DePreter to take over as Director of Dorr

Zachary Kurtz, Staff Writer

Following Director of John Dorr Nature Laboratory Glenn Sherratt’s retirement, current Assistant Director of the John Dorr Nature Laboratory Nick DePreter will take over as Director of the program this fall, and Kate Kerrick will become the new Assistant Director.

“We made the decision to bring Nick DePreter back several years ago with the intent of having him serve as the program’s first Assistant Director, ultimately to succeed Glenn Sherratt upon retirement,” Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly wrote in an email. “Mr. DePreter has performed admirably since his return and, as such, it made sense to give him the opportunity to lead at the John Dorr Nature Laboratory.” 

The Director of Dorr both teaches and oversees the other Dorr faculty, DePreter said. “I’ll get a chance to enjoy the fruits of teaching, but also do my best to make sure that our very talented and hardworking faculty here are put in the right position to do their job.”

Furthermore, DePreter will be responsible for all of the administrative work that occurs at the Dorr facility. He will also communicate with families of students and maintain Dorr’s image as a necessary part of the HM journey, DePreter said.

DePreter, who has a Masters Degree in Education, started his teaching career as a fourth grade teacher. He also worked at Echo Hill Outdoor School in Maryland. After volunteering for the Peace Corps, he was looking for an outdoor school where he could teach and found an advertisement online for a job opening at Dorr. He was offered a job and joined Dorr during the 2004-2005 school year. After meeting his wife, he left Dorr in 2005, but then returned in 2011 with his family. 

DePreter enjoyed working at the outdoor school, which is what initially drew him to Dorr. “When people work in outdoor education, a lot of times it’s seasonal and a lot of times it’s with a group who shows up, you work with them, and they leave,” he said. Dorr, on the other hand, is the same group of kids year-in and year-out, which allows DePreter to see the students he works with grow and develop, he said. “[Working at Dorr] was a chance to really know a school and be in a community.”

Inheriting the position from Sherratt, who has handled the job exceptionally for years, will be daunting for DePreter, he said. Nonetheless, DePreter knows he will have the tools to deal with whatever problems he faces. “[Sherratt has] prepared me to do the job, and so I do appreciate him for that.”

There will be many tweaks and changes made to Dorr’s programs, but the framework of those programs will remain, DePreter said. “My vision for Dorr is to continue to maintain a safe place for kids to grow and take risks and learn something about themselves.”