By: Michael Falk — Correspondent
Mr. Thad LaVallee is one of Sharon High School’s new teachers in the English department, teaching both freshmen and juniors. LaVallee is filling in for Ms. Novick Carson who is currently on leave.
He went to high school at Mattanawcook Academy, a public school in a very blue collar mill town in northern Maine. LaVallee attended the University of Maine for his bachelor’s degree, earned a Master’s Degree at UMass-Dartmouth, and later a Ph.D in Educational Leadership and Policy.
Before coming to Sharon High School, LaVallee worked at a variety of locations. “I have taught high school at a number of places, from small fishing villages on the coast of Maine with 200 students to urban settings like New Bedord with 2,000,” he said.
His career is not limited to teaching positions, as LaVallee switched to being a full time writer two years ago. “Last month I completed writing my third book, a co-authored work with a brilliant Iranian scholar about the identity formations of Iranian immigrants in the UK,” said LaVallee.
“We should give what we can to make our neighbors’ lived experiences better. As a resident of Sharon, when I heard how many students were without teachers this year, I decided to do my part and make myself of use to help continue their education,” he added. LaVallee says he is a big believer in the idea of community and civic engagement.
When LaVallee isn’t working at school, he enjoys coaching his kids’ sports teams. “I also used to do a lot of bicycle racing around the US and Europe, and although I don’t race quite as much anymore, I still enjoy trying to get out and ride 5 or so miles each day around this beautiful area we live,” he said.
LaVallee says he enjoys reading and tries to devour in as many books as possible on various subjects. “My favorite two from this past summer were Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond and How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr,” he added.
LaVallee says great books open up realities you otherwise would never have known existed, and these two certainly succeeded in that sense.
“While I love teaching, it’s extra special when it’s done not as a job per se, but as an act of giving back to those who live around you,” he said. LaVallee said how exciting it is for him to teach at Sharon High and is thrilled to see what the year has to come.