Faculty Spotlight: Bernie McMahon

Assistant Director/Dean of Students, Middle School; Batten Civic & Global Leadership (BCGL) Director of Leadership Development
Department and Program Affiliations:
Middle School, History, Batten Civic & Global Leadership

Head Coach, Junior Varsity Football

Academic background:
B.A., Political Science, College of the Holy Cross
M.A., History of International Relations in the 20th Century, London School of Economics
M.A., National Security Studies, U.S. Army War College
How long have you been at Norfolk Academy?
I have been at Norfolk Academy for six years.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator:  
My passion for wanting to be an educator started when I was in 9th grade. My history teacher, football, and track coach was Mr. Mosely. He helped me navigate a new school, learn how to study, and open my eyes to the world of history. He had a deep and profound impact on my development. Growing up, and during my time in the Navy, I always knew one day I would follow in his footsteps – and help mentor and grow the next generation of amazing young men and women.

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?  
THE STUDENTS! I get so excited watching their faces light up as I uncover a historical theme for the first time. Imagine being the first one to explain the Cold War to a group of students. I love watching them mature, develop, and unlock the riddle of life and success on the sports fields, in the halls, and in the classrooms. The diverse nature of NA allows for a rich expanse of experiences and ideas which heightens each student’s developmental journey. It is an honor to be part of this journey.

Norfolk Academy is unique because…
...every teacher truly cares about being the best to inspire students in the classroom, working on deepening relationships with students in the halls, and coaching their teams through success and failure. Throughout all this the faculty have each other’s backs, are there for support and camaraderie, and lend a helping hand when needed. This is a place like nowhere else!

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?  
I love spending time with the family and watching my kids wrestle and play lacrosse. I also enjoy surfing and traveling and I am a high school and college Men’s Lacrosse Referee.

Last book read:
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen and Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series. I love a good spy story!
Favorite food?
Homemade Vietnamese Pho!  A family tradition.

A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you?
Jim Carey – for so many reasons!
Fun fact your students might not know about you/might find surprising:
They know everything – I am an open book ☺  

“When I grow up, I want to be…”
...the first elected King of America!