Faculty Spotlight: Mike Duquette '99

Teacher - Middle School Math
Department and Program Affiliations:
Middle School, Algebra I

Head Coach, Varsity Boys’ and Girls’ Tennis

Academic background:
Norfolk Academy '99
B.A., Political Science, University of Virginia
M.A., History, Washington College
How long have you been at Norfolk Academy?
This is my ninth year teaching in addition to the 12 years I spent here as a student.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator:
My parents (Upper School math teacher, Mr. Tom Duquette, and assistant director of the Lower School, Mrs. Susan Duquette) obviously had a large part to do with me becoming an educator. Growing up, I was able to see their impact and relationship with students in the classroom and on the athletic fields. After graduating college and contemplating life paths, I kept coming back to the experience of my parents. Whenever I was in a classroom or on an athletic field working with kids, time would fly by and I’d feel immense gratification. It’s a great thing when you love going to work!

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?
The constant energy in the buildings with the students and staff. Do not get me wrong, it is extremely busy, but the students and faculty embrace the pace. I am always on my toes because there are constant challenges whether from a student’s question in class, a teaching moment for a child in the hallway, or how to best prepare an athlete for a championship match.

Norfolk Academy is unique because…
...the daily functions of NA allow students to see the teachers outside of their classroom duties, like singing or dancing on stage; serving the community at a food pantry; coaching; or just a casual chat because the office door was open. These experiences humanize the teachers and create the trust and relationships that are at the heart of the institution.

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?  
As one might guess, tennis and exercise are things that I regularly do away from work.  The beach is a place I absolutely love and a reason why living in Tidewater is so great.  Whether it is surfing, reading a book in a beach chair, or building a sandcastle with my kids, you can find me by the ocean almost any day that would be considered a “beach day.”

Last book read:
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Favorite food?
Anything my wife cooks!

A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you?
I want to say “The Rock” or Liam Neeson but, let’s be honest, probably Matt Damon. I would also want Anthony Dinozzo (Michael Weatherly) from NCIS.
Fun fact your students might not know about you/might find surprising:
I love fruit and vegetable gardening, but my most prized plants are my five blueberry bushes and two apple trees.

“When I grow up, I want to be…”
...a proud parent and then grandparent…