Bryan Newman ’99, ’04
My experiences at SU changed my life. My hard work, coupled with the opportunities provided at SU, afforded me preparation for a career I am passionate about and a connection to the community I value greatly.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies in 1999, Newman worked as a lab technician in the viticulture department at the Virginia Tech Extension Office in Frederick County. “I helped conduct research on diseases that affect grapes grown for wine. This experience honed the research skills that I had acquired in my undergraduate studies. My knowledge increased in the field as my direct supervisor was an expert in the field.”
Newman completed a master’s degree in education at SU in 2004, which he describes as “thorough and relevant.” He is grateful for this preparation, which started him off “on the right foot.” He began his teaching career at the middle school level at Frederick County Middle School and then moved to the high school level, which included positions as a biology teacher at Middleburgh High School, in Middleburgh, New York, and locally at James Wood High School. He currently teaches life science at Frederick County Middle School and was recently awarded the 2018 Frederick County Public School Teacher of the Year Award.
My years teaching have been the most influential. Teaching has been a constant source of inspiration, growth and challenge. Some of my most rewarding experiences as a teacher are seeing students make connections between the course content and their personal world. Having a student utilize their newly acquired knowledge and then understand a concept and how it applies to their life and the world is rewarding. It can change their relationship to their world. There is a hope that these students will then take this knowledge and connection and become better stewards of the environment. When a student grows in confidence over the course of the school year, they begin to believe in their own ability, take an interest in their learning and apply themselves to the course.”
Newman pursued teaching because he had always believed that he was “born to teach.” “I have a deep desire to share what I have learned.” His time spent in the environmental studies program, under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Woody Bousquet, was pivotal. “Dr. Bousquet has the gift of bringing the content to life and bridging the relevance of the content in the real world. Not only did he impart knowledge and skills, he encouraged his students to use and apply the knowledge.” These experiences changed Newman’s perspective on teaching and gave him the last push to believe that he could do it. “I embody this style of teaching in my classroom as a result of these experiences.”
Newman’s fondest memories of Shenandoah are the research studies and field trips through the environmental studies program. “We had the opportunity to apply our skills and knowledge and to create publications and research reports from these experiences. These experiences added immensely to the program by promoting work ethic, collaboration with others and production of a finished product,” said Newman.
This year at Shenandoah, he is most looking forward to being part of the Alumni Board of Directors and helping to promote awareness of the board through connections with former classmates.
Newman lives on a 100-acre homestead in Gore, Virginia, with his wife, Carla Imbriano Newman ’97, and their children, Isabella, Grace and Thomas. All three children attend Frederick County Public Schools and are involved in various extracurricular activities such as cross country, track, tennis, wrestling, chorus, fishing, hiking, fishing, camping, backpacking and biking. Carla has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SU and a master’s degree in school psychology from James Madison University. She works as a special educator also at Frederick County Middle School.
It was a tradition for Newman and his wife to drive cross- country in their Volkswagen Vanagon during summer breaks while they were in college at SU. Now they take family trips out west hiking, backpacking, and biking in the great outdoors. “We are happy to be sharing with our kids the eye-opening experience of seeing the various regions of our country and the differences in the topography, flora and fauna, and cultural differences as well,” stated Newman fondly. “We all have a love for traveling, exploring, the natural world and being together.”