with his family.