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Mr. Dunn joins Norfolk Academy as an Upper School Chemistry Teacher. He also is working with students interested in debate.

Mr. Dunn earned a B.S. from William and Mary, where he double majored in Biology and Chemistry. He completed his M.S. in Bioanalytical Chemistry at UVA. After graduating, he worked at UVA for two years as a teaching assistant for Organic and General Chemistry, before being elevated to supervisor of all General Chemistry labs. He was awarded William and Mary's Andrews Prize in Undergraduate Teaching and UVA's Graduate Teaching Award and completed his master's thesis on mapping dynamic uptake of glucose in living tissue slices using fluorescent imaging. While completing his Master's degree, he developed and pilot-tested new lesson plans and teaching tools to remake labs in an active learning format. An Eagle Scout, he loves hiking and biking in the outdoors. He completed five years of Latin in secondary school.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator:
When I was in high school, chemistry was an odious blur. I went on to have a beautiful experience with the subject in college and graduate school, and I found that I was passionate in advancing new methods of teaching. Teaching was always what I was best at, going back to my summer SAT tutor jobs, and I’m excited to help make science the interactive, enriching experience it should be.

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?
There’s lots of Latin, of which I’m a big fan.

Norfolk Academy is unique because…
There’s a strong sense of community here, and I’m never short of opportunities to talk to people.

Last book read:
I went on an unplanned robot theme with DuneDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and most recently I, Robot.

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?
I hike and boulder, but I’m also introverted and a big fan of staying home. I’ve recently gone through many science fiction novels, board games, and video games.

Favorite food?
I honor my Irish heritage by enjoying potatoes in all formats.

A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you?
Oh no, it’s not Michael Cera, is it? Hold on, wait – yes – OK, I am being told it’s Michael Cera.

Fun fact your students might find surprising:
I wasn’t a fan of chemistry when I was a high school student, and instead loved Latin and drama. I also had embarrassingly long hair that nobody should look up. No, stop looking it up!

“When I grow up, I want to be…”
A retired teacher and acclaimed professional eSports player.

Austin Dunn is teaching Upper School Chemistry and working with students interested in debate.

Austin Dunn is teaching Upper School Chemistry and working with students interested in debate.

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