Hart retires, advises to persevere through problems


Katy O'Connell

Math teacher Nancy Hart is retiring after the 2022 school year.

Arielle Chin, Staff Writer

After over a decade of teaching at Algonquin, math teacher Nancy Hart is retiring from her position to spend more time with her family and pursue personal interests.

Hart, who has taught a variety of math classes, including Integrated, Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry Fundamentals, received her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Union College and her Master of Arts in Secondary Education at American International College. Hart then worked as a design engineer for Stone and Webster and Prime Computers and Computervision in technical marketing support and customer training where she was teaching CAD software to customers. 

Hart traveled around the country teaching customer classes on how to use software, which got her to consider teaching as a profession.

“My three children went to Algonquin,” Hart said. “I had friends that taught at Algonquin, so I knew the school and the quality of the education as well as the caliber of the staff. I was also coaching freshman field hockey already and it was a short commute since I live in Northborough.”

Hart’s years spent at Algonquin have brought her much joy.

“I really love the students,” Hart said. “ I love connecting with them. They’re fun; they teach me things. Sure, they’re challenging, but I love this age group. I also really love my colleagues here. They’re super supportive, collaborative and fun.”

Because of Hart’s dedication to her job and close relationships with her colleagues, many will miss seeing her every day.

“She is such a hardworking team player,” math department head Elizabeth Dore said. “She will do anything for anybody. She cares so much about her students. She’s fantastic.” 

Hart raised three children who graduated from Algonquin and says it helped her understand how teenagers think. Dore admires how Hart adjusts her teaching style to better help students. 

“She is going to ask her students a series of questions to help them understand why something works,” Dore said. “She will help a student through anything, but while she’s nurturing, she still asks challenging questions. She wants a lot from her students, and I think that she really helps instill confidence in kids who are ready to do the work.”

Fellow math teacher Eileen Cronin has been teaching next door to Hart for over 10 years.

“We always tag-team with each other,” Cronin said. “I often open the door [in my classroom] that connects to her classroom, and I’m going to really miss that collegial relationship of helping each other out and being there for each other.”

Sophomore Marie Roberts has had Hart as a teacher since freshman year. 

“What I enjoy about Mrs. Hart’s teaching style is that she always makes everything structured,” Roberts said. “Every single day there’s something to do, it’s understandable and you’re able to learn it. The next day you’ll have another thing to learn and it really prepares you well for the tests. I have really enjoyed her teaching style throughout both years that I’ve had her.” 

Hart has had a big impact on girls’ sports during her time at ARHS. She has coached freshman and JV level field hockey as well as JV girls’ tennis. She also began the Figure Skating Club and helped to start girls’ golf, which became a co-op team with Westboro in its first year.

She was recruited by physics teacher and former varsity field hockey coach Dan Welty to coach with him.

“She has always been so positive and supportive of me and the field hockey program,” Welty said. “She was so good at working with the freshmen. She’s very much a motherly figure for those freshman girls and really helped them acclimate to Algonquin and become a high school athlete.”

 Currently, the math department is in the process of hiring a new math teacher for next year. 

“We are looking into hiring to replace her and have found some really good people,” Dore said. “Regardless of who comes in, it will be very hard to fill her shoes.”

Hart looks forward to retiring to take care of her mother, who is 96 years old, as well as spending more time with her 1-year-old granddaughter who lives in Vermont. She also wants to continue her athletic pursuits, make improvements on her house and do volunteer work. 

“I am excited to retire,” Hart said. “I would like to do things that I didn’t have time to do like golf, skiing and pickleball. I love to be outside and enjoy things like that.”

As Hart approaches her retirement from teaching at Algonquin, she wants students to take away an important lesson from her: 

“I don’t fool myself into thinking that everyone loves math, because I know that they don’t,” Hart said. “But if they learn nothing else, I just want them to learn that you should always persevere through problems. If they apply that to life, that would be wonderful. Just persevere and keep trying.”