Semester I Special: Graduates pursue passions

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Physical education health and wellness teacher Mike Bower helps freshman Olanne Healy during class.

The Newtonite

Physical education health and wellness teacher Mike Bower helps freshman Olanne Healy during class.
[media-credit name=”Jay Feinstein” align=”alignleft” width=”192″] Physical education health and wellness teacher Mike Bower helps freshman Olanne Healy during class.
by Julia Moss
Participation in extracurricular activities at this school have inspired many alumni to pursue high school interests in their studies and careers.

Mike Bower

Physical education health and wellness teacher Mike Bower ’90 discovered his passion for fitness as a high school student, he said.
Bower said he first began regularly working out and lifting weights as a way to prepare for sports at this school.
According to Bower, he found that he greatly enjoyed working out.  “I decided that I would educate myself on fitness in every way I could.”
Bower said his high school interest in fitness influenced the choices he made at Hobart College and in his career. He played sports at Hobart, took exercise classes and became certified in personal training.
“I am lucky that my favorite hobby connects so much to my career,” Bower said. “I am a teacher who understands what it means to be a North athlete.”

Sam Shames

After actively participating in this school’s Greengineering program, Sam Shames ’10 went on to major in material science and engineering at MIT.
“The research skills I developed during Greengineering and then extended during my Senior Year Project have been instrumental to my success at MIT,” Shames said.
Shames’ experience with Greengineering inspired him to join the biodiesel club at MIT and helped him to get a research job, he said.
Most importantly, Shames said, Greengineering “was the first place where I became passionate about the work I was doing. I have continued to channel that passion at MIT.”

Deb Vogel

Deb Vogel ’91 pursued her high school passion for dance by founding Newton’s All That Jazz Dance Studio in 1998.
Vogel said she began dancing at the age of three and continued to pursue her love of dance while a student at this school. “Everybody knew me as a dancer at North. It was just part of my identity and very much defined me throughout my whole life,” she said.
After graduating from Bowdoin College in 1995, Vogel said, she taught dance at a local dance studio and at local private schools and then opened All That Jazz Dance Studio.
Vogel said she encourages current students to pursue the passions and hobbies that are meaningful to them.
“Don’t think that when high school ends that you automatically will have to give up whatever makes you happiest.”