Human of Brimmer: Cecelia Pan

Human of Brimmer: Cecelia Pan

Cecelia Pan is poised to celebrate 30 years of dedicated service, having joined here in 1996 as a biology teacher. She quickly rose to the position of department chair the following year.

Beyond teaching various AP Environmental Science and various Upper School science electives, Pan serves as the Director of Educational Initiatives, overseeing the Scholar Society and leading the accreditation process.

“My favorite class to teach is probably AP Environmental Science because it is this fun way to teach earth science, physics, biology, and all sorts of different subjects in one class. I think that this class most pertains to the world around us and what we are doing to our planet and what we can do to fix it.”

Pan previously held the role of Director of Hiring and now co-directs faculty recruitment and mentoring, managing PK-12 faculty recruitment and heading the mentorship program for new faculty and staff. Additionally, she participates in the Global Studies Board and is an active member of the National Association of Biology Teachers and the National Science Teachers Association.

Ms. Pan is an incredibly dedicated teacher who is smart and cares deeply about her students.

— Upper School Head Joshua Neudel

“I like wearing a lot of different hats,” Pan said. “I really like working with teachers to help them become better teachers, and I also like hiring because I like being able to talk about what a great place this is—and what it is like to work here and all of what goes into being at Brimmer. I do not think I would dial it back. I mean, I have dialed back my teaching a little bit, but I do not ever want to leave the classroom, however, the other stuff I do is important, too.”

Outside of School, Pan also volunteers at the Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, a Mass Audubon site, and participates in the March for Science in Boston.

Highlighting her enthusiasm for the classroom experience, Pan said, “I thoroughly enjoy interacting with the students, teaching, and engaging in conversations with them.”

Additionally, Pan emphasized the strong sense of community here, describing it as more than just a place of work and study.

She also commended the camaraderie and dedication among the faculty and staff.

“We all come in every day aiming to do our best for the students,” Pan said.

“Ms. Pan is an incredibly dedicated teacher who is smart and cares deeply about her students,” Upper School Head Joshua Neudel said. “She is always trying to find ways to innovate her own teaching so that she can get better and so that her students can learn and stay up to date with what is happening in the scientific world so that she can bring that into her classroom. I am always impressed with the way in which she is constantly looking at her own practice and looking for ways to improve it.”

Maya Lownie ’24 enjoys Pan’s creativeness and infectious love of learning.

My favorite thing about Ms. Pan is that she is kind of like a science mom.

— Science teacher Zoe Stublarec

“I really enjoy experiencing Ms. Pans own passion about the topics that she teaches,” Lownie said. “As a student, it really influences my own interest in the topic and pushes me to learn more and challenge myself in her class.”

Polly Zimmerman ’25 agrees.

“She’s very understanding when you have problems or questions about the work,” Zimmerman said.

Another class that Pan teaches is Marine Science, a year-long science elective. Lownie is taking that class this year, and loves it just as much as Pan’s other classes.

“Ive been really enjoying Ms. Pans creative assignments and that she allows us to pursue our own topics of choice within the unit that we are studying, such as choosing animals to study and locations to focus our learning on,” Lownie said.

Ms. Pan really cares about our interests,” Aniyah Lesse ’25 said.  “She asks us what we are interested in so that she can put it in the curriculum—whether it’s the ethics of biotech or more of the lab stuff. “Additionally, I have been in Pan’s advisory since Freshman year. She is an amazing advisor and I know that I can always go to her whenever I need help with anything.”

Even teachers feel similarly.

Cecelia Pan’s back porch overlooks Swan Lake in Swanville, Maine. She enjoys spending quiet time here reading and reflecting. (Cecelia Pan)

“My favorite thing about Ms. Pan is that she is kind of like a science mom,” Science teacher Zoe Stublarec said. She is easy to talk to, and it’s nice having somebody that is super supportive and similar.”

Outside of School, Pan loves to spend her long weekends and vacations at her Maine house with family, where she adores the nature and wildlife.

There, she reflects on her time here, including her first year here in 1992, when the graduating class consisted of just 14 students.

“That year was also the first co-ed class that Brimmer ever graduated,” Pan said.

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About the Contributor
Mckinlee DePaola
Mckinlee DePaola, Journalist
Mckinlee joined The Gator in 2023. She has been at Brimmer since 7th grade and loves it. She also loves photography, reading, listening to music, and horseback riding.

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