Academics / Community

Mr. McShane brings humor and passion to the Science Department

John (Jake) McShane is a new member of the science department this year. He is teaching four sections of ninth grade physics and is currently the assistant Varsity Softball coach. A sign of his popularity was that he was chosen by students to dress up as a turkey as a part of the Thanksgiving fundraiser.

Mr. McShane originally wanted to be a doctor and took the MCAT, but soon afterward he found his love for teaching. He says he enjoys teaching because “If someone is having a bad experience, I want to make it better. I also want kids to appreciate the subject I teach and help them understand.” 

Mr. McShane’s favorite aspect of Dana Hall is the fact that it is a single-gender school. He says that “in a single-gender school kids can grow to be their true selves without feeling pressure and added stress and toxicity of social standards of another gender.” 

Hana Alcantara ‘25, an advisee and student of Mr. McShane, says that he is the “most hilarious person, and his humor has a great impact on the Dana Hall students along with his drive to do what’s best for us. He has a great passion for physics and always makes sure his students are prepared and understand the material. He clearly values his students and is one of the realest teachers here.”

The head of the Science Department, Ms. Tara Jennings, is impressed that “over Zoom he was able to interact with students, especially new students, and was also able to do that in a live format.” She said that he also wants every student to get something out of the lesson every day.

Outside of school, Mr. McShane likes to ski, golf, and cook. In fact, he was on Food Network as a young aspiring chef when he was 12.

Mr. McShane is originally from the north of New York City. He went to high school in the Bronx and graduated college from Fordham University with a major in psychology. He has a post-baccalaureate degree in pre-med and pre-health. He is currently getting his masters in human development and psychology from Harvard.

Prior to Dana Hall, Mr. McShane worked as a lifeguard, was a Teaching Assistant (TA) for emotionally and distressed middle school children, and worked at a school for special needs children through his psychology degree.

Photo: Mr. McShane as the Thanksgiving turkey.

Comments are closed.