The History curriculum is designed to help students to reach three goals.

First, students become familiar with history as a discipline. Students learn to support historical generalizations of their own making through the use of a variety of sources, from print to electronic and from photographs to interviews.

Second, students are encouraged to develop an appreciation for the variety of human experience. Their studies enable them to learn that the complexity of the contemporary world results from diverse cultural and historical perspectives.

Third, students are taught to develop a balanced and enlightened understanding of the place of the United States in global history.

Photo of Dave Denno

Dave Denno

History Teacher

B.A., University of Massachusetts
M.A., Brown University

Dave Denno works to balance his role as a teacher at MacDuffie with his most important roles in life: father to Elena, Penelope, and Moxie, and husband to Heather. In addition to his academic interests relating to history and philosophy, Dave is especially fond of working on old cars and listening to heavy metal music.…

Photo of Autumn Gordon

Autumn Gordon

Middle School Coordinator; History Teacher

B.A., Union College
M.A., Union College

Autumn is a Social Studies and History Teacher at MacDuffie. She lives in Northampton with her family; she has two daughters that keep her happily busy when she is away from school. This is Autumn’s seventh year at MacDuffie and nineteenth year of teaching. Autumn is passionate about teaching, especially when working with the middle school.…

Photo of Joan O’Brien

Joan O’Brien

History Department Chair; History Teacher

B.A., Middlebury College
M.A., University of Denver
M.A., University of Massachusetts

Joan O’Brien is beginning her 25th year at MacDuffie where she teaches in the Upper School with occasional forays into the Middle School. Over the years, she has served as a classroom teacher, department chair, and Upper School Head, which has given her a special appreciation of both the close bonds between students and faculty and the collegiality among faculty and staff. …

Photo of Daniel Taravella

Daniel Taravella

Latin Teacher; History Teacher

B.A., Allegheny College
M.A., University of Chicago

Daniel Taravella enjoys teaching the Classics at MacDuffie with both the History and World Language departments. On the Latin side, his current professional interests are the history and archaeology of early Rome (especially Roman historical myths), Roman social history, Roman imperialism, and the art and literature of the Augustan Age. …

Photo of Greg Vennell

Greg Vennell

Peace Studies Teacher

B.S., Springfield College
M.S.T., Antioch College